Food News

Chef Uno Immanivong Discusses Opening the New Red Stix

Megan Swann
Chef Uno Immanivong at the Chefs Feed dinner in Seattle this past summer.
After the closing of Red Stix in Legacy Hall this past summer, chef Uno Immanivong decided to take some time off.

During that time, she recalled memories of her childhood, reconnected with loved ones and prioritized self-care. Using what she learned during her mini hiatus, as well as her previous experiences running restaurants such as Chino Chinatown and the Red Stix food stall, Immanivong is ready to return with the new Red Stix Asian Street Food outpost.

With her new storefront, Immanivong will have more space to cook and create versions of the food she grew up with from her Lao roots.

“I’m really looking forward to showcasing more of my food at this location, because we’re actually expanding the menu,” Immanivong says. “We had bahn mi and bowls at Legacy Hall. Going into this full kitchen, we’re going to have appetizers like shrimp rangoons, the little chicken wings similar to the ones we had at Chino, egg rolls, dumplings — the things people typically see as starters in Asian restaurants.”

Red Stix menu items will also include pad thai, drunken noodles and the signature Uno fried rice, which contains beef tenderloin, shrimp and is finished with pork fat.

“This is the original fried rice recipe that my mother used to make,” Immanivong says. “She would take pork belly, render out the fat, keep it and make fried rice out of it.”

Additionally, Immanivong will be introducing a new menu item called damn damn noodles, her spin on dan dan noodles.

“The damn damn noodles are going to have chiles, Szechuan chili oil and some sambal,” Immanivong says. “This dish is so spicy, it’s going to have you saying ‘damn.’”

Red Stix’s new Dallas outpost will also have a full bar. Sauces will be made in-house and available for guests to purchase and take home.

Red Stix will operate in a fast-casual environment, where, according to Immanivong, 90% of the dishes will cost less than $10.

In recent years, street food has become a common term to describe simple, small-portioned dishes that are often cooked without gas or electricity.

click to enlarge
The original Red Stix focused on banh mi and bowls, while the next location will go broader in Asian influences.
Kevin Marple
“Street food, for me, goes back to my childhood,” Immanivong says. “When I was young, (my family and I) would go to Bangkok in the summers. All along the streets, there’d be vendors. There was no electricity and no propane tanks. Everything was grilled on charcoal or coals. The memories of the smells and those flavors of the food you can grab and eat while walking down the street are what I go back to.”

Upon the opening of Red Stix, Immanivong will bring the street food of her childhood to Dallas. She will also bring back some recipes from Chino, which she previously owned in Trinity Groves. Although the newer recipes won’t be exactly the same as they were at the original Chino and Red Stix locations, she believes fans of both places will love the improvements.

“Chino is a part of my history, and Red Stix is a part of the future,” Immanivong says. “I’ll take pieces of recipes that I’ve had in the past, bring them here and make them even better.”

Red Stix Asian Street Food is slated to open at the end of this month. Although Immanivong took a brief hiatus, she is looking forward to getting back in action.

“I’m excited to be part of the chef community again,” Immanivong says. “I’ve taken some well-deserved time off, and I’ve been able to reconnect with my daughter, family and friends. Now, it’s time to get back to the grind. It’s like riding a bike. You get back on the saddle, and you’re ready to ride.”

Red Stix Asian Street Food, 6501 Hillcrest Ave., University Park. Set to open at the end of September.