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CultureMap Houston reports that Izakaya-Wa opened on October 16. Unlike many other Japanese and noodle-house restaurants, Izakaya-Wa features Japanese tapas, or small bites (as the name implies). Carl Rosa, president of the Sushi Club of Houston and founder of Ramen in Common, sampled the food before the opening and says the laid-back restaurant emphasizes "small portions with corresponding drinks."
Kona Grill is heading to The Woodlands to open its second Houston location. The Galleria restaurant is set to open along the Waterway Square in November and will occupy more than 8,500 square feet of space, according to a press release. Kona's opening contributes to the recent restaurant expansion in The Woodlands. With Fielding's Wood Grill, Morton's Grille and Atsumi opening recently, as well as Ragin Cajun arriving in January and Whiskey Cake in 2015, The Woodlands seems to be on a roll in the restaurant scene.
Sugar Land also seems to be attracting new culinary venues. Eater reports that Preview will open in Sugar Land in November. Chef Jason Liao, previously of Austin's Umi Sushi Bar and Nanami Sushi Bar, tells Eater that Preview won't be a one-cuisine restaurant. Liao says he will serve fresh seafood, including some exotic items. The menu will change weekly, depending on the availability of seafood and other produce. Preview will not open until the middle of November, but Liao hopes to have a few soft openings before to give people a taste, or "preview," of the restaurant.
Urban Deal's Adam Brackman is working on a new place for you to grab a beer and hang out with friends in Midtown. Swamplot reports Victory Beer Garden will be a 12,000-square-foot space serving 24 taps of craft beer (no Bud Light or Miller Lite). The garden will have an area for food trucks and will also neighbor Luigi's, which will stay open late to serve the venue's customers. The opening date hasn't been announced, but this promises to be a nice change of pace from the typical bar scene.
Thanks to commenter Cheap Eats in Houston, we now know that a new wine bar has opened in Cypress. The Hidden Cellar began serving on October 10 — it's a tasting room and gift boutique featuring products from D'vine Styles Decor.
Chic Chick Chic Eats posted on Twitter that Yashoda Chat Express, an Indian food truck, recently opened. The truck serves Indian street foods, or chat, such as dahi puri, kulfi and lassi. Grab a snack after work at 11248 Wilcrest; the truck is open from 5 p.m. until 12 a.m.
Brick House Tavern + Tap opened its third Houston location on October 13. The sports tavern is located on Tomball Parkway. Now folks in that area have a new spot to watch games and enjoy crispy, hot duck wings and drunken pork meatball heroes.
Eater mentioned last week that Vallone's should be open later this month. The highly anticipated steakhouse from Tony's chef Grant Gordon and general manager Scott Sulma will feature a "technique-driven approach to steak, fish, chops and house made pastas," as stated on the restaurant's Web site. Eater released a photo of the restaurant's awning, so we can only hope that it will open before the month is over.
Two weeks ago we reported that Menchie's Frozen Yogurt took over the Swirll Frozen Yogurt in River Oaks. The "friendliest place on earth" has also taken over the Swirll Frozen Yogurt in the Galleria area. Both Menchie's locations will go live on November 2 at 11 a.m. During the grand openings, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., ten customers at each location will win free frozen yogurt for the next year. Everyone has the chance to receive a dollar off of his or her yogurt that day if he brings a Halloween costume and/or leftover candy to either of the froyo locations. Menchie's will donate the items to DePelchin Children's Center in Houston.
MAM's House of Ice Snoballs will open its brick-and-mortar in November. While it is known for serving cold items, the food truck's permanent location will include a few warmer items, such as hot chocolate, coffee and an opening-day surprise, according to Eater.
Muscle Maker Grill opened its first Houston location on San Felipe last week, according to B4-U-Eat's weekly newsletter. The chain restaurant serves "fit salads" like the Muscle Maker Caesar Salad and Turkey Taco Salad, along with lighter entrées. The franchise has one other Texas location in Austin, but it's temporarily closed.
B4-U-Eat also reports that Big & Juicy Juice Bar opened inside Big Yoga on Allen Parkway. So if you'd rather drink your fruits and vegetables or have a smoothie after a yoga class, Big & Juicy Juice Bar is for you.