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7 things to know in Austin food right now: Revered local sushi spot shutters

7 things to know in Austin food now: Revered local sushi spot shutters

Kyoten Sushi
Kyoten has been lauded since it first opened as a food trailer in 2014. Kyoten/Facebook

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.

Openings and closings

Kyoten Sushiko, the sushi food truck turned omakase-focused restaurant, announced its Mueller brick-and-mortar’s permanent closure on Sunday, September 27, via an emotional social media post. The restaurant called the eatery a "small slice of heaven here in Mueller," adding that decision to close was difficult. Since the food truck opened in 2014, Kyoten had drawn critical praise for its hyper-seasonal menu of fish predominately sourced from Japan. Unlike its originating Austin outpost, founding chef Otto Phan assured followers that Kyoten Chicago is in “no danger” of closing. 

South Austin has received a new coffee and pastry operation courtesy of the trio behind such popular Austin staples as Better Half, Holdout Brewing Co., and Wright Bros. Brew and Brew. Little Brother SoCo, the new collaboration from Matthew Bolick, and brothers Matt Wright and Grady Wright, is an offshoot of the team’s Rainey Street bar of the same name. Little Brother SoCo is currently based out of a speakeasy-style, walk-up order window within boutique haberdashery and lifestyle store Maufrais Austin at 1512 S. Congress Ave. Opening officially on September 17, the breakfast outpost offers a menu of seasonal sweet and savory kolaches from Better Half’s executive pastry chef Lindsay O’Rourke, as well as espresso drinks and chai lattes. Little Brother SoCo is currently open Thursday to Sunday from 8 am to 3 pm for in-person orders only.

Fat City, the White Castle-inspired pop-up from Peached Tortilla founder Eric Silverstein is making its triumphant and indulgent return to Yard Bar. On Saturday, October 3, customers can enjoy scratch-made, guilty pleasure fare including hand-dipped chicken fingers as well as “fat-stacks” beef sliders, which are available individually or in a sack with crinkle fries or tots. Yard Bar’s regular libation menu of cocktails, beer, and wine will be available for guests to enjoy alongside Fat City’s specialty drink offerings (root beer and Dreamsicle floats). The pop-up runs Saturday, October 3, and runs from 12 pm – 10 pm or until sold out.

Other news and notes

The Austin chapter of international women’s culinary leadership organization Les Dames d’Escoffier has appointed some familiar faces to its 2020-2021 board. Announced during the organization’s virtual fall meeting on Sunday, September 27, the new additions to Les Dames' executive board include president Stacy Franklin, co-owner and COO of iconic Austin barbecue joint, Franklin Barbecue; first vice president Tabatha Stephens, owner of Nourish personal chef service; and second vice president Lorena Llegarreta, executive producer and CEO of digital production company Dish’n Dames. Among the additional 25 board and committee members added on the heels of what’s best described as a taxing fiscal year for Austin’s culinary industry were executives, owners and chefs from such prolific local operations as Dai Due, Juliet Italian Kitchen, and East Austin Culinary Studio. “Representing one of the hardest-hit communities impacted by the pandemic, Les Dames is working diligently to provide resources and help for our members while also serving the greater Austin community,” said Franklin via press release. Currently, Les Dames d’Escoffier Austin hosts educational, mentoring, and networking events for both members and non-member and supports local philanthropic initiatives including twice-a-week food runs.

Wheatsville Food Co-op has launched a new online curbside pickup platform. Shoppers can now visit shop.wheatsville.com to place an order for pickup at the natural grocery cooperative’s South Lamar or Guadalupe stores, where — for no extra fee — the co-op’s “picky picker outers” will gather, bag, and deliver the groceries to customers in designated curbside pickup areas. Pickup times are set daily between 8 am and 9 pm in increments of thirty minutes. Orders must be placed two hours ahead of time and can be placed up to a week in advance. No car? No problem! Shoppers can drive, walk, bike, or bus to the store’s designated curbside parking spots to have their order hand-delivered to them. 

Texas' legendary The Old Coupland Inn & Dance Hall is delivering the party straight to customer’s homes via its new line of products. Now available for online purchase are Old Coupland’s popular housemade barbecue sauces (aka Brothel Sauce) which come in three flavors: Bordello (original), Harlot (blueberry) and Lawless (spicy). Such sauces can be paired with the venue’s new ribeye or pork loin jerkies, which are smoke-cured and adorned with housemade dry rub before smoking over a mesquite fire.To keep the party going, the Old Coupland is offering proprietor Abbey Road’s house coffee blend, featuring Mexican beans roasted in Austin. The above items are all currently available for purchase at Coupland Dance Hall website or at the Brothel Sauce site. Additionally, Coupland Dance Hall is currently open and hosting weekly events and live concerts. A full event schedule can be viewed on the venue’s website.

A San Marcos-based brewing operation known for its old world farmhouse ales is now taking the craft to new heights ... or should we say new lows? From a recently excavated underground cave found on Roughhouse Brewing’s Hill Country property, founder and head brewer Davy Pasternack and his team have created a natural cellar perfect for fermenting beer and other goods. From this unique formation, Roughhouse will debut its Underground brewing program, which involves experimenting with 100 percent cave-aged, spontaneously fermented brews. While the program arguably kicked off in February with the brewery’s collaboration with farmhouse ale royalty Jester King Brewery, Roughhouse’s team expects their first wholly original Underground cave-aged beer to release in early 2021. Preorders should also begin early next year. In the meantime, the brewery’s team is working on a hot sauce, also cave-aged, to be released by the end of the year.