A-OK Chinese, the American-Chinese fusion restaurant from former Alamo Drafthouse executive chef John Bullington, has closed. Bullington, along with partner Jerry Reid, opened the restaurant on South Lamar Boulevard in March 2014.
The restaurant announced it was closing on November 26 via social media and with a note on the front door of the restaurant. The note reads, in part, "We're just sorry we couldn't stick around longer to get to know each other better."
Since its opening, A-OK has been plagued with mixed reviews. In a June 2014 review, The Austin Chronicle called the restaurant "meh," and went on to pan A-OK's execution. "The food is deeply disappointing," writes reviewer Kate Thornberry. "Though the ingredients are clearly excellent, the execution is just poor enough that none of the things A-OK does right can quite make up for it."
Texas Monthly was a little more forgiving, saying A-OK "has some kinks to work out." Like the Chronicle, local food blogger South Austin Foodie praised the restaurant's use of quality ingredients, but noted a universal lack of flavor among the dishes. "The wontons and dumplings seemed to suffer from dough that was chewy and too thick, and the eggroll's vegetable filling was a bit soggy and didn't have a lot going on," reads the review.
Austin foodies disappointed in the restaurant's closing can take solace in the announcement that Chi'lantro plans to take over the space. The famed Korean barbecue food truck has plans to open a brick-and-mortar at 1509 S. Lamar Blvd. sometime next year. According to Austin 360, more details will be made available this week.