Texas Monthly critic Pat Sharpe released her list of the best new restaurants in Texas, with two Austin restaurants in the top ten. Nabbing the absolute top spot is Eater Austin’s best-designed spot, the upscale downtown Mexican restaurant Comedor. Number seven is Goan-Portuguese East Austin restaurant Vixen’s Wedding. Two other Austin restaurants received honorable mentions: East Austin taco restaurant Nixta Taqueria and Eater Austin’s restaurant of the year Crestview shabu-shabu restaurant DipDipDip Tatsu-ya.
Here’s what she had to say about the honorees:
Comedor: Named the best new restaurant in the state, Sharpe commented on the “bravura” building and the restaurant’s transformative high-end Mexican fare. She “remains smitten” with the bone marrow tacos: “Scandalously rich, topped with citrusy pecan gremolata and a brilliant sprinkle of brûléed brown sugar, they will change your life.”
Vixen’s Wedding: “First, order fried green tomatoes with mint chutney. Then get serious with the whole roasted fish of the day, stuffed to the gills with a coconut crab curry.”
Nixta Taqueria: “[C]razy-good tacos.”
DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya: “The bubbling Japanese hot pots at DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya would be even more appealing if the stove-tables and chairs weren’t so ridiculously small.”
Statesman critic Matthew Odam reviewed the South Lamar location of casual seafood and Thai restaurant Deckhand Oyster Bar, and found warm hospitality and oysters “the size of elephant ears.”
Noting the friendly laugh of Laos native and owner Sompheng “Tarzan” Saybounkham, and “Jedi-like hospitality” of his stepdaughter May, Odam goes on to praise both the Texas and Thai styles of seafood at the restaurant. He appreciated the “peppery bitterness” of Chinese celery in the yellow Swamp Curry, and the heat of a green curry soup “studded with plump shrimp.”
On the Texas side, Odam enjoyed the “butter-drenched” catfish served with steamed vegetables. However, his favorite dish was a combination of the two styles:
If you want the tastiest marriage of Gulf coast and Southeast Asia, order JT boudin ($4.99), cut a thin slice of the funky herbaceous pork mixture, spread it on a cracker and hit it with Deckhand’s take on nam jim in a squirt bottle. The pungent sting of the fish sauce, garlic and Thai chili blend brings the primal boudin to life.
Overall, Odam rated the restaurant a 7.5 out of 10, noting he was already planning his next visit.
- The Best New Restaurants in Texas for 2020 [Texas Monthly]
- All Coverage of Comedor [EATX]
- All Coverage of Vixen’s Wedding [EATX]
- All Coverage of Nixta Taqueria [EATX]
- All Coverage of DipDipDip Tatsu-ya [EATX]
- Surf and mirth: Deckhand Oyster Bar swims to its own beat [Statesman]
- All Coverage of Deckhand [EATX]