Midtown is already home to a vibrant mix of Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine. Whether it's fusion sushi at The Fish, Japanese-style barbecue at Gyu-Kaku, Texas-influenced Japanese bar food at recently opened Izakaya or more traditional Vietnamese fare at places like Thien An, Les Givrals and Cali Sandwich, diners can find something to suit almost any taste (and price point).
While that diversity does not currently include any Korean restaurants, that will soon change. Dosi owner An Vo tells CultureMap that he will soon bring a restaurant called Anju to the former West Gray Public House space. Just as Izakaya is named for a Japanese style of restaurant where the drinks and food have equal importance, the name "Anju" refers to a style of Korean food that's designed to be served with alcohol.
"We always wanted to be in Midtown," Vo says. "That was my first choice for Dosi. It was really crowded at the time . . . but more of a drinking crowd is where we want to be."
Renovations to the space have already begun, and Vo hopes to be open in November. If he hasn't received a liquor license by then, Anju will initially be BYOB. "We’ll be open late hours until 2 am." Vo says. "Definitely catering towards the Midtown crowd where people walk around."
Compared to Dosi, Anju "will be more of a casual, Korean eatery," Vo says. "As always, we’re going to have a little Southern flair to it. We will be focused on medium to full size entrees and sides." Anju will serve dishes like large format bibimbap, Korean chicken and waffles and whole fish sourced from local purveyor Frixos Chrisinis, according to Vo. Like Dosi, prices will run between $8 and $16 with some larger items like Korean pork shoulder (bo ssam) sold by the pound. Anju will feature a selection of soju, but it won't offer as many infused varieties as Dosi does.
The success of both Dosi and Dak & Bop suggests Houstonians will embrace modern Korean restaurants that appeal to the local palate and offer affordable prices. If Anju delivers on Vo's intentions for it, the restaurant will bring some additional diversity to Midtown's exploding dining scene and give residents another fun, drinks-oriented option.