Pho Lang Thang owners to open new place on Vine
It’s going to be daring and eccentric, says David Le about the new Asian restaurant he and his partners at Pho Lang Thang are opening in the Gateway Quarter.
Le, Duy and Bao Nguyen and chef Matt Cranert are opening Quan Hapa (pronounced “Wang Ha Pa”) at 1335 Vine St.
Le said they’ll be doing Asian street food from all over Asia, but “our version” of it. That doesn’t mean they’re going to dumb it down or make it more American. Quite the contrary: “We’re going to go at it hard, make it as crazy as we can, and have faith that people in Cincinnati will go for it” he said.
Quan can be translated as “bar” or “gastro pub” in English, or Izakaya in Japanese. Hapa in Hawaiian means “half-breed or “mixed blood,” which gives the idea of a mixed lineage of the Asian street and bar food they’ll be serving.
Le says they’ll have lots of things that aren’t common here, but that people will probably respond to easily. All will be served in small portions, mostly designed for having with a drink. There will be beer and sake and Asian-inspired craft cocktails, served in a “high energy” atmosphere.
They hope to open in September. Follow updates at www.quanhapa.com or on Twitter or Facebook.
New truck brewing in NKY
The latest entrant in the local food truck scene is really mostly a beverage truck.
Perk’nUp Coffee moves around Northern Kentucky, serving espresso drinks, frappes and smoothies. Lora Kastor has been operating it for three months now, mostly in Edgewood and Florence. She makes regular stops at office buildings, and two a day at Beckfield College in Florence.
She started the truck after getting laid off – she said it started by joking about it, but she and her husband thought about it more and realized it was probably actually a good idea.
She also peddles cupcakes from Heavenly Frosted Cupcakes, and some pastries. The coffee is from Lookout Joe’s in Mount Lookout.
New in Latonia: Boddhi’s Coffeehouse and Eclectic Art
There’s a story behind the name of Boddhi’s (pronounced Bow-Dee’s) Coffeehouse and Eclectic Art Retail, a new business in Covington’s Latonia neighborhood.
Owner Star Ruholt-Smith and her husband, Eddie Smith, named the hybrid art gallery/coffee shop for their friend, Jason “Boddhi” Joiner, who died suddenly last Halloween at the age of 36. Ruholt-Smith said the shop was inspired by a desire to support local artists like their friend.
Located in a 100-plus-year-old historic building at 6 E. Southern Ave. in Ritte’s corner, Boddhi’s showcases local art, crafts, sculptures, candles, jewelry, stickers and the like. The shop doesn’t charge fees and takes art from anyone from high school students to professional photographers.
On the coffee shop side, Boddhi’s seats about 20 and currently serves a limited coffee, tea and pastry menu, with plans to add a kitchen and make more elaborate snacks and drinks down the road. There’s live music several nights a week: local blues musician John Redell plays from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday; rotating performers on Friday; and “Everybody Welcome Jam Sessions” on Saturday.
1-8 p.m. Wednesday; noon-6 p.m. Thursday; 1-8 p.m. Friday; noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
859-916-0398 or www.facebook.com/boddhisartcafe
Gluten-free pizza on LaRosa’s menu
Eight LaRosa’s outposts now offer gluten-free pizzas.
Michael LaRosa, the company’s chief executive officer, says the reaction from customers is unlike anything he’s ever seen.
“This is clearly the single product that has generated the most heart-warming and enthusiastic response from our guests. People are saying, ‘I haven’t had a LaRosa’s pizza for 15 years. Now I can enjoy it, and I’ve had it three times this week.’ ”
LaRosa's considered making gluten-free dough at its bakery, but ultimately decided to use a supplier in Georgia, French Meadow Bakery, which is a fully certified organic bakery. The fresh, raw and frozen dough is placed into a bag, sealed and shipped to LaRosa’s.
The pizzas come in a medium size only, but with any combination of toppings. It costs the same as a medium pizza: $13.99.
In Cincinnati: Anderson: Beechmont Avenue near Asbury Road; Boudinot Avenue: Near Glenway Avenue; Kenwood: Montgomery Road south of Kenwood Towne Centre; Mason: Corner of Triway Drive and Ohio 42
In Northern Kentucky: Alexandria: Ky. 27 near Campbell County Middle School
In Dayton: Beavercreek and Centerville stores
Also Oxford: Between Lynn Avenue and Locust Street
In last week’s Bar Guide, we mistakenly included the Vintage Wine Bar - Kitchen - Market in Hebron. It has closed.