It’s been a busy start to 2018 for new restaurants, especially for overseas concepts attempting to gain footholds in the U.S. Here’s a look at some of the latest contenders worth watching.
1. David Chang opens first LA restaurant
Momofuku Restaurant Group founder David Chang, who just sold his delivery-only concept Ando to Uber Eats, opened his first Los Angeles restaurant this month. Majordomo is located in an industrial part of Chinatown that Chang himself admitted to the Los Angeles Times is “more than a little” off the beaten path. The menu features a fusion of dishes from Asian countries, and the space houses a patio courtyard, dining room, private dining room, bar and counter seating. Decor includes jars of housemade fermented products.
2. Roman pizza expands in deep-dish territory
Bonci opened its first Roman-style pizza outpost in the U.S. last August in Chicago. Now, the Rome-based chain has plans for a second unit in the city, slated to open this spring in a former Greek restaurant in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Bonci is known for its focaccia-like crusts, inventive toppings and slices that are cut with scissors and priced by weight.
3. Israeli chain heads to NYC
Fast-casual chain Miznon, which has a dozen international units, is slated to open at Chelsea Market in New York City by the end of January. The concept comes from chef Eyal Shani and is known for its stuffed pita sandwiches, whole roasted cauliflower and the Run Over Potato, a baked potato smashed with a meat tenderizer and topped with sour cream and herbs.
4. When a meme becomes a restaurant
Salt Bae, the meme-ified alter ego of Turkish butcher Nusret Gokce, went viral online last year. Gokce is capitalizing on his notoriety to expand his Turkish steakhouse chain to the U.S., having opened a unit in Miami in November and another in New York City this month. The salt-slinging restaurateur, however, is not winning rave reviews from critics. Salt Bae himself often visits each table for a salt-sprinkling performance. A life-size mural of a salt-slinging Gokce hangs on the wall of the New York steakhouse.
5. Filipino food truck goes brick-and-mortar
Flip ‘n Patties, a Houston food truck that won over consumers with its Filipino food, recently opened its first brick-and-mortar unit. The decor mimics that of the cartoon-covered food truck, with superhero murals lining the walls. Dishes include a burger topped with Filipino sausage, fried egg and banana ketchup aioli.