Before opening on February 22, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, co-owner Leslie Nguyen, also known as Miss Bosscat, had loads of work to do. But one particular project filled much of her time—hand-hammering the metal stands for all of the 260-or-so whiskeys mounted on the walls of the restaurant's 12-seat, private whiskey room.

Her partners John “JT” Reed and Vinnie Capizzi have been devoting similar attention to every detail of the 6,900-square-foot restaurant at 4310 Westheimer Road, just across the parking lot from Eloise Nichols. And they're not alone. They brought more than a dozen employees with them from their Newport Beach location. All are almost suspiciously sunny (okay, they are southern Californians) and excited to talk about the cocktails from bar director Matt Sharp and eclectic edibles concocted by Peter Petro.

Though many of Petro's recipes came with him from Cali, ingredients are resolutely Texan. Beef for the signature Bosscat Burger comes from 44 Farms, while pork travels from Black Hill Meats. Kraftsmen Baking provides bread and rolls. What other doses of California sunshine await guests? Brunch is starting in the next few months, and according to one Newport Beach employee, it involves loud music and lots of ice cream.

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