it's a (delicious) trap
New Houston restaurant from West Coast pop-up favorite delivers pineapple bowls, mac and cheese, and more
A new restaurant that has ties to one of Los Angeles' most famous Black-owned pop-up restaurants is opening in northwest Houston. Cali will replace the Brick House Tavern + Tap at 12910 Northwest Freeway later this fall.
The Houston restaurant will serve some of the signature dishes from celebrated Los Angeles concept Trap Kitchen. Originally started as an in-house pop-up by chefs (and former gang rivals) Malachi “Spank” Jenkins and Roberto “News” Smith, Trap Kitchen's modern soul food quickly drew the attention of celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. Now, the concept has grown to three food trucks in L.A. along with brick and mortar restaurants in Oakland, California and Portland, Oregon.
Trap Kitchen's success has turned Jenkins and Smith into food work celebrities who authored two cookbooks. Their most recent, Trap Kitchen: Mac N’ All Over The World, offers more than 50 global mac and cheese recipes and features a foreword by Snoop Dogg.
Cali owner Oscar Edwards serves as the tie that binds the restaurant to Trap Kitchen, as he owns the Oakland location as well as the adjacent Complex nightclub and the Mandela Grocery Cooperative (Jenkins and Smith are not financially involved in Cali, according to a representative). The Houston restaurant will serve some of Trap Kitchen's most famous dishes — including pineapple bowls filled with charred teriyaki chicken or seafood, lamb chops, and mac and cheese — along with Cajun-inspired fare designed to appeal to local tastes.
“The menu is full of exciting and approachable dishes we think will be a perfect fit for Houston’s diverse culture and dynamic culinary scene,” Edwards said in a statement. “Cali takes the concept of a Trap Kitchen location in Houston to a whole other level, expanding the menu to include Trap Kitchen signature dishes, along with the best recipes we have from chefs in California and other locations, and bringing them home to Texas with local chefs and flavors.”
Scheduled to open in November and December, the former Brick House Tavern space will receive a comprehensive makeover designed to give the restaurant a West Coast-inspired atmosphere that will include California-inspired murals. It will also feature a full bar with a range of signature cocktails.
"All these different things that are a little California-based but also have a little Texas twist to them because we know we’re coming to Texas," Edwards tells What Now Houston. "We really think this will be a great home for us and help us to grow.”
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opening day tix
As CultureMap was first to report last week, Conroe native Parker McCollum will kick off RodeoHouston 2023 on February 28, 2023 at NRG Stadium with an action-packed Opening Day event. The fun includes activations, sales, and even a parade on NRG grounds.
Rodeo fans can get those in-demand Opening Day tickets this week, the rodeo announced. Tickets officially go on sale online at 10 am Thursday, October 6. As always, an online waiting room will open at 9:30 am; customers who join the Waiting Room from 9:30 to 9:59 am will be randomly selected to purchase tickets at 10 am. (A place in the Waiting Room does not guarantee tickets.) Customers can purchase a maximum of eight tickets.
Ticket prices start at $25, plus a $4 per ticket convenience fee. (Find seats via the handy NRG Stadium Map.) The ticket breakdown is as follows:
- Upper Level: $25 – $30
- Loge Level: $40
- Club Level: $50 – $55
- Field Level: $44
- Chairman’s Club: $150 (includes food and hosted bar)
- Action Seats: $155 (includes hearty hors d’oeuvres and cash bar)
All tickets will be delivered electronically via AXS Mobile ID; customers should allow 48 hours for delivery via the AXS mobile app and login with the email used to purchase tickets.
McCollum's Opening Day show Opening Day includes an opening band on the Stars Over Texas Stage before McCollum’s show. Special giveaways will include 10,000 custom-made Howdy bobbleheads for early arrivers that morning (starting at 10 am).
A full lineup of entertainers after McCollum will be released at a later date. The 2023 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is scheduled for February 28, 2023 to March 19, 2023.