Odam: Beloved ramen shop, popular Korean concept coming to South Lamar


Booming South Lamar Boulevard will get a blast of Asian flavors in the coming days with the openings of Chi’Lantro and Ramen Tatsu-ya.

Korean-Mexican hybrid Chi’Lantro will open at 1509 S. Lamar Blvd. in the former A-OK Chinese space on Monday. The second location of insanely popular North Austin restaurant Ramen Tatsu-ya opens Jan. 25 at 1234 S. Lamar Blvd.

Chi’Lantro, which found food truck success with bulgogi tacos and kimchi fries, will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to midnight Friday, 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Ramen Tatsu-ya will be open seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and they say they plan to introduce lunch “soon.”

Departure

Philip Speer resigned from the Uchi Restaurant Group. The two-time James Beard Award semi-finalist served as the prestigious restaurant group’s director of culinary operations and executive pastry chef, joining executive chef Tyson Cole’s team in 2005. Speer previously worked at Jean-Luc’s Bistro, Seven and Starlite in Austin, and at chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Bank in Houston.

The Houston native spearheaded the opening of the restaurant group’s most recent restaurant, St. Philip Pizza Parlor + Bake Shop (named after the patron saint of pastry chefs and bakers), which opened in October. But Speer took a leave of absence from the group in mid-October after being arrested for DWI following a collision that caused a natural gas leak. Speer later returned to the restaurant group in an undefined role, which he occupied until his resignation last week.

“We understand his decision and are grateful for his innumerable contributions and dedication over the last 10 years, and we wish him success for his future endeavors,” the Uchi Restaurant Group said in a statement.

Big reveal

The forthcoming downtown JW Marriott recently announced the names of the three restaurant concepts coming to Austin’s largest hotel.

Osteria Pronto is the moniker for the previously announced regional Italian restaurant, while Corner is the name of the Texas-inspired bistro focusing on grilled meats, fish, and Texas beer and spirits. The third concept is a walk-up window called Burger Bar that faces Congress Avenue.

Executive chef Juan Martinez will oversee the culinary operations for all three restaurants, with Marriott veteran chef Gilberto Ramirez in the kitchen at Osteria Pronto, and Jennifer Etzkin, the former director of culinary training for the Hillstone Restaurant Group, serving as executive chef at Corner.

The JW Marriott on Congress Avenue will be the second-largest JW Marriott in the world, and is scheduled to open Feb. 13.

Coming soon

Austrian chef Florian Prelog plans to open Prelog’s this winter in the 360 Condominiums in the space previously occupied by David Garrido’s eponymous restaurant.

On his website, prelogs.com, the Austrian chef describes his concept as “contemporary, French fusion Kitchen and Bar” that will “focus on impeccable service in a casual setting and will feature a ‘centre stage’ kitchen where the chefs can show off their skills! My idea is to bring my version of European flair to the Austin audience – an audience that I feel is totally open and engaged in the food scene and is ready to experience the fresh, authentic, European flavours that will inform the menu.”

No word on exact opening date, but Prelog’s website is putting out calls for partners, staff and more.

Garrido, a longtime Austin restaurant veteran with a resume that includes time at the original Jeffrey’s, last year announced plans to open a restaurant concept in the forthcoming Lamar Union development on South Lamar Boulevard.

New hires

Executive chef Lawrence Kocurek has started filling out his team for the forthcoming Counter 3 Five VII (315 Congress Ave.). The small restaurant, owned by Eric Earthman, hired Jason Huerta as sommelier, Allison Welsh as floor manager, and Damien Brockway as chef de cuisine.

Huerta, who won TEXSOM’s Texas’ Best Sommelier Competition in 2010 and is a Level III sommelier, most recently served as a sommelier at Pappas Brothers Steakhouse in Dallas. Welsh has previously worked as GM of Arro in downtown Austin, and Brockway’s resume includes time at Qui and as chef de cuisine at Uchiko.

Counter 3 Five VII will feature a 26-seat chef’s counter and offer the options of several multi-course meals (hence the name).

Lenoir hired Tomas Calhoun to serve as the restaurant’s pastry chef. Calhoun brings an impressive Austin resume with him to executive chef Todd Duplechan’s restaurant. He has worked at some of the city’s best restaurants since arriving in 2008, including Uchi, Sway and LaV.

Calhoun, who works minimally with dairy, will undoubtedly follow Duplechan’s “hot weather food” mantra, using local and seasonal ingredients, and desserts will rotate at least once month.

Examples of Calhoun’s current work includes a dish of brown butter fried apple miso purée, candied squash, orange segments, candied almonds and honey ice cream.

Now open

Lucky Sibilla, owner of the popular Italian sandwich truck, Lucky’s Puccias, next to the Tiniest Bar in Texas, opened Lucky’s Puccias & Pizzeria at 1611 W. Fifth St. The restaurant serves the same sandwiches as the trailer, such as the cured meat Puccia Classica, as well as about a half dozen pizzas from a wood-fired oven. The new location also serves a couple of salads, appetizers, desserts (including gelato from fellow Sibilla’s fellow Italians at Dolce Neve), beer and wine.

The restaurant begins all-day service on Saturday. Regular hours will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. (luckyspuccias.com)

A food truck claiming to be Central Texas’ first Texas-style barbecue operation serving kosher meat opens Sunday. Joe Bob’s BBQ will be on the back parking lot of the Jewish Community Center (7300 Hart Lane).

“The basic thought behind JoeBob’s BBQ is that growing up in my household, like with many Jewish households, food was love. And growing up as a Texan, barbecue was king,” founder Joel Davis said.

All of the meat is GLATT Kosher and has the certification (hechshers) of either the Orthodox Union or Star-K kosher agencies. The barbecue will all be prepared under kosher standards (supervision provided by the Houston Kashruth Association).

Joe Bob’s will serve brisket, chopped beef, beef ribs, beef sausage, smoked chicken and beans, and Davis plans to add items and seasonal dishes.

At launch, Joe Bob’s will be primarily event and catering-based, with limited walk-up service planned for one day each month (usually the first Sunday). Hours and dates of operation will be posted in advance at joebobsbbq.com, and Joe Bob’s will take advance orders for once-a-month pick-up.

A portion of every sale will be donated to support the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Jewish Federation of Greater Austin’s Annual Campaign, Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, the Houston Kosher Food Bank, and the C Diff Foundation, with each guest allowed the chance to choose the organization to which money goes.


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