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5 things to know in Austin food right now: Omakase experiences pop up around town

5 things to know in Austin food: Omakase experiences pop up in town

Diners hold uni in oyster shells with roe.
This will be Watertrade's first time serving its own omakase. Photo courtesy of Watertrade

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Pop-ups and special items

While the chef’s away, the bar goers will play. That’s how that phrase goes, right? Watertrade, an upscale bar attached to the omakase restaurant Otoko, is holding down the fort while chef Yoshi Okai is away in Aspen. On June 17 and 18 only, for the first time, the cocktail bar becomes its very own omakase experience with a pared-down six-course menu ($75). That includes five savory dishes, one sweet dish, a drink, and an optional caviar pairing. The bar will still be offering its izakaya and regular beverage menus. Reserve on Tock.

Never turn down another omakase pop-up: If that means omakase two weekends in a row, you make it work. Leroy & Lewis is bringing its barbecue chops to Texas Saké Company for a unique collaboration with Tare, an in-home omakase experience. The 11-course menu celebrates grilled and smoked meats paired with Asian garnishes and preparations including “beef tongue nigiri, pork brisket spring roll, a BBQ drippings ice cream, and more.” Chefs Michael Carranza and Evan LeRoy are doing something truly adventurous with this one-night-only menu June 29. Reserve on Tock.

There’s no right way to celebrate Pride, but there’s a right way to make a doughnut, and that’s a cake dooughnut with vanilla bean glaze. Sorry. The Salty Donut is doing things right, adding Swiss buttercream, rainbow milk crumb, and edible disco glitter for its celebratory “rainbow funfetti” cake doughnut, available in-store and via Uber Eats all week from June 20 to 26. Proceeds in Austin will go to Equality Texas, a nonpartisan LGBTQ+ advocacy group. If you happen to be in Dallas that week, those proceeds are going to Resource Center Dallas.

Other news and notes

On June 18, Texas Keeper Cider launches its Grafter Rosato, an 8 percent ABV, 10-month aged cider made with Sangiovese grapes and three heirloom varieties. The cidery describes the new offering as having a “pleasing amount of barnyard, earthy notes and bringing a lovely complexity.” This is a great excuse to stop in and try the long new snacks menu, with highlights like a Texas cheese board, blistered shishitos, and panzanella (imagine if bruschetta were a salad). More information about the taproom and bottles is available at

Health and nutrition-focused restaurant The Well is celebrating National Smoothie Day on June 21 with a free add-on ingredient addition or boost. That means ingredients like grass-fed whey isolate, collagen peptides, or plant-based proteins (“adaptogens, Lion’s Mane, CBD, blue majik spirulina, and more”). The 20-ounce drinks also come as bowls with grain-free granola, fruit, and superfoods. Find the full menu at