On this week’s episode of “What’s Eric Eating,” Jason Andaya and chef Cole Hoang join CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Dinette. Slated to open later this summer, Dinette aims to offer a fresh perspective on Vietnamese fare by blending Hoang’s heritage from northern Vietnam with some of the techniques he learned while working for James Beard Award finalist Christine Ha at The Blind Goat.
Sandler asks Andaya, who also owns the Heights hand roll restaurant Hando with his business partner Raymond Chan, to discuss how Dinette fits in with other second generation Vietnamese-American restaurants like Les Ba’get, Blood Bros. BBQ, and Ha’s restaurants The Blind Goat and Xin Chao.
“In terms of how we fit in the space of Vietnamese cuisine now that people are starting to explore all of the things there are to offer beyond pho and banh mi, we’re finding a lot of these second generation Asian Americans have so much to say,” he replies. “They’ve experienced the embrace that Houston has given them and their families. Now it’s time to showcase their culture in their own way, but with a little bit of the flavors that Houston has given them.”
Listen to the full episode to hear Hoang’s plans for the menu and more about the style of cocktails that Dinette will serve. Andaya also shares some observations about Hando’s plans to open in Spring Branch.
Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Mary Clarkson discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: more thoughts on Julep winning the James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program; Agricole Hospitality opening EZ’s Liquor Lounge next to Coltivare; self-pour bar Shoot the Moon closing after 11 months; and the Robb Report naming March to its list of best new restaurants.
In the restaurant of the week segment, the two friends discuss their recent meals at Street to Kitchen, the East End Thai restaurant that took home before Rising Star Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year in the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards. Hear why it lives up to its growing reputation.