Sometimes it seems every restaurant in this city is in a former house. Tulips is no exception, but some houses are bigger than others. This one is more cozy and intimate than most, which is great when the place is full and buzzing with conversation; at other times it can be uncomfortably quiet. But all that is rendered moot when
dinner arrives. This is food that is successful on several different levels. It's simple, but well conceived; beautiful but not stacked up in some architectural model; inventive, but not pretentious. The beet and goat cheese quesadilla is shockingly addictive considering the humble nature of the main ingredients. One of the few dishes almost always available on the regularly changing menu is the Vietnamese chilled green chile lobster springrolls. Wrapped in silky rice paper, these refreshingly light rolls come alive when dipped in passionfruit sweet and sour dipping sauce. Coffee-rubbed quail comes on a bed of delectable corn and soy beans in a creamy sauce. The menu here is constantly evolving and always exciting. Be sure to make a reservation because there are only 15 tables divided among the three tiny dining rooms.
222 N. Guadalupe St., 989-7340.
Dinner Tuesday through Saturday. $$$