When you know you've got soul, you might as well put it in your name; it worked for Soul Train and the movie Soul Food, which you ate so much of last Thursday that you can't fit into your Kia midsize crossover vehicle. If you somehow end up losing enough pounds by next Tues to drive, head to the spiritually named downtown restaurant Alma Cocina.
Translating to "soul kitchen" in Spanish, upscale Latin/Mexican Alma C's got ornately cut cinder block walls, a wraparound bar, natural wood tables, antique Brazilian cocoa pots as hanging lamps, a mounted steer's head, and marble-tiled bathrooms with oversized prints of matadors -- so ironically, if there's a line outside, you won't be seeing red. Lunch on calamari w/ chorizo/acorn squash/fried garlic (braised in spicy red wine broth), duck confit chilaquiles, or ceviches like Corvina sea bass and Peruvian red snapper, before getting into barbacoa tortas w/ caramelized Vidalias, or huaraches like the orange/charred avocado/smoked tomato/chilis Rock Shrimp, also what Ronnie James Dio’s manager said to psych him up before every show. Dinner brings apps like cachaca-braised short rib and pork cheek arepas, braised lamb tacos, goat huaraches, plus mains like roasted chicken mole Oaxaca, and red snapper mole amarillo w/ Swiss chard, roasted hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, and huitlacoche, also known as "corn smut", a genre currently dominated by the lovely Jenna Maize.
All that, plus desserts like Mexican Coke panna cotta w/ brown-butter popcorn and peanuts, comes from exec chef Chad Clevenger, aka "The Swine Sultan", who helped pioneer Denver's food truck scene via his mobile pig eatery "The Porker", something nobody will be calling you, at least until you upgrade to a Scion.