Denver and Boulder restaurateur Edwin Zoe has oodles of noodles in store for local diners.
The owner of Zoe Ma Ma and Chimera Ramen plans to rebrand his higher-end Boulder restaurant by the end of March, and to open a new noodle spot in Denver come May. Both will be called Dragonfly Noodle.
“I’m a big noodle nerd,” Zoe said, describing his last, pre-pandemic research trip across Asia, where he ate his way around Singapore, Vietnam and Japan. “Noodles are what I love, and I think there are a lot of us who are equally passionate about them.”
Zoe’s two new stores will closely resemble his original, Zoe Ma Ma, which started as a tribute to his mother. At that shop, all manner of Chinese street foods are sold from the counter.
At Dragonfly, the menu will focus on noodle dishes from across Asia. Hakata-style ramen, Vietnamese pho, Taiwanese knife-cut noodles and Hong Kong pan-fried noodles will be some of the options.
While customers will order at the counter, they will receive full service after sitting down to eat, a style similar to ramen shops in Tokyo, Zoe said. For the sake of authenticity, he even invested in a Japanese Yamato noodle-making machine and will produce all of the restaurant’s noodles fresh and in-house, a rarity when it comes to American ramen shops, in particular.
Following the opening of Dragonfly in Boulder later this month, Denverites will have another location to look forward to, this one on the 16th Street Mall. Zoe said he chose a space previously occupied by Garbanzo at 16th and Market.
“I hadn’t been down to 16th Street Mall in quite some time, and when I was there, I was just amazed at how many stores have been shuttered,” Zoe said. “There’s a lot of loss, but there’s also an incredible opportunity there.”
Late last month, Zoe was announced as a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards in the category of outstanding restaurateur, though he did not make it to the finals, which were announced on Wednesday.
Watch for Dragonfly Noodle in Boulder at 2014 10th St. and in Denver at 1350 16th Street Mall.