Each Friday, Gastronaut rounds up the most notable openings and closings of the week.
CityCentre got a whole lot sweeter this week, as Sweet Paris Crêperie announced on Facebook that it's now officially open in the Memorial mixed-use development. This makes two locally-owned dessert parlors in CityCentre with a sugary name: Sweet, a macaron shop, has been serving bite-sized baked goods since 2011. Though the two shops are right around the corner from each other and share similar names, their offerings—while equally sweet—are quite different.
Sweet Paris Crêperie
797 Sorella Ct.
Much of the menu at this second location of Sweet Paris Crêperie has been imported from the original in Rice Village, including both savory and sweet crêpes. Our favorites are the Houstonian breakfast crepe with eggs, sausage, potatoes, bacon, and jalapeños and the classic Nutella dessert crepe (we recommend adding bananas and strawberries to make the most of it).
In closings, Dua announced via Facebook that it would be shutting its doors this week after a brief run next door to El Real Tex-Mex Cafe in Montrose. Dua was a rebranding of the beloved Mo Mong, which closed in 2014 after 17 years serving the community. Though many food-lovers were initially sad to see Dua go, many of those tears turned to joy when news broke that Mala Sichuan—regarded as one of the best restaurants in Chinatown—would be opening a second location in the spot.
The dishes that owner Cori Xiong serves at Mala aren't your typical Chinese food plates: cold wasabi-marinated cuttlefish; green onion oil Arctic clams; "top notch pot of the outlaws" filled with blood, ham, flounder, and sweet potato vermicelli among other items; "couples lung slices" that contains no lung, but does contain beef tendon and tripe. Even simple-sounding dishes like cumin beef pack a surprising punch, resonating with tingly Szechuan peppercorns that have the same sort of effect as putting a battery to one's tongue.
These adventurous items play well in Chinatown, but we'll see how receptive Montrose audiences will be to Xiong's menu when it opens—which should be soon. "Xiong says they’re aiming for an opening date in late February," writes Alison Cook in the Houston Chronicle, "and that the restaurant will bear some permutation of the Mala Sichuan name."
We're ready whenever you are, Mala.