Just 15 minutes north of Downtown Denver is a restaurant gem, hidden in a strip mall, disguised by innocuous signage – the perfect local for one of The Same Plate’s monthly cultural food experiences and the best Cambodian food in Denver.
The restaurant is called Woody’s Wings and Things and despite a name that suggests little more than a standard American sports bar, this place is arguably one of the best places for a variety of Asian food throughout the entire city. Woody’s Wings and Things is located at the intersection of 68th and Lowell Boulevard in Westminster and it shares a private, free, albeit small parking lot with a number of other small businesses in the same strip. For a lunchtime meal, parking is likely to be plentiful. Around the dinner hour however, the lot is likely to be full and diners should look for free street parking less than a block down 68th.
Upon entering the restaurant, one is likely to be met with a real sense of authenticity. What does that mean? That you walk in and say “wow, this isn’t what I was expecting!” It will remind you more of what walking into every Chinese restaurant you’ve ever been to feels like, rather than what you would expect from a place called “Woody’s Wings and Things.”
During our arrival at the dinner hour, the place was packed with people who all seemed like they were regulars or knew the staff; the customers were almost all Asian, several of whom were talking to the staff in what could be assumed were their native languages, and for us ‘outsiders’ it gave us real excitement about the authenticity of the food we were about to enjoy.
Looking around, it felt as though Woody’s Wings and Things served as a gathering place for Denver’s immigrant Asian community.
The middle of the restaurant is set up for group dining, which was perfect for The Same Plate Cambodian dinner; we sat at a long table at the center of the room.
Numerous large groups were seated at the long dining tables on either side, suggesting that this restaurant is a go-to favorite for local Asain group dinners. Around the perimeter of the restaurant are tables set for groups of 2 to 4 people, which makes this restaurant also suitable for intimate “date-night” dinners.
The gentleman who sat us was named Hang and he proved to be a great host and server throughout the evening. He was accompanied by Oscar, whose friendliness was felt through his smile.
Our group slowly trickled in, and Hang was happy to accommodate our scattered arrival times. After taking our drink orders (standard Asian drinks like Thai Tea as well as a selection of local and Asian beers – Sapporo, Tsing Tao and Singha are all available) Hang offered us his favorite meal, upon request. This was incredibly helpful, as the huge, only partially categorized menu was admittedly difficult to sift through (and looking at the menu online beforehand will only give you a partial idea of the offerings.)
Hang recommended the Thai dish of Morning Glory with pork. Oscar told us that his favorite was the crispy fish with lime sauce. After much deliberation, we finally decided on the family-style approach of ordering a variety of things for the table so everyone would have an opportunity to try them all.
Everything was incredible. Of particular note was the Cambodian soup (that I ordered mild, but still thought was very spicy, so request spiciness thoughtfully), the steamed fish with lime sauce and a very flavorful side of spicy vegetables, the Morning Glory with pork (as recommended by Hang), the Beef Loc Lak, a traditional Cambodian dish that I would order at least once a week if I could, and the Szechuan Style chicken wings that we couldn’t resist ordering, given the name of the restaurant.
We all ate until we were more than full and there was still plenty to take to go as leftovers which served a delightful extension of the meal throughout the weekend.