Asian Avenue Magazine - November 2021

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November 2021

Volume 16 Issue 11

50 Best Small Restaurants in Denver

Book Release: Dear White Women

Flag-Signing Event Honors Stories of Japanese Americans

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PRESIDENT’S NOTE Dear Asian Avenue readers, We have exciting news and recognitions to share this November. First, our cover story takes a look at Yelp’s Top 50 Small Restaurants list, released last month. You will find half of them are Asian restaurants! We were excited to see how loved and supported these restaurants were throughout the pandemic—including the top two on the list: Hong Kong Station in Centennial and Kickin’ Chicken in Lakewood (Asian Avenue favorites). Additionally, nine Colorado restaurants received funding through the AAPISTRONG Restaurant Fund set up by Grubhub and the National Asian Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship with the support of our local Asian Chamber of Commerce Colorado. Congrats to all! A big kudos to attorney Deborah Yim of Primera Law for being recognized as a 2021 Pro-Bono Star from the Denver Bar Association. We applaud her passion to serve and grow Colorado’s Asian American community by leading community service efforts and participating actively on numerous boards. Thank you Deborah for everything you do! This month, we also share the book release of Dear White Women: Let’s Get (un)comfortable Talking about Racism written by Misasha Suzuki Graham and Sara Blanchard. Both women are Japanese American and met in college before starting their podcast Dear White Women. Sara, who is a Denver resident, is also a life coach and positive psychology practitioner. We look forward to diving into this important and timely book! Believe it or not, the year is coming to an end. Our last issue of the year will be our Best of 2021 edition! Visit our website ( and social media (@asianavemag) to help us vote for your favorites in 2021! Thank you for continuing to be a part of our community! Happy Thanksgiving and happy November! Annie Guo VanDan, President | Asian Avenue magazine | | @asianavemag



November 2021 | President’s Note

e h t o t n i t Ge

HOLIDAY Spirits!



NOV 2021

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EVENTS: November Event Calendar COMMUNITY EVENTS: Asian Pacific Development Center Toy Drive and Annual Nourish Celebration




SPOTLIGHT: Attorney Deborah Yim recognized for pro-bono work COVER STORY: Asian restaurants top Yelp’s Best 50 Small Restaurants in Denver list

FEATURE: Flag-signing event brings history to the forefront


FEATURE: Thanksgiving Day wine







BOOK: Dear White Women, written by Japanese American women, shares how to be anti-racist FOOD SCENE: On Havana Street adds new sweets to the Aurora community ON SCENE: Sip and Paint event raises funds to write and share the stories of South Asian women ON SCENE: Colorado celebrates Filipino American History Month ON SCENE: Denver community honors the 110th National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

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November 2021 | Table of Contents

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Publisher & Founder CHRISTINA YUTAI GUO President ANNIE GUO VANDAN Editorial Director MARY JENEVERRE SCHULTZ Graphic Designer/Videographer LIJIN ZHAO Web Designer JASON ZHANG Marketing Manager JOIE HA Editor DAMIAN SIU Staff Writer PATRICIA KAOWTHUMRONG Intern KIANA MARSAN

on the cover Last month, Yelp released its Top 50 Small Restaurants in Denver list, which included dozens of Asian restaurants in the Denver area. Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 1932-1449) reserves all copyrights to this issue. No parts of this edition can be reproduced in any manner without written permission. The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Asian Avenue magazine.

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upcoming events

Send community events to

44th Denver Film Festival & Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival

in One Hour “ - with TR Reid, former NPR correspondent and Washington Post Tokyo Bureau Chief.

Denver Film Member: $13; Non-member: $17 More information at:

Sunday, November 14, 4pm-6pm

November 3-11

The Denver Film Festival (DFF) brings the best of storytelling from around the world to you. Now in its 44th year, the Denver Film Festival is committed to delivering that quintessential DFF experience of cinematic storytelling and the people behind it. This year will include in-person events like Red Carpet premieres, events & screenings at the Sie FilmCenter and satellite locations, interactive goings on, filmmaker conversations, and more! Part of the program + bonus features will also be available to stream on demand on our Virtual Cinema platform.

Our Desi for Congress

with those passionate about the arts! Board Service and volunteer needs include: marketing/communications, website management, finance/bookkeeping, grant writing, and production coordination.

Hindu Temple of the Rockies 7201 S. Potomac St., Centennial More information at:

Japan Culture Day

Saturday, November 13, 11am-4pm Jewish Community Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver or join online More information at:

Help support Our Desi For Congress at the Hindu Temple of the Rockies community center on November 14. The afternoon will be a chance to learn more about Neal Walia and his campaign for US Congress. After a short program, join for refreshments and a chance to socialize. As a homegrown member of the Colorado South Asian community, Neal will open future doors for the next generation of leaders aspiring to run for public office!

11th Annual Virtual Nourish Celebration

Friday, November 19, 6:30pm The Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival, in partnership with DFF, will feature films from South Korea, China, Japan, Canada, and the US that showcase the best in contemporary Asian and Asian American cinema.

Insight Colab Theatre Meet & Greet

Sunday, November 7, 2pm-4pm Chulena Brewing, 2501 Dallas St. #148, Aurora, 2nd floor mezzanine in Stanley Marketplace More information at: Join Insight Colab Theatre (formerly Theatre Esprit Asia) for an afternoon of community. Your first drink will be free as you learn about the organization and ways to engage in volunteer opportunities. The organization is also looking to expand their Board of Directors

The Denver Takayama Sister City Committee invites you to join in person or online for the 4th Annual Bunka No Hi, or Japan Culture Day! Japan Culture Day is a celebration of culture, art, music, and history and a fantastic opportunity for Denver Sister Cities to celebrate the tremendous relationship Denver has had with Takayama, Japan for 61 years. The day’s program includes: J-Pop Dance – with Yoko Watanabe; Aikido – with Sensei Ron Abo; A talk about Ultraman and Godzilla – with Mark Suggs; Tea Ceremony / Omote Senke - with Aislyn Van Clief; a special video greeting and tour of Takayama’s famous; Morning Market – with the City of Takayama; Okinawan Music – with Mamiko Ikeda; Washi: Japanese paper – with Chihiro Hodges; a talk about Yokai: Japanese Apparitions – with Jolyon Yates; and, “Learn to Read Japanese

Tickets: $50 Individual More information at: Join Global Seeds Savers on November 19 for their 11th Annual Nourish Celebration. The virual event will introduce the organization’s new staff and board members. Hear stories from their partner farmers and learn how you can engage with their advocacy of restoring local food and seed systems. Tickets include a Filipino meal from The Orange Crunch Food Truck.

Event Calendar | Asian Avenue Magazine


A Call for Toys and Holiday Cheer!

Asian Pacific Development Center begins annual Holiday Toy Drive

The Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) Adult Education department has begun their annual holiday toy drive. This highly celebrated event, now in its 7th year seeks to provide a new toy for the children of the Adult Education students, toys that are meant to foster imagination, innovation, creativity, and family time. Last year, APDC’s Adult Education program served over 800 students in improving their English as Second Language, GED, Citizenship, and workplace and digital literacy goals. The students represented 52 different language groups. In 2020, APDC distributed over 300 toys through a socially distant, “Santa’s Village” themed event, to families, many of whom had been hit hardest by the global pandemic. This year, APDC hopes to collect 500 new toys for children ages birth to 16, which will be distributed on Friday, December 10. The organization is seeking new toy donations as well as gently used holiday decorations in order to create a “Santa’s Village.” Families arriving to receive their toys will enjoy socially distanced parent and preschool time, games and crafts, festive photo opportunities, and a visit from Santa that will create lasting memories for our New Americans. Donations of new toys or holiday decoration donations may be sent to: Rondi Noden c/o APDC Holiday Toy Drive, 12392 E 30th Ave, Aurora, CO 80011. See the Amazon wishlist at: apdc-toydrive or shop at your favorite local toy store. Contact Rondi Noden at to arrange for pickup or delivery.


November 2021 | Community Event


HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE H e lp ce le br at e ou r i m m ig r an t an d re fu g ee fa m i li e s th i s ho li da y s ea so n.


Saving Seeds and Restoring Resilience Throughout the Philippines

The Philippines is the most climate vulnerable nation in the world, on average around 20 typhoons hammer the islands each year. In addition, while much of the country is considered agriculture land, the influx of GMO’s/monoculture/and chemical farming practices are causing great stress on communities and access to healthy, local, and affordable food is on the decline throughout the country. The global pandemic has only highlighted these existing inequities. But, it has also further emboldened our mission and vision at Global Seed Savers! Hunger free and healthy communities with access to sustainable farmer produced food and seeds. Core to this vision are the principles of food and seed sovereignty! Food sovereignty thinks about the entire supply chain from seed to plate and ensures that farmers, not corporations, are the ones making the decisions about what they grow, how they grow it... FARMERS are in the decision making seat! Same goes for seed sovereignty, at GSS we believe that seeds should be in the hands of the community and not owned by corporations! Seeds are the most beautiful self-replicating system we have. Seeds are designed to adapt and withstand challenges!!! However, in the last 30 years agri-chemical companies have begun to own our world’s food and seeds, and through this, the sacred tradition and connection to seed is being lost. Our current times have shown us that our modern systems of agriculture are broken and the only way to return to a process that works is to save seeds and restore our connections to the land. This is the work we are proud to co-create with our partner communities throughout the Philippines! Interested in learning more about our work and how you can get involved? Join us on Friday, November 19 at 6:30pm for our 11th Annual Virtual Nourish Celebration. This year we will be introducing our new staff and board members, hear stories from our partner farmers, and engage with our advocacy of restoring local food and seed systems. Tickets include a Filipino meal from The Orange Crunch Food Truck. Register for the event at: Visit globalseedsavers. org to learn more about Global Seed Savers. GSS is a International Development Non-Profit Organization committed to building hunger free and healthy communities with access to sustainable farmer produced seeds and food. Our work is currently focused in the Philippines and we are composed of a dynamic team of change makers committed to building a better future for our communities!

By: Sherry Manning, Founder and US Executive Director, Global Seed Savers

Community Event | Asian Avenue Magazine


Attorney Deborah Yim of Primera Law recognized as Pro Bono Star Congratulations to Deborah Yim for being recognized as a 2021 Pro Bono Star by the Denver Bar Association. Yim is the founding attorney of the Primera Law Group, where she represents Colorado workers and small businesses in employment and civil rights cases. Over the past 20 years, she has devoted countless hours to pro bono service. In 2020 alone, as part of the Federal Pro Se Panel and Legal Entrepreneurs for Justice, she dedicated hundreds of hours serving as pro bono counsel to Colorado workers in four federal district court cases challenging workplace discrimination and abuses. For the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado, Yim spearheaded APABA Cares which involved a free legal hotline and legal clinics, educational resources, workshops, and more. She also serves as legal services co-chair of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association and pro bono counsel to the Denver Asian Real Estate Association, a nonprofit promoting sustainable homeownership in Asian American communities.

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AAPISTRONG Restaurant Fund awards nine Asian restaurants in Colorado Grubhub, a leading food-delivery marketplace, and National Asian Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE) set up AAPISTRONG Restaurant Fund to support independent, Asian American Pacific Islander owned restaurants. With the industry facing new challenges post-pandemic, the goal was to help restaurants respond to those challenges and recover from the effects of the pandemic through monetary grants, such as paying employees’ wages or repairing damage to the restaurant caused by discrimination or bias. Locally, the Asian Chamber of Commerce Colorado participated in reviewing grant applications and selecting recipients from the Midwest region, which included nine restaurants in Colorado. Congratulations to the Asian restaurants who received between $8,000 and $10,000 last month. Thank you for your commitment to serve your customers and community throughout these difficult times.


November 2021 | Spotlight



TUES FRI: 9am - 6pm SAT: 9am - 1pm




Top 50 Small Restaurants in Denver List Congratulations to Denver area restaurants that made it on to Yelp’s Top 50 Small Restaurants in Denver List. On October 28, Yelp released its list of local restaurants in Denver and the surrounding areas of Aurora, Lakewood, Arvada, Westminster, Littleton, Englewood, and Centennial. “We compiled this list to celebrate the small mom and pop restaurants that make Denver a great place to eat,” said Matt Careccia, Senior Community Director for Yelp Denver. “Over the last year and a half, local restaurants have gone above and beyond to serve us, establishing themselves as the reliable and trusted backbone of local communities nationwide. This list is a true representation of Denver’s established, yet growing culinary scene—diverse, delicious and a dining destination for all.” Proud of the diverse cuisines represented in this list, Careccia noted the impressive representation of Asian restaurants. “Taking a deeper dive into the list, you’ll notice 40% of the featured businesses fall into the Asian food category. Featured are Thai, Indian, Burmese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese cuisine. From handmade dumplings to soothing curries to the perfectly crafted banh mi, there’s zero shortage of innovation from the Asian owned restaurants on this list.” According to Yelp, all these businesses were open and had a passing health score as of October 2022. This list was generated from reviews by Yelp users. Follow @yelpcolorado on Instagram and visit to join the Yelp community! Now check out this mouth-watering list!

“ 12

This list is a true representation of Denver’s established, yet growing culinary scene—diverse, delicious and a dining destination for all. - MATT CARECCIA Senior Community Director, Yelp Denver

November 2021 | Cover Story

Photo by Thao T. | Yelp


Photo by Matt C. | Yelp


Photo by Old Town Hot Pot


Photo by Marjorie S. | Ye



Yelp’s top 50 small mom and pop restaurants in the Denver metro area 1. Hong Kong Station | Centennial * 2. Kickin Chicken | Lakewood * 3. Old Town Hot Pot | Aurora * 4. Somebody People | Denver 5. Urban Burma | Aurora * 6. Marco’s Coal Fired | Denver 7. Tokyo Premium Bakery | Denver * 8. La Reyna Azteca Tacos Y Tortas | Denver 9. Tatsu Izakaya | Denver * 10. Harley’s: A Hot Dog Revolution | Littleton 11. Guard and Grace | Denver 12. Istanbul Cafe and Bakery | Denver 13. Spice Room Neighborhood Indian Bistro | Denver * 14. Seoul Mandoo | Aurora * 15. Bosphorus | Englewood 16. The Rotary | Denver 17. Anise, Modern Vietnamese Eatery | Denver * 18. Safta | Denver 19. Taste of Denmark | Lakewood 20. Banh Mi Station | Denver * 21. D’Corazon | Denver 22. Turtle Boat | Denver * 23. Golden Saigon | Aurora * 24. Aloy Modern Thai | Denver * 25. Goku Hibachi Express | Aurora *

26. Monsoon Cuisine of India | Aurora * 27. Wildflower | Denver 28. Fish N Beer | Denver 29. Coriander | Denver * 30. Pho & Bar | Denver * 31. Fortune Wok to Table | Denver * 32. Sam’s No. 3 | Denver 33. Kike’s Red Tacos | Denver 34. Tavernetta | Denver 35. Santos Cafe & Mexican Grill | Denver 36. Pearl of Siam | Aurora * 37. Blue Pan Pizza | Denver 38. GQue Championship BBQ | Westminster 39. Cuba Cuba Cafe & Bar | Denver 40. Temaki Den | Denver * 41. Hey Bangkok! | Denver * 42. Famille | Westminster 43. ZOMO Asian + American Eatery | Englewood * 44. La Loma | Denver 45. Yak and Yeti Restaurant & Brewpub | Arvada * 46. Makizushico | Littleton * 47. Little Beast Street Food | Denver * 48. Mondo’s Pizza | Aurora 49. Angelo’s Taverna | Denver 50. Spuntino | Denver **


* Asian restaurants ** Spuntino is owned by Chef Cindhura Reddy, who is South Indian.


Photo by Spice Room

Photo by Alice C. | Yelp



Photo by Selena Y. | Yelp


Photo by Asian Avenue

Yelp 50 | Asian Avenue Magazine


Community members share stories with Judge Johnny Cepeda Gogo, left.

Mary Jane Okamatsu, 76, signs the flag to memorialize her internment at Heart Mountain.

Flags Bring History to the Forefront By Stacey Shigaya | Photos by: Glenn Asakawa

On a balmy Sunday in October, three 48-star flags* were laid on tables under a large tent at Simpson United Methodist Church. Over the course of three hours, 45 Colorado residents who were unjustly interned in concentration camps during WWII signed the flags, their ink soaking into the fabric just as their years of internment have permeated their memories. Many of the signers caught up with old friends they had not seen in years, shared memories of their time in “camp,” and pondered the role their signatures would play in telling the story of the internment to future generations. Mary Jane Okamatsu, 76, was interned at Heart Mountain, Wyoming. She current resides in Littleton, CO and shared her reflections of the event: “It was an honor, and with gratitude, to be a part of the flag signing event. It symbolized and reinforced the loyalty of the Japanese people to the United States of America, even while interned. I was born at Heart Mountain and had the opportunity to visit the area 20 years ago. What an impact it made on me seeing things that were still there: the vegetable vents, where the high school was located, the area where hogs were killed for food, the big red chimney that heated the hospital, and even some barbed wire. Words could not express what I saw and felt that day, walking between two buildings that were still there. It was a day of mixed emotions. The monument with names of those who served our country took my breath away. They


November 2021 | Feature

served while their parents were behind barbed wire. They must never be forgotten. We must continue to honor the memories of our parents and grandparents who endured the atrocities with dignity and gaman. We must continue to be proud of the resilience of the Japanese people. Let us never forget this time in history so it will never be repeated!” Gaman is a Japanese concept, rooted in Zen Buddhism, meaning to endure the seemingly intolerable with dignity and patience. Many internees attest that gaman is what helped their families survive the atrocity of losing their homes, possessions, and livelihoods while being placed in concentration camps for no reason other than their Japanese ancestry. A total of 120,000 people, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, were rounded up and sent to a total of 10 concentration camps as far East as Arkansas. This flag signing project was envisioned by the Honorable Johnny Cepeda Gogo, judge for the Santa Clara County Superior Court in California. He relays the creation of this project is as follows: “The three main inspirations for this project were my colleagues Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Roberta Hayashi (whose parents were interned), Dr. Karen Korematsu (daughter of civil rights activist Fred Korematsu) and civil rights attorney Dale Minami. Judge Hayashi started to do community outreach about Fred Korematsu Day and I began to help her with that outreach, which led to me to meeting Dr. Karen Ko-

* The 48-star flag is the flag that soldiers and sailors fought for during World War II.

Organizers from the Sakura Foundation and Simpson United Methodist Church, volunteers, and Judge Gogo (far right) display two of the signed 48-star flags.

rematsu and Dale Minami (one of the lawyers who helped get Fred’s conviction for evading internment set aside). I wanted to help recognize and honor more of our Japanese American community members who were still alive and had spent time in the internment/prison camps which is how I came up with the creative idea of having survivors sign a 48-star American Flag.” The flags will be donated to the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and other museums on Fred Korematsu Day, January 30, 2022. Judge Gogo adds: “The experience in Colorado was fantastic due to the efforts of George and Ruth Kawamura, the Sakura Foundation, and Simpson United Methodist Church in organizing and publicizing the event. We had a wonderful turnout because of the great local support.

And I will be returning to Colorado the first week of November to visit the Camp Amache area to honor the memory of the Japanese Americans incarcerated at that site. The impact of the stories that have been shared have been emotional and profound. Onone hand, it can be difficult to have folks bring back these memories from long ago because of the heartache and pain, but on the other hand, it can be cathartic for folks to release the stress of these memories. In the end, the nearly one thousand folks from around the country who have signed the flags have been very appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to be part of this historic project.” To learn more about the Flag Signing Project, please contact Judge Johnny Cepeda Gogo at

“I only have pictures of my experience in camp because I was just a toddler. But talking live with other internees was more emotional than I could’ve imagined. I’ve done lots of research about this unconstitutional event since I have no real concrete memories of my own. Talking with other internees made all that research come to life in a whole different way. Thank you Judge Gogo for an amazing innovative project to immortalize this experience that will hopefully, never occur again.” - Milicent “Millie” Morimoto King, 80, interned at Rohwer

Flag-Signing Event | Asian Avenue Magazine


Wine for this year’s Thanksgiving Feast Article and Photos by: Mary Jeneverre Schultz In an Asian American family, the Thanksgiving feast includes much more than the turkey and all the trimmings. You will often find rice combinations, varieties of dumplings and even a huge platter of eggrolls. To add an alcoholic touch, red and white wines help wash down all the different seasonings from gravy sauces to sweet pies. Pairing wine can get a little tricky. “A traditional Thanksgiving meal is a challenge to pair with wine, since you usually have light and dark flavors, like cranberries and potatoes with gravy,” said Nancy Janes, owner of Whitewater Hill Vineyards in Grand Junction. “If I’m only going to have one wine, I love a Dry Rose with my meal. Roses are an ‘in between’ wine which pairs beautifully with all types of foods. The bright acidity of the rose style can really balance out the rich flavors of the meal.” Here are a few recommendations for your glass of wine (or two) this Thanksgiving. Let’s start with buying local. COLORADO Varaison Vineyards & Winery | When vis-


November 2021 | Feature

iting this vineyard, the staff provides recommendations based on your palette. It’s an enchanted experience in their tasting room or sipping and biking in Palisade. Perle Blanche 2017 | Melon, Pear, and Kiwi dominate the fruit notes of this Chardonnay with a smooth structure from aging in French Oak. The perfect wine with cheese, fish, and roasted vegetables. SRP $24

getting last year’s reds ready to bottle,” Janes said. Whitewater Hill Riesling 2020 | The most traditional Thanksgiving wine is a semi-sweet Riesling. With apricot, citrus, and floral notes, they are a reliable delight. Colorado makes some amazing award-winning Rieslings. SRP $16

Carlson Vineyards Winery | | Located in the high desert of western Colorado, Carlson Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery. 365 Rose | Even though it’s fall, this bottle of wine is reminiscent of sandy beaches and summer fun. It’s perfectly paired with spicy Asian dishes. SRP $16

CALIFORNIA Balletto Vineyards | | The vineyard is a picturesque setting for outdoor tastings in Sonoma County. Celebrating 20 years of winemaking, they maintain 100 percent control from vineyard to bottle, and only select the best vineyards and blocks. “When I hear people say, ‘Of course, it’s from Balletto,’ it gives me a sense of pride to be part of this vineyard,” said winemaker Anthony Beckman, who has been with the family operation for 15 years. Balletto Vineyards Russian River Valley Chardonnay | Both complex and elegant, this wine shows its cool-climate heritage with concentrated flavors and a texture with just enough bright citrus tones

Whitewater Hill Vineyards | | The tasting room is still busy during the fall season. “We are just pressing off the last of our red wines off of the skins for the year, so ‘crush season’ is winding down. There are still a number of fermentations progressing in our tanks, and we are filling barrels with the new red wines and

Interested in out-of-state wines? Check out these other regions:

for balance and excitement. Slight tannins accentuate and compliment the mouthfeel, making it one of those wines that draws you in for the next sip. SRP $29 Balletto Vineyards Teresa’s Unoaked Chardonnay | No oak bomb here! This one continues to define California’s Unoaked Chardonnay category. Crisp and vibrant, yet amazingly luscious. It showcases how Chardonnay does not need flashy oak to be distinct and delicious. It’s mouthwatering with refreshing acidity that contrasts its surprisingly robust and weighted mid-palate. SRP $20

Balletto Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir | The Balletto’s are a family of vegetable farmers turned wine grape growers who make site-specific wines from their estate vineyards. This Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir combines full and captivating aromatics with a delicate texture that defines the Balletto style of Pinot Noir. SRP $29 Moshin Vineyards | | Nestled in the Russian River Valley, this winery is perfect for a bottle of Pinot Noir. 2018 Pinot Noir Lot 4 Russian River Valley | Perfect pairing with

pumpkin and apple pie, this wine contains a ro -

mas of black plum, cherry and baking spices. The palate is filled with flavors of cranberry, ripe pie fruits with subtle ones of cola and brown spices. SRP $62 OREGON Fullerton Wines | fullertonwines. com | As a neighborhood location in Portland, this tasting room is the perfect weekend spot. 2017 Croft Vineyard Pinot Noir | Fruity flavors include strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry tones. The palate provides darker fruits of black currant and blackberry with the undertones of aromatic wood spice and a streak of mineral. SRP $55 Battle Creek Cellars | | Battle Creek Cellars’ wines are crafted to showcase the simple approachability of wine. 2019 Reserve Chardonnay This wine delivers aromas of jasmine blossom, white peach with a pinch of chamomile tea and lemon. Light-bodied, it finishes with a taste of mineral and flint. SRP $42 Erath Winery | | This winery showcases its urban tasting room in the heart of Portland’s Historic Pearl District.

2017 Le Jour Magique White Pinot Noir | Flavors include lemon curd, Rainier cherry, melon, vanilla bean with hints of baking spices. It’s perfect for those who are intimidated by red wines.

A Call for Diversity in the Wine Industry

The wine industry is playing catch-up in terms of its diversity. Obtaining the resources and knowledge to build a vineyard is not easily accessible. As such, it is a difficult industry to penetrate for people of color. However, the interest is there. “I am always seeing more folks of diverse backgrounds discovering wine, and I hope to see that trend accelerate,” said Janes. “We learn together about new ways to enjoy wine with different foods, and we get new ideas and energy to make wine that is much more fun and delicious for everyone.” Balletto Vineyard’s winemaker Beckman predicts change is coming. In fact, he left a career in journalism to pursue his personal interest of winemaking. He indicates many programs are available to increase diversity and equity within the wine industry. Check out these organizations promoting diversity by recruiting and training people of color in the wine industry: • Association of African American Vintner • Diversity in Wine & Spirits • Wine Unify • Wine Empowered • The Roots Fund • Black Wine Professionals • Hue Society

Wine for Thanksgiving | Asian Avenue Magazine



Let’s Get (Un)comfortable Talking about Racism By: Sara Blanchard and Misasha Suzuki Graham Available on Amazon | $17.95 Publisher’s Weekly says “this gentle but firm guide will appeal to readers interested in putting the concept of anti-racism into action.” It’s a level-setting guide - written with busy women in mind (read: short chapters and sections) - that addresses the question we often seem to get, which is, okay, now that you’ve explained some people’s stories and our collective history, what can I DO to be more anti-racist? About the Authors: We are two biracial (Japanese and White) best friends of 25 years who met when we were walking out of a racial identity conversation as undergrads at Harvard. Misaha is a lawyer, amateur historian, and fitness coach who is married to a Black man; together they have very mixed-race boys who the world sees as Black. Sara is a life coach, positive psychology practitioner, and facilitator who is married to a White Canadian man, and they have White presenting girls who they’re raising to be thoughtful, compassionate advocates. Together, we co-founded and co-host the award winning weekly podcast, Dear White Women, which helps White women use their privilege to uproot systemic racism. We’ve been making corporate presentations, hosting sessions in conferences, and more - so if you can think of creative ways to get us into your groups to make a difference, we’re here for it!

Sara Blanchard

Misasha Suzuki Graham

Q&A with the Authors


November 2021 | Book Preview

Why is this book relevant to the current times we are in? Sara: We wrote this book in the period between the 2020 elections and the January 6 insurrection. We were recently told by a reader that the book feels incredibly current because we were able to capture the feeling of the deep divide our country is experiencing, and offer some hope in the way of changes we can make to help bring us together as people again. Misasha: It’s both frustrating and real that the issues that we addressed in this book are continually playing themselves out in the media, or in our communities. We did not address racism solely in the summer of 2020, and it’s a great reminder that this work is ongoing, is intentional, and needs to be done by all of us, not just those directly impacted by a specific issue.

Listen to the Dear White Women Podcast and learn more at


@dearwhitewomenpodcast @DWWPodcast

What is the main message you hope readers to take away from the book?

Sara: That talking about race may be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be so scary. We provide the stories, histories, and action steps so you can have a solid baseline understanding of why we are where we are now, as a country, and what each of us can do differently in our daily lives to make a difference. Misasha: Keep asking questions. Critical thinking is a skill that we’ve lost in many forums over the past several years, but it’s so important to keep asking questions to delve deeper into why things are the way they are, so that we can address them and move forward, instead of just accepting things - especially when it’s so comfortable to do so at times - at face value. Ask those questions of what’s being taught at school; ask those questions of who’s been promoted at work; ask those questions of who’s being invited to your book club. Once we start asking, we start noticing - and that’s part of the work we need to do to move the needle in our own spheres of influence.

What’s next for Dear White Women?

Sara/Misasha: We’re so excited to bring this book into the hands of as many people as possible. While we call it Dear White Women, because we feel that White women have the privilege of being both White, and also understand some sense of oppression by the basis of being a woman, this book has something for other people as well. We are hosting webinars and workshops in corporations and organizations and schools (bring us into yours, if you can!) to deepen the impact of the book, we’ll be launching our own online program early next year for parents who want to move the needle for their kids, and as always, we continue to host weekly conversations on our podcast. You won’t want to miss the conversation with John Tateishi, a survivor of the Japanese incarceration camps in World War II, for example!

Q&A with Authors | Asian Avenue Magazine


Sweets and Treats

For those with a sweet tooth, stop by Havana Street in Aurora to experience the new cafes, bakeries, and dessert shops! | @onhavanastreet


@coffeestory.colorado @touslesjoursco

Opening soon! Specializing in FrenchAsian-inspired baked goods, Tous les Jours is a well-known bakery that offers cakes, breads, and pastries made from the finest ingredients.

The global sensation Mochinut has arrived in Colorado! Opened last month, the menu features mochi donuts and Korean rice flour hotdogs. Coffee Story, opened in June 2021, offers much more than coffee drinks, providing a menu of treats like shaved ice, macarons, and banana pudding. 20

November 2021 | Food Scene

As pioneers in the boba tea industry, Sharetea has a track record of 30 years in research and development, to bring the best quality tea at the best price. This Aurora location opened in July 2021!

Sip and Paint shares stories of Asian women On October 30, Ujyalo Foundation in collaboration with Asian Avenue magazine hosted Sip and Paint, a networking and charity event to amplify the voices of women, girls, and non-binaries from Southeast Asia in the Denver area by documenting their stories of being an Asian American, an immigrant, and a woman, girl, or non-binary from Southeast Asia in Denver. The event was a part of the Weaving Identities initiative, which is a storytelling project led by Ujyalo Foundation. The project will share the narratives of 40 women, girls, and non-binaries mainly from Southeast Asia. The goal is to document the challenges, achievements, and contributions of members of these communities so

that their narratives are archived for generations to come. Storytelling also aids in marginalized groups having meaningful representation “Numbers and data cannot explain the lived experiences of our communities,” said Amuda Mishra, founder of Weaving Identities and Ujyalo Foundation. “Our communities are often under-resourced and underfunded, and heavily lack the data that represents us in a holistic manner,” she continued. “Storytelling is a powerful medium to capture the lived experiences of our communities that often is not represented.” At the Asian Pacific Development Center, participants introduced themselves by shar-

ing their stories about being Asian in Colorado. Mishra then presented the uplifting stories of three women interviewed through the project. The group painted their stories to express their identities led by a local Nepali artist. The painting event was attended by 25 participants from diverse Asian ethnic groups including Nepali, Hmong, Lao, Chinese, Thai, and Filipino. The event was supported by community partners including Asian Pacific Development Center, Tea Street, Black Jack Pizza North Aurora, and the International Groups at Re/Max Professionals. Follow Weaving Identities on Facebook and Instagram @weavingidentities.

Far East Center welcomes kids for Trunk or Treat Dressed in colorful costumes, children and families of all ages arrived at the Far East Center to collect candy on the evening of October 28. The Trunk or Treat event brought Halloween festivities to the Westwood neighborhood and Little Saigon Denver with nearly 3,000 people in attendance. Highlighting a costume contest, music, and food, the event was organized by Mimi Luong, owner of Truong An Gifts, Officer

Avila, and Officer Blea along with community partners and contributors including the Asian Chamber of Commerce, Denver Police Department, Denver Councilwoman Jamie Torres, Community Active Living Coalition, and the Far East Center. Dozens of trunks were decorated by community organizations with volunteers who were not only passing out candy, but also sharing information about their programs

and services. Luong said: “We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We hope you had a fun time and enjoyed a memorable evening. We hope this can continue annually and make it even better for next year.” For future events, follow Far East Center @fareastcenter, Little Saigon Denver @little saigondenverco, and Truong An Gifts @truongangifts.

On Scene | Asian Avenue Magazine


L-R: Virgit Vanek, Naty Anolin, Flor Obana, Shiela DeForest, Arminda Aguilar, Honorary Consul Donna LaVigne, Brendan Flores, Jennifer Samuel, Gloria Villaver-Williams, Giselle Rushford, Marlene Perez, Pepito Castellanes, Aurelia Grinstead

By: Shiela DeForest Photography by Monico Candelaria

Colorado Celebrates Filipino American History Month


In observance of Filipino-American History Month, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) V Rocky Mountain Region held the Moda Filipiniana Gala 2021 on October 9. After over a year of virtual events, the organization staged a safe, in-person event to raise funds for the newly established NaFFAA V Disaster Preparedness Fund. Filipino leaders and organizations were recognized for their community service: Erlinda Muega, Lifetime Achievement Award; Miss Earth USA Water 2021 Alyssa Magalong, Outstanding Youth Leader Award; Filipino American Community of Colorado and Filipino American Society of Southern Colorado were given the Community Service Award for an Organization. Filipino nurses have been part of the fight during this pandemic, and some have paid the ultimate sacrifice and because of this service, the Philippine Nurses Associa-

tion of Colorado were given the first ever Special Humanitarian Award. The NaFFAA V 2021-2023 officers were also sworn in: Jennifer Samuel, Regional Chair; Aurelia Grinstead, Regional Vice Chair; Georgette Johnson, Secretary and Naty Anolin, Auditor. NaFFAA V have always celebrated Filipino culture at the annual gala and this year’s event showcased Modern Filipiniana designs of Miami-based Filipina international designer Kirsten Regalado, and her creations were brought to life by models from the local Filipino American community and showcased diversity. NaFFAA V hoped this evening gave the Filipino community in Colorado an opportunity to gather again after a challenging year and celebrate Filipino-American History Month. Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian American group in the nation and this celebration

commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States, which occurred on October 18, 1587, when “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed at Morro Bay, California. Since then, the Filipino diaspora has grown to four million strong, being the second largest Asian ethnic group in the US, and the fourth largest in Colorado, at approximately 30,000 people, after Chinese, Indian and Korean. In 2009, U.S. Congress recognized October as Filipino American History Month. NaFFAA V hopes that this month will be celebrated more widely in Colorado and this year, Governor Jared Polis signed a proclamation declaring the observance of Filipino American History Month in the state. Membership to NaFFAA is free until December 31, 2021, for more information, visit

2021 NaFFAA V Awardees: L-R: Ron Nono and Dr. Alex Africa, FASSC; Erlinda Muega; Chona Palmon, FACC and Miss Earth USA Water 2021 Alyssa Magalong

L-R: NaFFAA National Chair Brendan Flores, NaFFAA V Regional Chair 2019-2021 Gloria WIlliams, NaFFAA V Regional Chair 2021-2023 Jennifer Samuel

L-R: Chevy Lowe, Lori Pace, Lynette Brooks, Priya Burkett, Alyssa Whitehead Bust, Danielle Shoots, Michelle Lucero, Perla Gheiler, and Simone Ross

November 2021 | On Scene

110th National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

Denver holds Double Tenth reception at Washington Park On October 6, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver hosted a reception to celebrate the 110th National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) at the Washington Park Boathouse. Director General Jerry S. Chang welcomed the audience, which included Congressman Ken Buck and other local dignitaries. They join leaders in the Taiwanese community for a fun and beautiful celebration featuring delicious food and lake views. Chang said, “Taiwan is a vibrant democracy with strong economic, cultural and historical ties with the US. We share the universal values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. And we have established a sister state relationship since 1983 with the great state of Colorado.” He continued: “As the 9th largest trading partner of the US, Taiwan imports a large number of agricultural products such as corn, soybean, wheat and meats from this part of the US. To be more specific, US grains account for 80% of Taiwan’s total grain imports, and American beef enjoys a 55% market share in my country, making Taiwan the 6th largest overseas market for Colorado agricultural exports.” “Furthermore, Taiwan and the United

States have been working together very closely since the outbreak of the COVID in March 2020. I’m very pleased to share with you that my country had provided Colorado with 260,000 face masks and other critical PPEs to the frontline workers and many others in need at the beginning of the global pandemic.” “As Taiwan is sparing no effort to raise the vaccinaton rate, the US was very generous to have donated 2.5 million vaccine doses to my country. My government has

expressed our sincere appreciation to your great nation for extending a helping hand when the 23 million people on Taiwan are fighting against the pandemic.” “As for my office, we will continue doing our very best to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation in every field with the great state of Colorado and five other Midwestern states we serve.” Chang ended by sharing his best wishes of prosperity for both Taiwan and the United States.

Director General Jerry S. Chang delivers remarks at the National Day reception. On Scene | Asian Avenue Magazine