Bold, Petite, Enthusiastic Fare at Trenza
Trenza is a chic, versatile space. An evening of indulging exclusively on libations would seem appropriate there, just as appropriate as a dinner date or a group outing. Windows that go from the floor to the high ceiling on the second story of the upscale West Ave lifestyle center make the spot feel palatial. Warm hues -- predominately copper, red, brown, and splashes of deep yellow -- color everything from the floor to the tabletops to the curtains to the lamps. The space is a display of Jimenez's creative hand outside of the kitchen -- she picked out or designed just about every visual detail at Trenza. It all comes together quite nicely to form a modern, inviting dining environment.
Warm hues -- predominately copper, red, brown, and splashes of deep yellow -- color everything from the floor to the tabletops to the curtains to the lamps.
At a recent intimate media dinner, Jimenez described the restaurant as being highly personal. She recounted the story of going to her grandmother's ranch in Mexico as a young girl, where chicken for dinner meant that her grandmother had wrung a bird's neck that day, and a glass of milk indicated that a cow had just been milked, perhaps even by the young Susie herself. The restaurant's food is an embodiment of all that she learned about and experienced throughout her upbringing -- Mexican cuisine, fresh-from-the-farm ingredients, and wasting not any scrap of ingredients -- combined with her professional, worldly training at the California Culinary Academy.
Executive Chef Susie Jimenez creates dishes that match her physical and personality traits: bold, petite, enthusiastic, and colorful.
Her culinary style may be long in the making, but Chef Susie really blossomed publicly in the summer of 2011, when she appeared on the TV show Food Network Star. Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis served as the judges of the reality show, on which she and 14 other contestants chosen out of a pool of 50,000 applicants participated in cooking challenges. Although Jimenez was the runner-up in the seventh season, it's safe to say that her creative juices were flowing throughout the show, or she would not have made it that far. Had she won, she would have been given a TV show of her own. It turns out, though, that the Food Network's loss was Houston's gain, as Chef Jimenez has created a noteworthy upscale restaurant that is young, fresh, and pleasant.