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

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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Openings & Closings: Closures & Confusion in The Heights

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Troy Fields
Owner and executive chef Jamie Zelko uses locally-sourced ingredients in her dishes at Zelko Bistro.
The Heights just couldn't catch a break this week. City Oven, located at 2802 White Oak, took down its signage and began clearing out the restaurant on Sunday, July 20. City Oven was owned by HUSA Management, Inc., who also owns Local Pour, Baker Street Pub & Grill in Rice Village, Watson's House of Ales and Sherlock's. HUSA co-owner Edgar Carlson released this statement to the Houston Press: "After opening City Oven last September at the White Oak location, we regretfully have decided to permanently close. We would like to thank all of our customers and the Heights community for their support, and we look forward to continuing to serve the Houston community at our numerous other concepts, including the new Local Pour opening in The Woodlands later this year."

It wouldn't be a surprise if the space in the Heights is snatched up quickly by another restaurant owner, as it is in a prime location near other restaurants and bars, such as Christian's Tailgate, Onion Creek and BB's Cafe. Or, it could be turned into another concept from HUSA.

It was a very confusing day on Tuesday, July 22, when a "For Lease" sign was spotted outside Zelko Bistro's front door. The Heights Life posted this photograph and discovered that owner and chef Jamie Zelko has been in negotiations for six months with the realtor who represents the property owners. Later that Tuesday afternoon, Zelko
posted this statement on Facebook,

"Hello Everyone!!!!! We are not going anywhere!!! Currently in process of renewing our lease. Thank you all so much for all of your support!!!!! Sending love to all of you!
-Dalia & Jamie"
The sign has been taken down from the front yard, and Zelko Bistro continues to serve its customers. We will keep you updated with more information.

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Glazed the Doughnut Cafe Opens in the Med Center: Hot Stuff 24-7

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Molly Dunn
Grab one of these doughnuts on the soft opening day, July 26.
Get ready for Glazed -- a 24-hour doughnut shop that will present a more than welcome alternative in food and drink, located right in the heart of Houston's Medical Center.

Scheduled to hold its soft opening on Saturday, July 26, at 6 a.m., Glazed will stay open around the clock, right from the start, ready to host all comers: hospital personnel, passersby, and friends and relatives of patients, who all might be looking for a setting other than the hospital cafeteria.

Back in June, owner Edose Ohen told us how he wants Glazed to be a consumer-driven.

"We are in a very awkward space, but we created strategic seating so that people can actually feel comfortable to come in there, sit down, have a kolache, or if they need to study, we have high-speed Wi-Fi, it's free for our customers, of course, and restrooms and all that good stuff so you can create an environment that is conducive to actually sit down, relax and stay there for a while."

The only other 24-hour doughnut shop in Houston is the Shipley's at 12225 Westheimer, nearly 20 miles away from the Med Center.

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Openings & Closings: Fluffernutters Are Coming to Midtown

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Chuck Cook
Susie Jimenez closed Trenza on July 12.
The Owl Bar at 3200 Kirby will close after the weekend of July 26. The Upper Kirby bar won't be gone for long though; there are plans to reopen The Owl Bar at 2221 West Alabama sometime during the fall of this year. For three days (July 24-26), The Owl Bar will have a "closeout" weekend to get rid of all the booze.

In a surprising (or not so surprising, depending on your outlook) turn of events, Susie Jimenez announced on Friday, July 11, that her Upper Kirby restaurant, Trenza, would close the following day after dinner service. The Houston Press profiled Jimenez in a chef chat that same week where she gave no hint or indication that she would be shutting down her restaurant. In fact, she proclaimed plans of sticking around for a while and not giving up, despite rumors of Trenza failing financially.

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Tout Suite Opens Soon Bringing Macarons, Eclairs & Homemade Food

Photo courtesy of Tout Suite
Tout Suite is getting close to opening in East Downtown.
Tout Suite, sister company to Sweet Bakery in CityCentre, is just weeks away from opening. Despite typical delays from meeting city permit requirements and whatnot, the cafe, bakery and coffee shop is inching closer to opening its doors in East Downtown at 2001 Commerce. Tout Suite translates from French to English as "right away," and that's the premise behind this establishment.

Anne Le, president of Tout Suite, describes it as a European-style cafe, bistro and bakery where customers can snack on an array of pastries and sweets while sipping on a cup of coffee, or enjoy a quick, inexpensive and tasty meal.

"Since we've outgrown our very, very small bakery in CityCentre, we found this other opportunity to not only expand our kitchen, but to also serve other food that we are passionate about," Le says. "So, beyond our cupcakes and our macarons we worked hard to build our reputation on, we're branching out to also simple soups, salads and sandwiches to offer the neighborhood that we chose to be in more than just our baked goods."

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Snap Kitchen Opens Downtown Location & Offers Light, Tasty Meals

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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Susie Jimenez Announces Trenza Will Close Saturday, July 12

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Chuck Cook
Susie Jimenez announced Trenza will close Saturday, July 12.
In a surprising turn of events, Susie Jimenez, owner and chef at Trenza, has announced that her West AVE restaurant's last service will be Saturday, July 12. The Houston Press received this statement from Jimenez:

"It's with great regret that I am announcing the closing of Trenza at West AVE. Our last service at this location will be on Saturday night and will be followed by a private liquidation of our wine cellar next Friday. After a careful review of our operations since our open, we had to make the difficult decision as a team to cease operations.

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Fluff Bake Bar's Rebecca Masson Secures a Space for Her Brick & Mortar Bakery

Photo courtesy Fluff Bake Bar
Rebecca Masson sometimes goes by the moniker "sugar hooker," because she brings sweets to the masses. And she's sassy.
Back in December, the "sugar hooker" Rebecca Masson launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 to help build out her dream bakery. Hundreds of Houstonians donated more than $53,000 to the cause, but then Masson got back to work, and we didn't hear much more about the upcoming bakery. Until now.

Today, Masson announced that she's secured a space at 304 Gray in Midtown, the former location of Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar, for her bakery Fluff Bake Bar. She anticipates spending the next three to four months turning the space into the ideal dessert bar and opening late this fall.

"Every person who graduates from culinary school says 'I'm going to open a restaurant or bakery,' and out of 5,000 people, maybe five of them do," Masson says. "So I've been saying this since I graduated culinary school. It's time to pull on my big girl panties and do it!"

When it opens, the bakery will be the first of its kind in Houston, thanks in large part to Masson's experience in professional pastry kitchens across the country and her notion that everything tastes a little sweeter with some bubbly (and beer) to go with it.

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Openings & Closings: CorkScrew BBQ Is Getting a New Pit

Categories: Restaurant News

Thumbnail image for corkscrew-bbq-1.7725329.131.jpg
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
CorkScrew BBQ will only be closed for a few weeks in August.
Before you freak out, CorkScrew BBQ is not closing for good, just for a few weeks to install a new pit. The Spring barbecue spot made the announcement via Facebook on July 8: "We will be closing August 3rd to start rebuilding the pit room, adding a awning, removing the old pit by crane, putting in the new pit by crane, seasoning it, seasoning it and seasoning it." It's going to be a lot of work, so CorkScrew BBQ will reopen on August 26 at 11 a.m. with a brand-spanking-new pit.

Florida-based Pollo Tropical opens its first Houston location today at 11400 Broadway in Pearland. The grand-opening begins at 10:30 a.m. for the public, featuring games, contests and prizes. Enjoy fried yuca or sweet plantains with a guava BBQ pork sandwich or a TropiChop bowl composed of your choice of meat, vegetables, rice, toppings and sauce.

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Cacao & Cardamom to Open Storefront in the Galleria Area Today

Photo by Deb Smail
Rupani's chocolates look more like tiny works of art than sweet treats.
For the past two years, Annie Rupani's Cacao & Cardamom chocolates have won first place in the dessert/cheese plate category at the Rodeo's Best Bites competition, an honor bestowed by area food writers and local celebrities. It's no small feat, especially considering Rapani is only 25 years old.

Even more impressive: Today, only 18 months after launching Cacao & Cardamom out of her parents' kitchen and rented spaces around town, Rupani is opening a storefront of her own. Cacao & Cardamom will open its doors at 11 a.m. at 5000 Westheimer, Suite 602, in the Centre at Post Oak.

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