Call me Nancy NosyPants. I was driving past the building that used to house RedFork on Fitzhugh the other day and noticed some sweaty manbeasts covered in drywall dust. I stopped, sauntered inside and, as luck would have it, Khanh Nguyen appeared. Nguyen was busy, but he stopped for long enough to tell me that he's turning the old RedFork space, at 2537 Fitzhugh, into a new restaurant called Dalat, which will fill Fitzhugh's empty belly with booze, Pho and Banh Mi.
He has completely transformed the inside and taken the formerly Gotham-esque interior into a neutral, airy space. A giant frosted glass window behind the bar opens up completely and also serves the patio. The inside will feature subtle Vietnamese accents, juxtaposed against a not-so-subtle mural of a traditional Vietnamese dragon on the back wall. Bright, clean walls and a light-tan bar top with wisps of pearl give whole new meaning to the term "facelift."
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Nguyen's concept is simple: full bar and full kitchen until 2 a.m. He confessed that Dalat is essentially the place he wants to have around when 1 a.m. hits and he doesn't want Jack in the Box. To achieve this, he will offer a house-made Pho base and fresh, local ingredients so he and other area residents avoid cat-food tacos.
"I want to right all the wrongs of Pho," Nguyen told me.
In order to optimize the customization of Dalat's steamy bowls of yum, a condiment bar will feature add-ins like cilantro, limes and Nguyen's special picked onions. Not a soup fan? Dalat will also be serving Banh Mi of all types, in addition to a Midnight Munchies menu. Nguyen said he recently won a chili contest with a special Vietnamese take on a Texas favorite, so here's to hoping that shows up on the menu as well.
All of this goodness is supposed to be ready to bowl roll on April 18. We'll update this with more intel if we get it.