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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK--Restaurant News
Jun. 8, 2012: Some restaurant openings, closings, and changes in Oklahoma City.

I really enjoyed the Filipino food at Bhing's Café, but word is that it closed in 2011 (but I have not gone to the restaurant to confirm it). The good news, though, is that there is a new restaurant serving Filipino food called Evelyn's Asian Table that took over the former Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant at 5934 N.W. 122nd St. Actually Evelyn's is not new, but it moved from its former location sharing the kitchen at Clay Pot Thai Restaurant (at N.W. 36th and May Ave.). Clay Pot is still serving Thai food as one of the "Sala Thai" group of restaurants, and nothing has changed except that it no longer includes Filipino food on the menu.

It is also appropriate to make note of the excellent Shanghai style food that I have enjoyed at Golden Dragon (which was not on the menu but I could order ahead of time). Some Shanghai style dishes are available at other restaurants serving authentic Chinese food such as Fung's Kitchen, Dot Wo, Chow's, Grand House, and Grand Village, but the very gracious people at Golden Dragon really did an excellent job of preparing traditional Shanghai style meals that I use as a benchmark in evaluating this cuisine. I know from my experience in Seattle that Shanghai cuisine is much broader than is normally available in Oklahoma City, but many of the "special dishes" I had at Golden Dragon were things that I tried for the first time anywhere (and I enjoyed all of it!).

Another restaurant in the "Sala Thai" group is the former Little Sala Thai at 1428 W. Britton Rd., which is now Spoon Thai. I understand that it still has the same owner, but since I have not been able to sample the food cooked by the new chef I have not yet carried over the review of Little Sala Thai from my old web site. The chef at Little Sala Thai moved to Charm Thai in Warr Acres when it opened in 2009, and it has pretty much been a continuation of the same food I experienced at Little Sala Thai.

Another Thai restaurant going through a transition is Bangkok at 7906 N. MacArthur Blvd., which I hear has now closed (but I have not been able to confirm it). Bangkok has had three owners over the past several years, and I thought the most recent owner served the most authentic Thai food (but also the restaurant cut back on its hours and I have had problems with the service which have caused me to go less frequently).

The second of Bangkok's three owners opened Thai Stop at 14101 N. May Ave., serving the original food that the founders and first owners of Bangkok served. I went by Thai Stop this week, though, and discovered that it has now changed to Mai Thai, so apparently this restaurant has now changed. Mai Thai has different hours than Thai Stop (and is now closed Sun. & Mon.). Mai Thai also serves sushi, which neither Bangkok nor Thai Stop did. It still has "Thai Stop" signs on the door, so I do not know to what extent the restaurant has changed.

Several new Italian restaurants have opened on the northwest side of the city, and I hope to have reviews posted soon. Venezia on Northwest Expressway west of Council Road is very good, and has a much greater variety of dishes than is normally found in restaurants.

I have also tried Custino's on Britton Road just east of May Ave., and they had run out of just about everything (or else I probably would have ordered a pizza). A meatball sandwich was available, though, and I thought it was delicious. The sauce here is very appealing to me because it is not overloaded with spices, but has a subtle flavor compared to most. I definitely want to go back.

Golden Phoenix was closed by a fire last December but has now reopened.

Camilya's Mediterranean Cafe is closed for the month of June, and will reopen July 5th.

For those who are thinking about going to Thai Palace in Edmond I would recommend going soon, because the latest news I heard is that the restaurant will be closing for good at the end of the summer. In my opinion this is the best Thai restaurant in the metro overall, and it is certainly one of the best in terms of offering many dishes that are hard to find in other restaurants. Nick, the owner, is a one-man operation, and customers are served on a first-come first-served basis. This means that it is best to go when you have extra time in case there is a backlog of orders. I really think that no matter what is ordered, you can't go wrong with any of the food here (just remember that spicy here means "Thai spicy," and I personally order with fewer stars than at many other Thai restaurants).

I have not visited or reviewed the very popular Redrock Canyon Grill on Lake Hefner, but this restaurant is now closed because of a fire. However, the same company owns Hefner Grill located in the same complex of buildings on the eastern lake shore, and this might be a good alternative in the meantime. I have heard that Redrock Canyon and Hefner Grill offer several of the same dishes, and both have a good view of the lake at sunset. Word is that it may be the end of the summer before Redrock Canyon Grill is able to reopen.


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