Video: The life of a restaurant critic’s spoiled dog

So, what’s it like being the dog of a restaurant critic? Not too shabby. Check out a day in the life of Ziggy Odam. And, when you’re looking for something good to eat, check out the Austin360 Dining Guide at


Event: Suntory Whisky dinner at Vox Table Tuesday


It’s Suntory time at Vox Table (1100 S. Lamar Blvd.) Tuesday night, as the restaurant will host a six-course dinner paired with selections from the Suntory family of whisky. The menu includes red crab soufflé paired with Suntory Toki, grilled venison paired with Hakushu 12 Year, and a dessert of upside down pear cake and Yamazaki 18 year. Tickets for the 7 p.m. dinner cost $120 and can be purchased online.

Now open: Barbecue restaurant EastSide Tavern in East Austin

EastSde Tavern. (Credit:
EastSde Tavern. (Credit:

Barbecue restaurant EastSide Tavern opened in a refined, industrial space at 1501 E. Cesar Chavez St. last week. The restaurant serves barbecue staples like brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, turkey and chicken, as well as some change-of-pace dishes like blackened fish tacos, Frito pie and smoked chicken wings. In addition to a couple of dozen beers and wine, EastSde Tavern also serves a slew of specialty cocktails, including barrel-aged and tap cocktails. (

Now open: Culinary Dropout and Flower Child balance each other at Domain Northside

Fred chicken at Culinary Dropout.
Fred chicken at Culinary Dropout.

The Domain Northside continues its seemingly endless restaurant expansion with the opening of Flower Child and Culinary Dropout, two disparate concepts from Sam Fox, who also opened True Food Kitchen and North Italia.

Described as a “playground for grown-ups,” Culinary Dropout serves dishes like Thai chili chicken wings, bbq pork belly nachos and Cap’n Crunch crusted French toast. The restaurant, which also features a full bar and games like ping pong and cornhole, is located at 11721 Rock Rose, Suite #100 and is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Mother's Earth Bowl at Flower Child.
Mother’s Earth Bowl at Flower Child.

Next door to that playful concept is the more responsible Flower Child, a clean-eating spot that serves a variety of salads and grain bowls topped with proteins like grass-fed steak and organic tofu, as well as a roster of vegetarian dishes like Indian-spiced cauliflower and spicy Japanese eggplant. Flower Child serves kombucha on tap and takes the elevated-consciousness marketing approach the extra mile, with a yoga mat “parking” area. Flower Child is also located at 11721, in the suite adjacent to Culinary Dropout. It is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Ramen Tatsu-Ya to open Texas-influenced izakaya that serves smoked meat

Takuya Matsumoto, left, and Tatsu Aikawa are the chef-owners Ramen Tatsu-Ya. They are opening a Texas-influenced izakaya later this winter in East Austin.
Takuya Matsumoto, left, and Tatsu Aikawa are the chef-owners Ramen Tatsu-Ya. They are opening a Texas-influenced izakaya later this winter in East Austin.

The ramen masters at Ramen Tatsu-Ya have announced they will introduce Kemuri Tatsu-Ya later this winter. The concept will be a “Texas-influenced take on izakayas.” The name is derived from the Japanese word for “smoke,” and while the opening menu is still being finalized, diners can expect smoked meats.

To further the smoke theme, the restaurant will be located in the old Live Oak BBQ space at 2713 E. Second St. McCray & Co. which has worked with Austin restaurants like Lenoir, will design the space, which will “honor both the smoke-stained walls of the space and the traditional Japanese izakaya concept.”

Ramen Tatsu-Ya announced earlier this month that they would be opening a location in Houston.

La Feria on South Lamar closes; office project to take its place?

laferiaUpdate: La Feria, which closed its South Lamar location at the end of October, opened its new location today at 6301 W. Parmer Lane.

La Feria Mexican restaurant has ended its 17-year run at 2010 S. Lamar Blvd. The restaurant, which moved there from 1816 S. Lamar Bvld. in 1999, took over the old Bill Miller BBQ space.

New York-based development company Sackman Enterprises Inc. purchased the land in 2014 and told the Statesman’s Shonda Novak last year that La Feria would continue until they decided to move forward with an office project there.

When contacted for this post, a representative who works with Sackman Enterprises said the company has no comment on the future plans for the land at South Lamar Boulevard and Mary Street.




Fresa’s accepting submissions for free Thanksgiving dinners for families in need

Fresa's is giving away three Thanksgiving dinners to families in need.
Fresa’s is giving away three Thanksgiving dinners to families in need.

In the spirit of giving thanks, Fresa’s is giving away three of its pre-packaged Thanksgiving dinners to three area families in need. The meals, valued at $285, include roasted turkey, gravy, citrus-seasoned cranberry sauce, chorizo cornbread stuffing and other sides. Austinites can nominate a friend, family member of colleague they think is deserving by emailing Fresa’s at with an explanation of the family and their needs. Fresa’s is asking submissions to include a name and email address or phone number for the person being nominated. The restaurant is accepting submissions through midnight Saturday and will contact winners on Sunday.

For those interested in buying their own Thanksgiving dinner from Fresa’s (which served 8 to 10 people), visit