the countdown is on
Houston's Beard-winning Thai restaurant serves up opening date for highly anticipated new locale
Houstonians are less than a month away from experiencingStreet to Kitchen’s new location. The East End Thai restaurant, led by James Beard Award winner Benchawan Jabthong Painter — better known as Chef G to friends and admirers — will open November 11.
Located in the former Cafe Louie space at The Plant, the mixed-use development at the corner of Harrisburg and Sampson, Street to Kitchen’s new location replaces its original location that closed last week. It will seat about 100 diners, up from the original location’s 40. While the restaurant will seat more people, Chef G still wants it to feel intimate.
“I just want to make Houston a little more Thai,” she said in a statement. “You know, we like to party in Thailand and sit a little closer together. Sometimes it’s fun to chat with new people when eating and drinking out.”
Regardless of the setting, Street to Kitchen’s food will follow the same formula that led to its winning Restaurant of the Year in the 2022 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards and Chef G to capture Best Chef: Texas in the 2023 James Beard Awards. The restaurant uses locally-sourced ingredients to create traditional Thai dishes. Highlights include garlic chive pancakes, a fiercely spicy pork larb, and a range of curries. Weekend dinner specials could include Tiger Cry made with Texas wagyu beef, whole fried fish, and Chef G’s signature black truffle crab curry.
Graham Painter, Chef G’s husband and business partner, will expand his wine list and add an all new cocktail program to the restaurant’s offerings.
While the original location in an East End gas station featured a mostly no frills design, the Painters worked with acclaimed local design firm Gin Design Group (Mala Sichuan Heights, Eunice, Nonno’s Family Pizza Tavern) for the new location. Look for pink LED lights along the bar, vintage Thai movie posters, and shades of green throughout the dining room. Here's a sneak peek.
Street to Kitchen's new dining room features lots of greenery.Photo by Vivian Leba
Graham tells CultureMap that he and Chef G are excited to be collaborating with a few Street to Kitchen regulars to bring the new location to life. That starts with their landlord, Jeff Kaplan, one of the people behind Concept Neighborhood, which is developing the Plant and surrounding area as a walkable neighborhood. Vy and Jack Collett of Limitless Solutions built the new location based on design work by Gin Braverman of Gin Design Group. Ben Baron of HTX Made contributed custom furniture — touted in a press release as “some of the most comfortable bar stools in town.”
“Street to Kitchen celebrates authenticity in how they approach Thai cuisine and embodies the types of creatives we’re looking to attract to The Plant in Second Ward,” Kaplan said. “Graham and Chef G are young but already storied hospitality leaders who are highly respected in Houston. Their decision to operate in The Plant in Second Ward will accelerate the vibrancy and achieve our goal of creating Houston’s first inclusive, walkable corridor.”