04/08/2014
Best Star-Chef Duo Denver 2014: Ryan Gorby and Lon Symensma

Lon Symensma, exec chef of ChoLon, is firmly entrenched in the top tier of kitchen luminaries who have made the Mile High City such a dynamic dining destination. But even the best chefs can't do it alone, and Ryan Gorby, the executive sous-chef of ChoLon, deserves his own star. He and Symensma have created a near-faultless food temple that embodies a collaborative spirit, consistently unleashing inspiring, outlandishly experimental and bewitchingly artistic dishes. Together they bring a deep intellectual rigor to the kitchen, sharing a mutual respect and ridiculously intense passion for each ingredient they touch, so that every plate that emerges is more scene-stealing than the last.

- Denver Westword, Best Of Awards

10/03/2013

After countless lunches and dinners, tens of thousands of calories, and hours of careful deliberation and debate, our fourth annual ranking of the Denver area’s best restaurants is complete. ChoLon is honored to be named number two.

- 5280 Magazine

09/11/2013

Colorado is famed for its mountainous landscapes and western charm, but few realise that the state is also home to some of the most distinguished chefs and dedicated foodies in the United States. From international street food to fresh takes on Mediterranean classics, Denver has proven itself as a culinary destination in recent years. Discover ten of the best places to dine in the Mile High City in 2013.

- The Culture Trip

08/29/2013

ChoLon won the award for Best Asian Fusion restaurant in 2013 by Denver A-List.

- Denver A-List

03/28/2013

If the kitchen is a stage, then Lon Symensma, chef-owner of ChoLon, is its undisputed star. He exudes extraordinary verve and charisma behind — and beyond — the line, and there's no end to his experimental innovation and bedazzling flavors and textures...

- Westword

10/25/2012

Welcome to Local Spotlight, a series in which we show you where food-world heavy hitters and other celebs spend their oh-so-precious off-hours. Today we're spotlighting chef Lon Symensma of Denver restaurant,ChoLon Bistro. Check out his Google+ Local reviews for some of his favorite local spots in the slide show below.

- Zagat

10/01/2012

No. 3 ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro: If there’s a Denver restaurant that constantly takes me by surprise, it’s ChoLon. The contemporary southeast Asian menu often reads simply—pork ribs with smoked tamarind barbecue sauce and green papaya salad, or asparagus and mushroom salad with soy-truffle vinaigrette—but simple it is not.

- 5280

09/27/2012

Two years ago, ChoLon, the modern Asian bistro in LoDo opened its doors and brought a new approach to Asian-fusion food to the Denver scene. Today, the restaurant celebrates its anniversary with a new fall menu and harvest dinner, and its chef, Lon Symensma talks about his two year ride at ChoLon.

- Eater

07/26/2012

The next time you dine at ChoLon Bistro downtown, don’t skip dessert. In fact, the Malaysian shaved ice is worth a visit of its own. 

- 5280 Magazine

07/25/2012

Chef-of-the-moment Lon Symensma continues his reign of serving the LoDo masses "inspired interpretations of traditional Asian dishes" ....

- Thrillist.com

07/18/2012

"Here's a guide to 20 iconic Denver Dishes... 'Have you tried the Soup Dumplings?' That's the question you'll get whenever ChoLon becomes the topic of conversation. Sure, the entire menus at ChoLon is solid..."

- Denver Eater

07/01/2012

Most noodle bowls are brimming with thin, chewy noodles swimming in a heady, salty broth. But we haven't been able to get ChoLon's shrimp and lobster chow fun out of our heads.

- 5280 Magazine

06/01/2012

Lon Symensma labored for lemongrass-loving pioneers like Jean-Georges Vongerichten, ran the kitchen at New York's Buddakan, then decamped to dumpling-deprived Denver, which finally has a mecca for meticulously made, carefully sourced fare that builds on Southeast Asian flavors--moules frites with yellow curry, pho broth made from oxtail and veal bones--using a mixture of French and Chinese techniques.

- Details Magazine

03/28/2012

One hit restaurant won't be enough for Lon Symensma, whose prominence in Denver's culinary scene has risen like the perfect soufflé. But until the culinary luminary unleashes a spinoff to ChoLon, his Asian-influenced restaurant downtown, we'll continue to curtsy and bow at his feet for gracing our city with a remarkably refined restaurant and a menu that displays his pivotal role in influencing how we eat. Focused, provocative and ambitious, Symensma's beautifully presented dishes run wild — as does his imagination — and the results are nothing short of stunning. Open your mouth and you'll understand why there's a continued clamor for his food...and more of his restaurants.

- Denver Westword

03/05/2012

Chef Lon Symensma was nominated as one of ten Best New Chefs in the Southwest Region of the United States by Food & Wine Magazine. Noted for his classic culinary pedigree such as being a graduate of the esteemed CIA in Hyde Park, having been mentored by Jean-Georges Vongeritchen and his stint as Executive Chef of Buddakan in New York City, Chef Symensma received this honor "because he combines his Michelin-starred experience and yen for Asian street food to make Vietnamese dishes that are tasty and beautiful" at his restaurant in Denver, Colorado, ChoLon.

- Food & Wine Magazine

10/25/2011

A year ago, local foodies rejoiced when Chef Lon Symensma chose Denver as home for ChoLon, his modern approach to Southeast Asian street food. Located in a polished space (think low lighting, high ceilings, and minimalist decor) in LoDo, ChoLon offers an impressive interpretation of Asian dishes. Under Symensma’s inspired guidance, typically dumbed-down items such as dumplings, pot stickers, and spring rolls are transformed into artful cuisine with sharp, creative plating and luxurious flavors. We always start a visit to ChoLon with the French onion soup dumplings, and end it with the five-spice doughnuts and Vietnamese coffee ice cream.

- 5280 Magazine

07/06/2011

ChoLon, LoDo’s new Asian bistro, is playing with “digital engagement”—backstory videos and uncensored critiques on its interactive website, and a webcam that turns line prep into reality TV.See the story here.

- Sunset Magazine

05/17/2011

ChoLon opened in Lower Downtown last autumn to much breathless ballyhooing, with lots of talk about how head chef Lon Symensma had trained at Michelin- starred restaurants in Europe and worked with the acclaimed Jean-Georges Vongerichten in New York City and Shanghai.

- The Denver Post

05/02/2011

Last fall, when Lon Symensma opened ChoLon, his upscale homage to Southeast Asian cuisine, local foodies rejoiced. Here was a chef with pedigree—his resumé includes Spice Market and Buddakan in New York, Jean Georges Shanghai, and Michelin-starred restaurants in France and Spain—who chose Denver as home for his first restaurant.

- 5280 Magazine

03/30/2011

Nothing's worse than getting all fired up for a decadent, wine-soaked meal, only to discover that the restaurant's wine list is a total snooze.

- Westword

03/14/2011

ChoLon is getting lots of buzz for bringing world-class Pan Asian food to the quiet Denver restaurant scene.

- Worth Magazine

03/11/2011

 I still remember the wasabi mashed potatoes. The year was 1993 and I was visiting New York City with my mother, eating at the inimitable Union Square Cafe. The slightly spicy, green-hued potatoes represented the big trend of the day—Asian fusion, a culinary movement defined by its East-meets-West mashup of ingredients and techniques.

- Bon Appetit

03/03/2011

Favorite restaurant in America: Jean Georges. It's been one of New York City's four-star restaurants for years, and you'll always have an unforgettable meal there.

- Westword

03/02/2011

 Lon Symensma talks faster than a hyped-up auctioneer, the words rolling off his tongue like double Ds spilling out of their cups.

- Westword