How many Malaysian restaurants does it take to feed Houston? If you guessed two, you're correct. Proving that Houstonians like their Malaysian food in one single flavor -- Banana Leaf flavor -- newcomer Asam Laksa Malaysian closed this week in Chinatown. It could have also had something to do with the fact that Asam Laksa positioned itself directly in between the two virtually identical Banana Leafs that face each other on Bellaire Boulevard, but we'll never know for certain.
In other disappointing news, B-4-U-Eat reports that Ranch Bakery has closed less than a year after opening. May 4 would have been Ranch Bakery's first birthday, which could have been celebrated with one of its signature "manly" baked goods made by an owner who was "fed up with girly cupcakes." With the Cypress bakery's closure, men will once again have to resort to demeaning their digestive systems with deplorably feminine cakes.
Elsewhere in manly news, patio bar The Dogwood is now open in Midtown. It's co-owned by brothers Brad and Chad Womack -- you'll recognize Brad as a former "star" of "reality" TV show of The Bachelor -- and partner Jason Carrier, who assures Eater Houston that the bar will enforce a dubious-sounding "no douchebags" policy. One person's hipster is another person's street urchin; one person's douchebag is another person's dudebro.
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In happier news, Eater Houston also reports that Shine's Car Care in the Heights has been torn down, making way for the eventual home of CK's Steakhouse -- the joint venture between Ronnie Killen of Killen's Steakhouse and Ricky Craig of Hubcap Grill.
And finally open as of last week is the much-anticipated Batanga, a tapas bar and Latin restaurant on Market Square. Our own Carla Soriano had a first look at the place this week, remarking that due in part to new bars and restaurants like Batanga, it's "evident that downtown is quite alive and well."