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New restaurants – January 2018

Slapfish - lobster grinder. Credit Slapfish

Avenues Bistro – Up in the Avenues, Kathie Chadbourne’s local bistro was recently acquired by the team behind downtown SLC’s Fireside On Regent. With chef Michael Richey now at the helm the menu has been given a fresh lick of flavor; dishes like moules frites and trout almondine nod heavily to a classic French bistro but for every sole gratin there’s a rabbit pot pie and chicken hash too. The whole thing is a pretty fun read.

With previous stints at Pago and Solitude Mountain Resort, there’s no doubt Richey has pedigree and despite its small size – Fireside on Regent has been garnering a lot of praise in recent months. I’m excited to see how the American-French menu evolves at this new venture – I’ve long been banging the drum that someone needs to open a classic French bistro – with as much Utah product as they can get their hands on. Maybe this will be it.

564 E 3rd Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
(801) 831-5409
Bagels And Greens – This new downtown spot is the latest work of the folks behind The Bagel Project; which started with the aim of making legit NYC bagels here in SLC. Even without that purported magical NYC water. Given the fact the original location is often prone to completely selling out of bagels some days, I’d say they nailed it.

This new spot on Main Street offers Downtown workers eight types of bagel (plain, garlic, onion, sesame seed, poppy seed, salt, everything, cinnamon raisin) with six types of spread (plain cream cheese, scallion cream cheese, lox cream cheese, honey cream cheese, seasonal jam, hummus). Rounding out the menu are salads, sandwiches and bialys: a round chewy roll with an indented middle filled with caramelized onions and poppy seeds. You can grab a breakfast or lunch snack weekdays 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

170 South Main Street · Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 355-2400

BGR Sugar House - mushroom swiss burger. Credit BGR
BGR Sugar House – mushroom swiss burger. Credit BGR
BGR Sugar House - Western BBQ burger. Credit BGR
BGR Sugar House – Western BBQ burger. Credit BGR

BGR Sugar House – This national chain recently joined the chaos that is the redevelopment of Sugar House. Opening up on Wilmington Avenue, just opposite Spitz/Somi/The Ruin – ish. The slightly upscale burger concept is pretty routine these days, but for what its worth BGR have their own particular spin.

Everything here is fresh, there are no frozen patties. Patties are 6 ounces and the restaurant is confident enough in it’s meat to offer whatever temperature you like: rare, medium, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, and well done; which is kinda different for a larger operation. Let’s be honest, even if McDonalds offered a medium-rare option – are you gonna be that brave?

1202 E Wilmington Ave, Ste 120, Salt Lake City, Utah 84106
(801) 487-6301

Blue Marlin sushi bar. Credit Blue Marlin
Bllue Marlin sushi bar. Credit Blue Marlin

Blue Marlin – One for Sandy-ites, this new sushi restaurant. The menu offers a little bit of everything. There’s a full sushi menu offering basic rolls through the boisterous. There’s nigiri, sashimi and a bunch of fried things. There’s even a rib eye steak if you’ve got *that* person in your group who is still refusing to board the sushi train. And honestly, if you still have friends that refuse to enjoy sushi and ask questions like, “but is it fishy”, just find some new friends, ok?

8391 S 700 E, Sandy, Utah 84070
(801) 369-6268

Spicy pork noodles from old CY noodles location
Spicy pork noodles from old CY noodles location
Spicy tofu from old CY noodles location
Spicy tofu from old CY noodles location
Sesame balls from old CY noodles location
Sesame balls from old CY noodles location

CY Noodle And Chinese Restaurant – If you’ve read the site for a while you’ll know I loved CY Noodles House over in South Salt Lake’s Chinatown development, ever since it opened. And loved it I did until it closed, oh noes! But wait, that’s only half the story. The restaurant simply moved a few doors down into the much larger space left vacant by the closing of Hot Dynasty, another of my favorites, oh noes!

With the move to the bigger space, the restaurant has now rebranded to CY Noodle And Chinese Restaurant. It’s a bit of a mouthful for sure, but I have it on good authority they’re still serving really great mouthfuls, so we’ll let em off. The menu still retains the build your own noodle bowl concept, but unless it’s paying the bills, I’d be happy to see them drop it. That was never the star of the show.

For me, their draw was always the face punch of power that was their spicy Sichuan cooking, and you’ll still find that at the new location; not to mention so much more, as the menu has been extended significantly and now includes many other authentic regional Chinese dishes. Fingers crossed they make a success of the new spot, Hot Dynasty really struggled to get the crowds in, hidden as it is in the NW corner of the facility.

3390 S State Street Ste.18, South Salt Lake, UT 84115
(801) 485-2777

Dolce Sicilia - prosciutto. Credit, Dolce Sicilia
Dolce Sicilia – prosciutto. Credit, Dolce Sicilia

Dolce Sicilia – First it was Sole Mio (that’s now been sold and is now living life as Il Sole fact fans), then it was Sicilia Mia, then Antica Sicilia and now Dolce Sicilia. This 3rd location in the family ran business empire is the notorious Epic Annex space in central Sugar House.

Long time onlookers will know this is perhaps the four billionth restaurant to try to make a go of the space. Previous restaurants have stubbornly clung on to trying to fuse Epic’s beer brand into a restaurant setting. Looking form the outside it seems they’ve finally dropped this attempt best I could tell at least. The branding is certainly Dolce Sicilia from the outside. No word on if the space is still owned by Epic and Dolce are merely tenants.

The menu and location looks to repeat what the previous locations for the Sicilian family have succeeded with. There’s lots of familial charm and table side showmanship (carbonara made table side in a big ol flaming wheel of parmesan seems to be their signature) and dishes that will no doubt draw the crowds in, pizza pasta etc. There’s lots of singing too. So much singing. Check out their Facebook page.

The success of Sicilia Mia and Antica Sicilia suggests if anyone can make a go of the spot, these guys can; that said Italian food is looking increasingly saturated in this neighborhood. The current nearby roster includes: Salt Lake Pizza And Pasta, Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria, Mellow Mushroom, Este Pizza and Mod Pizza. Perhaps the final crowning glory of all the redevelopment is to rename the area Pizza House.

Donut Star – Ever wanted a donut at 4 a.m. on a Saturday morning? How about 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night? Of course you have, you want donuts all the time, you’re only human, it’s ok. Until now though you might’ve struggled with some of those urges at certain times of the day. No longer! Donut Star in Draper is open 24/7. Whenever the sugary cravings hit, Donut Star will be there to welcome you with open sugary arms.

213 east 12300 south suite H1, Draper, Utah
(801) 790-2615

Don Chuy’s Taco Shop – Remarkably – yet another 24 hour operation. This time located in Provo and offering tacos around the clock seven days a week. This new location joins an existing Don Chuy’s in Payson (which isn’t 24/7). Bookmark this post for the next time you’re craving donuts and tacos at 5 a.m. – don’t lie – you’ve had that craving.

520 N 900 E, Provo, Utah
(801) 607-1519

Este Deli – This one was announced as last year was winding down, a new space for the deli spin off of Este Pizza. The new spot will be in the old Pier 49 Pizza downtown and is set to open this month. That means meatball and eggplant parm sandwiches should be flowing soon once again.

238 S Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Itto Sushi Orem location interior. Credit, Itto Sushi
Itto Sushi Orem location interior. Credit, Itto Sushi

Itto Sushi – Joining the original Murray sushi shop location is this new Orem opening. Also by the looks of things, the guys behind Cupbop have now taken over the operation too. The concept for the newer Utah County outlet doesn’t look set to diverge from it’s Northern cousin’s model much: tons and tons of Americanized sushi rolls. If memory serves there’s even a roll that comes to the table on fire. Literally aflame.

The new digs look much snazzier than the original and the businesses discounted marketing approach looks set to continue. There’s 50% off select rolls on certain days and you can find a more general 45% off deal at the Orem location over on Groupon (affiliate link we earn a commission on sales) right now.

547 E University Pkwy, Orem, UT 84097

JJ’s Pizza – Carry out, take n bake, small pies $8, medium $11 and large $14. If you live close to Layton and are looking for a new pizza parlor, this might be it. The menu keeps things simple and relatively concise. There are no hand build brick oven pizzas, imported stone by stone from a rustic Italian village. There is pizza. And you like pizza.

1981 N Main St, Layton, UT 84041
(801) 784-8781

Karim Bakery – Not because I’m running out the door to go try some myself, but this new Syrian/Iraqi bakery is best explained in their own, delicious words:

Karim Bakery is a local family owned and operated Mediterranean bakery and pita bread factory . We provide flat pita bread freshly baked in a fire brick oven, using a traditional Old World recipe. Our pita is a light bread option, with an optimal taste and texture. It’s full of healthy grains, Our pita provides the opportunity to not only enjoy wholesome bread, but also to remain health-conscious. We make Middle Eastern pastries with meat, chicken, cheese, veggies, and Zaatar. We bake pistachio and walnut Baqlawa, Kunafa, and Znud Alsit. Also we sell appetizers such as Hummus, Babaganooj, and tabole.

2575 State St, South Salt Lake, UT 84115
(801) 645-4533

Lil Lotus - nachos with fries. Credit, Pure Food
Lil Lotus – nachos with fries. Credit, Pure Food
Lil Lotus - chickpea rotini pasta. Credit, Pure Food
Lil Lotus – chickpea rotini pasta. Credit, Pure Food

Lil Lotus – Replacing Schwarma King in Sugar House comes this 100% vegan restaurant. The menu gleefully hops around various cuisines, but is unified by a general theme of comfort foods. There are fries, burgers, nachos, Mac and cheese, fry bread and more – and all 100% vegan friendly.

2223 S Highland Dr STE E-5 Salt Lake City, Utah
(801) 906-0637

Nomad Eatery interior. Credit Nomad Eatery
Nomad Eatery interior. Credit Nomad Eatery

Nomad Eatery – This one is quite the incongruous anomaly – coming out of the blue and located in the oddest of spots. Taking the path less travelled, this super-cool and trendy joint isn’t in Sugar House, no, it is in fact just by the Salt Lake airport. Yes, that’s not a typo. The menu is built around American staples like wings and pizza, but everything is executed with panache and flair.

On the menu you’ll also find Normal Ice Cream; which if you’re not in the know is the work of Alexa Norlin, pastry chef whizz with previous stints at places like Current Fish and Oyster and HSL.

I’ll be honest, I’m still scratching my head on the location, there’s obviously a story here, but I don’t know it. Edit: Nomad reached out to explain why they’re so excited about the location. With Rose Park relatively under served by good dining options, 13 hotels on their doorstep, not to mention a swathe of big businesses (Amazon, Centrury Link, UPS, L3) with nowhere decent to lunch – the spot is more enticing than you might thing. Best of luck to them, the food looks good enough to drag folks in from further afield too!

2110 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
(801) 938-9629

Ombu Grill interior. Credit Ombu Grill
Ombu Grill interior. Credit Ombu Grill
Ombu Grill - sample of meat options
Ombu Grill – sample of meat options

Ombu Grill – Given the national trend of Korean cuisine popularity in recent years, it’s surprising we haven’t seen more locally. Yes, I know we have some Korean restaurants, but here in SLC we seem more obsessed with burgers and Italian food (if reading back over these roundups is anything to go by).

Ombu Grill on State looks to in part rectify that, offering a traditional Korean BBQ setup in slightly more refined and chic digs that most in town. The star of the show is naturally the DIY BBQ meat experience; if you’re a newcomer to this style, essentially you order up a platter (or more) of meat from the menu and cook it yourself table side. A dip of this, a dab of that, knock yourself out.

1438 State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
(801) 484-4888

One More Noodle House - spicy noodles. Credit OMNH
One More Noodle House – spicy noodles. Credit OMNH
One More Noodle House - kale ramen noodles. Credit OMNH
One More Noodle House – kale ramen noodles. Credit OMNH

One More Noodle House – In the grand merry go round that is the Chinatown area, this plucky newcomer moves into the space left vacant by CY Noodle. Fans of the long stringy stuff in all its forms will be glad to now they can still get their noodle on here. The menu offers everything from Numbing Spicy Shank Noodle to Beijing Style Soy Bean Paste Noodle – and a riot of other things in between.

And thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster there’s not a chow mein dish in sight here. It really brings spicy Sichuan tears to my eyes to see some newer restaurants really giving it a go beyond the well trodden paths. I do think there’s a market in SLC now for more authentic and regional international cuisine.

3390 State Street Suit N5, South Salt Lake, UT 84115
(801) 906-8992

Poke Luau – Love poke bowls? Live in Midvale? You’re in luck then with this new restaurant. In fact if you live pretty much anywhere in the valley, the location just a little West off of I15 at 72nd South is easy to reach.

The menu offers a build your own bowl, fast casual approach. You start by choosing your base (rice, salad), choose your seafood, choose a sauce to top, select some extra toppings and your good to go; a bowl with three scoops of fish will cost you $11, an extra scoop is $1.50.

Seafood selections include tuna, spicy tuna, salmon, albacore scallop, spicy shrimp and crab and there’s tofu too. There’s not a whole lot extra to report at this time. You can see some pretty pictures of bowls people have concocted over on their Yelp profile.

736 W Blue Vista ln, Midvale, Utah 84047
(661) 718-1335

Pho Hue Ky– Ready for another Chinatown swap around? Left vacant by yet another closure of a personal favorite, (Ho Mei BBQ, oh noes!) is this new Vietnamese restaurant. All the staples are here, pho noodle soup, big bold banh mi sandwiches and plenty of rice and noodle dishes. A glance of their Yelp photos suggests plenty of unique stuff though: duck noodle soup anyone?

Much like the above, details so far are thin on the ground for this new spot. Hey, here’s a thought, lets all hit these new Chinatown spots over the coming weeks and support their efforts at pushing the envelope? Side note: I take this all back if they transpire to not actually be that good. Let me know of course in the comments.

3370 South State Street, Suite 6, Salt Lake City, Utah
(385) 528-0570

Pretty Bird – O.k. it’s still not quite open, despite promises to the contrary at least a couple of times through 2017. But, but! Viet Pham’s official return to the SLC food scene does now seem imminent with the restaurant now hiring positions.

When it does finally open, expect the crowds to be as big as the hype. The small chicken shop on Regent Street will be focusing primarily on hot chicken a particular specialty that hails from Nashville – deep fried chicken with blast of cayenne fueled fire. The preparation is one of the foodie world fads these past few years – even KFC has a rendition. Still count me as excited, jaded a tad now, but still excited for the opening.

146 Regent St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Door-Dash ad

Quickly Utah – Promising a taste of Taiwan comes this colorful newcomer to West Valley City. As well as offering a range of boba drinks, smoothies and teas there’s also a fast food menu of sorts featuring more fried food, than even I’m comfortable with. No, that’s a lie, I am totally on board with it – bury me in a pile of fried food now please. Fried twinkies sit alongside crispy popcorn chicken and corn dogs and well pretty much anything that will fit in their fryer. Definitely worth a look in, just don’t count the calories.

3521 W 3500 S. West Valley City, Utah

Slapfish - two handed fish taco ish taco. Credit Slapfish
Slapfish – two handed fish taco ish taco. Credit Slapfish
Slapfish - surf n turf burger. Credit Slapfish
Slapfish – surf n turf burger. Credit Slapfish
Slapfish - lobster grinder. Credit Slapfish
Slapfish – lobster grinder. Credit Slapfish

Slapfish Park City – A new Park City outlet of Slapfish joins the existing location in Lehi. It’s a chain sure, but cmon, look at those pictures?! And in truth it’s a fairly minimal chain, that does seem to be focused more on quality than universal domination. Theres no Krab or langoustine masquerading as lobster here, and the prices reflect that. A third location should be coming on-line soon in Sandy too.

6622 N Landmark Dr, Park City, UT 84060
(435) 575-0922

Special Courses – This military themed burger joint won last years Taste For The Space contest bagging 6 months free rent in the South Town mall. Previously a food truck operation, the veteran owned business is now slinging burgers and fries from their new food court location. Everything comes with suitably mil-spec monikers. Burgers come with names like zero dark thirty and hellfire. There are infantry fries, ranger fries. It’s all very macho and I feel my testosterone level rising just writing about it.

Shops At South Town
10450 S State Street, Sandy, UT 84070

Stellas Italian Bistro - interior. Credit, Stellas
Stellas Italian Bistro – interior. Credit, Stellas

Stella’s Italian Bistro – Over in Syracuse, this new Italian and American restaurant. That’s not to say Italian American dishes per se, but quite literally flavors from both. There are pulled pork and French dip sandwiches and there’s chicken Alfredo and bolognese and lasagne.

2432 West 1700 South, Suite A1, Syracuse, Utah 84075
(801) 784-7595

Thai Spoon – A new Thai spot for Murray and one that’s garnering good reviews to date. The menu reads like the identikit menu you’ve seen at every single other Thai restaurant in SLC, there’s nothing ground breaking here, but it sounds like they’re doing a solid job therein.

6657 State St #1, Murray, UT 84107
(801) 590-8085

Tosh Ramen Holladay interior. Credit, Tosh's Ramen
Tosh Ramen Holladay interior. Credit, Tosh’s Ramen
tosh ramen bowl
Ramen at Tosh’s Ramen

Tosh’s Ramen – A second location for Toshio Sekikawa’s ramen shop is now open in Holladay, just a little East of the liquor store down Murray Holladay Road. Sekikawa was one of the original sushi innovators in Utah way back when in a former life at Mikado/Naked Fish in SLC and Hapa Grill up in Park City. These days his ramen seems to be making similar waves at both locations. Now that Winter is finally here, it might be a good time to go slurp some noodles and see for yourself.

1963 E Murray Holladay Rd, Holladay, UT 84117

Twin Suns Cafe – Back to Sugar House and the old Rocky Mountain Grill is living life as Twin Suns Cafe. The twin suns in question are a shout out to an iconic scene in the Star Wars movie – because this place is ALL about the franchise: X-cellent wings, obi kebobis, nerf burger, Darth mousse, the puns go on and on.

2305 S Highland Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
(801) 359-6035

Vegan Bowl - ocean love rice bowl
Vegan Bowl – ocean love rice bowl. Credit, Pure Food
Vegan Bowl - banh mi
Vegan Bowl – banh mi. Credit, Pure Food
Vegan Bowl - house special pho
Vegan Bowl – house special pho. Credit, Pure Food

Vegan Bowl – From the owner’s of Rose Park’s massively popular All Chay, comes a similar concept for West Jordan. Vegan Bowl is a Vietnamese restaurant with a twist, it’s 100% vegan friendly. That means you can slurp your pho or crunch down on a banh mi sandwich karma free. The menu is slightly bigger than All Chay and fans have been apparently inundating the business since day one. Bonus eco-points: if you get take out and bring back your cleaned containers, you’ll get 50c off your next meal for each one.

8672 S Redwood Rd, West Jordan, UT 84088
(801) 692-7237

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3 thoughts on “New restaurants – January 2018”

  1. Stuart, several comments:

    1. I’ve been to Il Dolce Sicilia in Sugarhouse and they still do sell Epic beer on the menu and out of a cooler. The hostess said they are in a partnership with Epic. The food is great, but I prefer wine with Italian food.

    2. Did Fireside On Regent close if their team went to Avenues? That place has been struggling for months, too expensive for a lunch spot + strange menu.

    3. Happy to see more places opening on Regent, it has great potential. It would be great if a bar opened there, but I’m pretty sure the landlord (the LDS Church) wont lease space to one. Another new restaurant on Regent is Last Course. Have you tried it yet?

    1. Thanks for the info on Dolce Mark. Its certainly the first time there’s no longer Epic signage outside. They really should just sublet it or hand it over to someone else. Constantly trying to shoe horn the Epic thing into every business is just odd. And I am a fan of Epic. Oh, theres a new Sicilia coming to downtown any day now too I believe.

      Fireside – I’m fairly sure it’s still open, I still get PR items from the guys over there about menu additions or hour changes. I’ve always wondered the sustainability of that spot though. Small space, not much foot traffic, rents have to be insane. Maybe they do a good business when the theatre is open for a show?

      Lastly, I hadn’t heard of Last Course at all, do tell?

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