Openings and Closings: Fusion Eats is Coming, Ivy & James Closes

BBQ pork and queso will have you squealing like a pig.
BBQ pork and queso will have you squealing like a pig. Photo by Duc Hoang

Fusion Eats, 9 Greenway Plaza East, opens July 10, starting at 7 a.m. this Tuesday. Owners Julia Sharaby and Chef David Grossman also own Fusion Taco at 470 North Main.The new concept will serve as an extension of the Fusion Taco brand and include a number of its signature and seasonal fusion tacos, house-made sauces, salsas and tortillas.

Inspired by Sharaby's fondness for the Korean taco trucks of Los Angeles, the Fusion Taco menu highlights global flavors ranging from Mediterranean to Thai to Indian, and yes, even Mexican. Along with a variety of tacos,nachos and quesadillas, there are also scratch-made margaritas, including seasonal selections made with fresh purees and juices.

click to enlarge Owners Julia Sharaby and Chef David Grossman. - PHOTO BY DUC HOANG
Owners Julia Sharaby and Chef David Grossman.
Photo by Duc Hoang
The hand-made churros from Fusion Taco will also be on the menu at Fusion Eats, served atop vanilla or coffee ice cream and drizzled with dulce de leche. Don't you just love saying dulce de leche? It's almost as yummy as the sauce itself.

The menu will also feature breakfast tacos and light morning dishes for a weekday breakfast or weekend brunch. The vibe will be laid-back and " beachy" with an LEED-certified space by Zeigler Cooper Concepts, with a large terrace overlooking a green space for outdoor taco feasting plus an indoor dining area that seats 78 diners.
click to enlarge Wake up with a steak and egg taco. - PHOTO BY DRAGANA HARRIS
Wake up with a steak and egg taco.
Photo by Dragana Harris

Bring a couple of friends for eclectic taco flavors and pitchers of cocktails, plus a daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with $3 tacos, $5 ritas and $4 draft beer.

Photo by Eric Garcia

The Ivy & James, 4400 Bellaire, closed June 30, according to Instant News Bellaire. The New American restaurant owned by Jamie and Dalia Zelko and Edgardo de la Garza opened on the grounds of the Evelyn's Park Conservancy in May 2017.

The restaurant will serve as a pop-up for other food providers until a new operator for the cafe is found.

Kau Ba Saigon Kitchen, 2502 Dunlavy, will have its grand opening July 31, according to the website. The Viet-Cajun restaurant from Vietnamese chef Nikki Tran  will feature dishes inspired by her childhood in Saigon and also her " Viejun" cuisine drawing from her years living in Houston. Tran owns two restaurants in Vietnam and her Ho Chi Minh City restaurant, Cau Ba Quan, was featured on celebrity chef David Chang's Netflix special, " Ugly Delicious".

Tran's cooking philosophy is one that avoids chemical-laden sauces and GMO's, and focuses on fresh ingredients, traditional techniques and her homemade sauces. There is no MSG allowed in her kitchen.

The Detention is for naughty kids. - PHOTO BY KIMBERLY PARK
The Detention is for naughty kids.
Photo by Kimberly Park

Bernie's Burger Bus
, 6324 Highway 6, is slated to open in January 2019, according to CultureMap Houston. The Missouri City location will be the fourth Bernie's Burger Bus in the Houston area and will be its first free-standing restaurant. It will also be the first Bernie's to offer drive-thru and curbside service. There will a dedicated cooking line for the to-go orders, designed to keep the dine-in service running smoothly.

There will also be an expanded frozen cocktail selection and 12 craft beers on tap. As with the other Bernie's, it will feature counter service at the bus.

Owner Justin Turner started with the original food truck in a converted school bus in 2010 and soon expanded the brand with brick and mortar restaurants in the Heights, Bellaire and Katy. Consistently winning awards for its burgers made with house-ground beef and locally-made buns, Bernie's also makes its condiments in house and they are available for sale.

Dunkin Donuts
, 9405 Main, celebrated its grand opening on June 29 with free coffee giveaways, with another location at 2002 Yale opening June 30. Both locations are operated by franchisee Steve David, who operates nine other DD's in Houston.

Dunkin Donuts originally started in Quincy, Massachusetts and now has expanded worldwide with billions of dollars in sales. The new Houston stores make the 28th and 29th in the city. If you have ever driven in the northeastern part of the United States, you have probably seen one on every corner. They really do "run on Dunkin".
click to enlarge Lisa and Tommy Lau are the owners of L3 Coffee. - PHOTO COURTESY OF AMANDA CALDERON
Lisa and Tommy Lau are the owners of L3 Coffee.
Photo courtesy of Amanda Calderon

L3 Coffee, 10535 Fry, opened June 23 in Lakeland Village Center in Bridgeland, a residential development in Cypress owned by the Howard Hughes Corporation.

Owners Lisa and Tommy Lau realized that the Bridgeland area was a perfect fit for their new coffee business after attending the Friday Night Bites events that are held in the community. Tommy Lau has more than eight years experience in coffee manufacturing and the new coffee spot offers five different pour over methods at its L3 Discovery Bar: siphon, clever dripper, chemex, aeropress and French press.

Nitro cold brew is also available with espresso, frappe and cappuccino on the menu as well. For tea drinkers, there is a variety of loose leaf teas from Teapigs such as superfruit tea and English Breakfast.

The coffee shop also serves sandwiches.

Cinnamon-raisin bread just needs one thing: butter. - PHOTO BY STEPHANIE JOPLIN
Cinnamon-raisin bread just needs one thing: butter.
Photo by Stephanie Joplin
The Bread Man Baking Company officially opened its artisan bakehouse to expand its operations. Starting July 9, it will sell its specialty breads at Spec's on Smith, Tres Market Foods in Memorial and Typhoon Texas in Katy.

Owner, president and Chief Bread Man, Tasos Katsaounis, has turned his hobby into a business, creating breads from family recipes such as Kalamata oregano bread from his YiaYia or twists on standards like the Texas-style fougasse.

If you need a calorie-free fix for your carbohydrate cravings, you can check out its Facebook page and ogle the photos. Or you can buy a loaf or two or five and fulfill your fantasies.

click to enlarge Houston summers require light and fresh dishes. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FIG AND OLIVE
Houston summers require light and fresh dishes.
Photo courtesy of Fig and Olive
Fig & Olive, 5115 Westheimer, has launched a new seasonal summer menu, using fresh ingredients for a light and summery meal. Expect dishes like roasted sweet corn risotto and pan-seared Diver scallops with caramelized leek puree and citronella sherry vinegar dressing.

To accompany the new menu, take advantage of the Summer White-Out promotion which offers a 20 percent discount on all bottles of white wine, Sunday through Thursday, 8 p.m. to close. The promotion ends August 31.

click to enlarge You don't have to dive yourself for these scallops. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FIG AND OLIVE
You don't have to dive yourself for these scallops.
Photo courtesy of Fig and Olive
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.