Not many restaurants in Denver offer that comforting feeling of walking into your best friend’s apartment. At Lucky Noodles, that’s just the ambiance owner Ploy Limpapath was channeling when creating her Thai restaurant on Colfax.
With just a little over two months in business, Lucky Noodles serves authentic Thai street food on an intimate menu. A lot of the dishes come from Limpapath’s childhood living in Bangkok. Her grandmother owned a food market for nearly 40 years in the heart of Thailand, naturally Limpapath learned how to cook by watching her grandma put a lot of love into her food.
The space at Lucky Noodles is filled with dark wood, exposed brick and a calming abundance of greenery. The outdoor dining looks similar to the many backyards in Denver with a white lattice encased patio. All the love and hard work put into her menu and décor is a representation of Limpapath’s life journey.
She came to Colorado about 15 years ago with a student visa and the dream of building a new life for herself. She worked as a nanny with a student exchange program while living with a host family. She believed it was her destiny to be assigned to a family in Colorado which is why she now calls Denver home. Putting love back into Colorado, she used her life savings to open Lucky Noodles in January 2020.
“In the US, if you work hard and open your mind, you can do anything,” Limpapath said.
The location was previously a café and a few restaurants in between, lasting only a few months at a time. She took over the location and chose to name it Lucky Noodles with a twist on the popular Lucky Cat in Asia — hopefully bringing luck to her new business venture.
“This spot changed owners so many times, I needed luck to stay. So, I made my logo a twist on the Lucky Cat but it’s actually my dog,” Limpapath said.
Unbeknownst to her, it’s not the luck of a cat that blesses her restaurant. It’s the intimate menu that has been passed down through her bloodline for generations.
The fare includes pad Thai, green curry, dumplings, pork roti (a Thai pancake filled with pork belly and vegetables), her grandma’s noodle soup, mango sticky rice and Thai ice cream buns. Each dish is made to order.
“I come in early in the morning to boil and shred the chicken so that’s ready for the noodle soup or green curry when ordered. I cook like my grandma with the feeling of love and care,” Limpapath said.
She uses as many imported products from Thailand as possible to maintain those traditional flavors. What’s left, is locally sourced. While this year has presented a few challenges when it comes to importing products, she doesn’t want to settle for subpar flavors.
“If ingredients aren’t fresh and available then I don’t serve it. I want to provide that same feeling to my customers of comfort from my grandma’s food. Since there was no traveling because of COVID-19, people can come here and taste authentic Thai food,” Limpapath said.
Currently, Lucky Noodles is only open for outdoor seating and to-go orders. Whether it’s a lunch destination or dinner pick-up spot, Lucky Noodles offers the same warm and comforting food from Bangkok.
It is located at 1202 E. Colfax Ave. Suite 102, Denver. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed on Mondays.
All photography by Marla Keown.