Chef News

Celebrity Dallas chef opens exciting Asian street food spot in Farmers Branch

Celeb Dallas chef opens exciting Asian street food in Farmers Branch

Red Stix Asian Street Food Uno Immanivong
Everyone knows her as Chef Uno. Courtesy photo

A Dallas-based celebrity chef has opened a new restaurant: Uno Immanivong is opening a location of Red Stix Asian Street Food, her popular pan-Asian casual concept, in Mustang Station in Farmers Branch, at 13050 Bee St.

This is the second location, following the original near SMU in University Park, which she opened in 2019. Magically, it's next door to Roots Southern Table, the restaurant from fellow celebrity chef Tiffany Derry.

In a statement, Immanivong says she's excited about the fact that the restaurant complements the growing diversity of the Farmers Branch community.

"In the short time we've been open, our space has become a local gathering spot for families, teachers, the Firehouse Theater actors and volunteers, and City Council folks," she says. "The vision for Red Stix has always been to be the 'Cheers' of the neighborhood, a place where we know you by name and remember your order, the place to decompress after a long day, or to celebrate life's wins. Our goal is nourish you from the inside out."

Red Stix Asian Street Food follows a fast-casual format, but with the fun vibe of a laid-back bar. The menu features customizable noodle bowls, rice bowls, and salads.

Each is topped with Uno’s Signature Stix — a Japanese-style robata skewer, grilled over red-hot binchotan charcoal in choices from Teriyaki Shrimp, Thai Curry Satay Chicken, Chicken Teriyaki, Chinese BBQ Pork and Beef Tenderloin.

Signature dishes include Crack’lin Fried Rice (with wok-seared beef tenderloin and shrimp, topped with a sunny-side-up egg); Drunken Noods; Damn Damn Hot Noods; and Tamarind Pad Thai.

There are also oversized Bánh Mì Sandwiches and street-inspired snacks and sides.

The bar features inventive cocktails such as the Unorita and Frozen Ranch Water, plus beer, wine, and sake. There's also a category called Adult Juice Pouches cocktails in flavors such as Isle of Capri Sun Punch, and Poppin’ Pineapple Margarita; canned cocktails such as Yuzu Cooler, and bottled cocktails-to-go.

The decor is designed with an eye towards Instagram, by Kuzuu Design founder Hatsumi Kuzuu (Tei-An, FT33, Urban Taco), with 1,525 square-foot, 25-seat dining room whose focal point is a full bar with white subway tiles, red-lacquer shelving, and a 4-seat dining counter, illuminated by lantern-shaped red glass pendant lights.

The bar is adjacent to a 400 square-foot enclosed, air-conditioned patio with accordion doors that open it to the outside.

Widely known as Chef Uno, Ummanivong first emerged in 2013 with Chino Chinatown, her critically acclaimed restaurant in Trinity Groves, known for its Duck Fat Fried Rice (which is also on the menu at Red Stix). She debuted Red Stix in Legacy Hall in Plano in 2017, followed by the SMU location which was her first permanent Red Stix Asian Street Food.

During the pandemic, she recalls that they provided 100,000+ meals to front line health care teams and volunteers at Parkland Hospital, FEMA, American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen (WCK) that were affected by the pandemic.

Her bio states that shhe was named for the United Nations Organization (UNO) refugee camp in Thailand where she was born to Laotian parents, and grew up in Texas (first Houston, then Keller). She learned to cook from her mom, who catered Thai and Lao weddings, and who kept an overgrown garden that provided plenty of mint, Thai basil, Thai chilies and tomatoes for the family table.

She had a successful career in banking when, in 2012, she auditioned for The Taste, a TV-reality cooking show. Anthony Bourdain, one its stars, chose Uno to mentor on his team, and she competed in four episodes, which she describes as a life-changing experience.

She's also been a nominee for CultureMap's annual Tastemaker Awards, earning a spot on the 2021 list of Best Chefs.

Red Stix will host a ribbon-cutting on Wednesday, May 18 from 2-5 pm, with complimentary cocktails and bites, plus dragon dancers, a DJ, and a photo booth.