Restaurant News

Openings and Closings

It wasn't a good week to be an Asian restaurant in Houston. Japanese, Chinese and Thai -- none were exempt from the executioner as three well-known restaurants closed around town.

Café le Jadeite (1952 West Gray), the eye-catching Chinese restaurant in River Oaks, closed out the month of May by closing its doors. According to B4-U-Eat, however, the restaurant plans to reopen in a few weeks under new ownership and with a new name: Qin Dynasty.

Sushi bar and restaurant Rickshaw Far East Bistro (2810 Westheimer) also closed at the end of May after operating in its River Oaks location since 2001. Whether the closure was due to the poor economy or to the restaurant's increasingly mediocre food and appallingly bad customer service is unclear, but the easy money is on the latter.

Popular hole-in-the-wall Thai Racha closed its Dairy Ashford and Long Point locations over the weekend, too, bringing an end to pad thai the fast food way. A favorite of Food Explorer Jay Francis as well as countless westsiders, the restaurant had served up cheap but good Thai food with a smile since 2000.

In happier news, three more restaurants have opened up in Galveston: Di Bella's Italian (1902 31st St), which has reopened again after a fire destroyed the post-Ike repairs that were made to the restaurant; Taco House (5001 Broadway); and the eagerly anticipated Greek seafood restaurant Olympia at Pier 21 (Pier 21 at Harborside Drive). The Kriticos, a family of longtime islanders, are well-known in Galveston for the Greek cuisine they serve at the Olympia Grill on the Seawall. Olympia at Pier 21, situated next door to the Elissa and Galveston's cruise ship docks, is the newest member in their expanding restaurant empire.

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Katharine Shilcutt