Tuesday, December 3, 2013 , Updated 10:34 a.m., February 3, 2014
UPDATED: CrushCraft, a late-night Thai restaurant in Uptown, opened Monday
The owners, both from Thailand, are curating a menu serving mostly "street food" -- a buzzy word here in Dallas lately.
A quick, casual Thai restaurant called CrushCraft is slated to open from owners Paul Singhapong and Jack Nuchkasem.
[UPDATE: Opening date was January 27 but has since been pushed into February. "On behalf of the entire team at CrushCraft, we regret to announce that our opening has been pushed back about two weeks" because they need a new point of sale system, according to a statement. "To our future customers: We apologize for the delay and look forward to serving you."]
[UPDATE on Feb. 3: The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. today, said a spokesperson.]
You may recognize their names from not-so-casual establishments in Dallas: Singhapong was executive chef at Cru Wine Bar from 2002 to 2010 and previously worked at the French Room, the Warwick Melrose Hotel and the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Nuchkasem has worked in hospitality for 25 years at the Omni, Renaissance and Starwood hotels.
CrushCraft won't lean on Nuchkasem's fine-dining experience or Singhapong's years cooking French cuisine, however. Their new restaurant will serve "street food," Nuchkasem says, much like the cuisine they both remember from their native Thailand.
"We love our food," Nuchkasem says. "We've been here [in the U.S.] in the last 20, 30 years, and it's all different. Where is the Thai food we used to eat? That's why we came up with this concept."
"That's what I think is missing in Dallas."
The restaurant takes over the now-defunct sandwich shop, Baker Bros American Deli, near Routh and Howell streets in Uptown.
Chef Singhapong will make traditional Thai cuisine inspired by dishes from Bangkok, trendier plates like Phat Thai (pad thai), and signature chef dishes like pork belly curry and braised short ribs. The bar will serve Southeast Asian and local beers, plus sake and soju, according to a press release.
The CrushCraft name -- though it might sound like the moniker for a wine bar -- was chosen because of the method of smashing peppers and herbs, Nuchkasem explains. He plans to buy most of the restaurant's spices from a local Thai woman who is growing the herbs in her backyard.
CrushCraft Thai will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, seemingly to feed hungry Uptown bar hoppers on the weekends.
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