First Look at Dosi, A Korean Small-Plates Restaurant and Soju Bar

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Photo by Mai Pham
The Korean fried chicken, sweet and spicy version, at Dosi.
It would be tempting to visit Dosi just for Korean fried chicken. The tempura-battered free range chicken comes to the table tantalizingly stacked in a mound of tasty, bright orange, spicy-sweet gochugang (Korean red pepper) glaze, without a doubt the best version you can find in Houston at the moment.

But Dosi, the new Korean small plates concept on Shepherd just south of Westheimer, is about so much more than just fried chicken. If the sleek concrete facade doesn't do the job of cluing you into what the place is all about, the colorful wall of liquid-filled jars that greet you at the entrance might give you a hint.


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Food Fight: Gỏi vịt (Duck Salad)

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Minh T Truong
Thien An's version of Goi Vit
If you're looking for the perfect summer meal, something light, cool and flavorful, gỏi vịt, or duck salad, is the way to go. This Vietnamese dish embodies summer and is exactly what you'd want to eat on a hot day.

Shredded cabbage and red onions are the traditional base for the salad with tender duck meat topping it off. The dressing for the salad is a tangy concoction of nuoc mam, or fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Along with the base ingredients, additional fixings such as carrots, bean sprouts and cucumber can be tossed in according to taste to make different variations of the salad.

For this food fight we take a look at the two different versions offered at Thien An and Huynh. Both distinctly their own and both very good.

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Preview of Delights at Kata Robata's July 29 Eel Extravaganza

Categories: On the Menu

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Photo by Wyatt Dowling
Fresh water (left) and salt water (right) eels.
As reported on Friday on EOW, Kata Robata is set to celebrate Doyo-no-ushinohi, Tuesday, July 29, with a one day-only special menu of delicacies featuring freshwater eel. The holiday marks the first day of the period of the Ox and tradition dictates consuming foods whose names begin with a "u," i.e. unagi (freshwater eel).

Acclaimed Chef Horiuchi gave the Houston Press a preview of some of the dishes set to be available as well as a brief tutorial on the difference between fresh-water and saltwater eels and a demonstration of fileting techniques.

First came a palate-opener in the form of a smoky, citrus soup whose broth included succulent pieces of freshwater eel liver. Its warm ocean flavors prepared our mouths for a second course of grilled unagi accompanied by razor-thin slices of Japanese cucumber and seaweed tossed in an aromatic vinaigrette.

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Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Grilled unagi

The buttery fish flesh laced with just a hint of charcoal spice left a most pleasant carbon footprint that only intensified a craving for more eel.

This story continues on the next page.

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The 5 Best Brunch Spots in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest

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Photo by John Kiely
The tortillas alone are worth the trip to our No. 5 spot.
In Houston, we're pretty serious about our brunch. Whether it be migas and breakfast tacos or chicken and waffles and loaded Bloody Marys, we have no shortage of awesome spots to get our brunch on. Keeping later hours and killer cocktails in mind, we'll be taking a look at some of our favorite spots around town. See the complete list at the end of this post.

This week, we're moving we're moving just outside the loop to the neighborhoods of Garden Oaks and Oak Forest.

Note: For purposes of this post, Garden Oaks / Oak Forest is defined as north of Loop 610, east of Highway 290, south of Tidwell and west of Yale.

Honorable Mention: Biskit Junkie, even though it hasn't opened yet, because we're just too excited about the possibilities! And Rainbow Lodge, which is just outside the borders, but worth the short ride inside the loop.

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Ladybird Food Truck Not for the Birds

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Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Ladybird Grilled Cheese
Here's one more reason to visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, especially on Thursdays: Ladybird food truck. Officially open 6 p.m. to 8.p.m. (though they arrive earlier and will happily take orders), Ladybird fuels art enthusiasts, strolling couples, and passing motorists (those, that is, who decide to stop rather than just rubberneck).

Ladybird does not, in case you were wondering, showcase the beloved fare of the late wife of Lyndon B. Johnson. Unless, of course, the former first lady was a rabid fan of truffle tater tots.

The seasonally rotating menu features a few variation of dishes that have come to be staples on the H-town food truck scene, such as a kimchi dog, a hill country sausage covered in (you guess it) kimchi, chives, and spicy aioli.

More alluring, however, are their fun tweaks on tradition.

This story continues on the next page.

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Takeout Trials: Buca to Go at Buca di Beppo

Categories: On the Menu

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Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Baked Ziti 8/10

Although there's no shortage of restaurants that offer takeout in Houston, the options for old-fashioned red gravy Italian are somewhat limited. Buca Di Beppo is not the place to go when you want to a to-go dinner of handmade tortellini with truffles, but if you're jonesin' to rewatch Season 3 of The Sopranos while sharing some pasta and gravy with your inamorato, then why not?

Such was the question I sought to answer when I tried out Buca To Go, Buca di Beppo's takeout service that allows you to call in or go online to arrange an order to be picked up curbside. Well, technically you have to go inside, but for the sake of convenience there is a special window set up devoted exclusively to processing Buca To Go Orders. Good!

Thanks to an Internet coupon for joining Buca's eclub, I got a free small pasta (choice of spaghetti marinara, fettuccine alfredo, or baked ziti) with any purchase (no minimum). Good!

I chose calamari and the baked ziti; the friendly voice at the other end of the phone said the order would be ready in 20 minutes. It was ready five minutes earlier and he gave me extra bread. Good!

This story continues on the next page.


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The 5 Best Brunch Spots in Memorial

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Photo by Mai Pham
Our No. 3 pick's roti prata -- a sort of fried pancake -- is the perfect way to start the meal.
In Houston, we're pretty serious about our brunch. Whether it be migas and breakfast tacos or chicken and waffles and loaded Bloody Marys, we have no shortage of awesome spots to get our brunch on. Keeping later hours and killer cocktails in mind, we'll be taking a look at some of our favorite spots around town. See the complete list at the end of this post.

This week, we're moving to the ever-growing Memorial 'hood.

Note: For the purposes of this post, Memorial is defined as north of Buffalo Bayou, west of Loop 610, east of Highway 6, and the area just north of Katy Freeway to Westview.

Honorable Mention: Lone Star breakfast classics at Pappy's Cafe.


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Burger Report: Cottonwood's Bleu Cheese Burger

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
There's a lot going on in this burger...and we love it all.
Though Cottonwood is known mostly as craft beer bar, it has some serious burger game. And while we've already waxed poetic about their poblano-and-fried-egg-laden Squirrel Master Burger -- it even made our critic's 100 Favorite Dishes of 2013 -- that doesn't mean the other burgers aren't just as good.

The Bleu Cheese Stuffed Burger ($10), for example, is ridiculously just as good. And it all starts with the patty.

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Petite Sweets Introduces Frozen Custard Waffle Cone Sundaes

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Photo by Molly Dunn
The Funfetti sundae is one of the best flavors, and the easiest to eat.
Petite Sweets is known for its creamy, sweet custards. And this summer, rather than filling up a tall cup with the signature treat, the West Alabama bakery has crafted a variety of frozen custard waffle cone sundaes using the three standard flavors: Chocolate, vanilla and swirled.

Custard is similar to ice cream, but it has a smoother and creamier texture than ice cream due to the addition of egg yolks.

Petite Sweets starts with a plain or chocolate-dipped waffle cone, then fills it with frozen custard (you choose the flavor) and decorates it with an array of toppings to create one of the seven available sundaes.

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Snap Kitchen Opens Downtown Location & Offers Light, Tasty Meals

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Photo by Molly Dunn
Snap Kitchen offers a salad trio of Thai chicken salad, mustard egg salad and smoked salmon salad with gluten-free crackers.
Snap Kitchen opened its newest location downtown Monday at 1200 McKinney in The Shops at Houston Center and the surprise was with all that emphasis on health, its food tastes really good.

The Houston Press received a sampling of the various menu items available and just about every meal resonated well with our staff, especially the grab-and-go salads.

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