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in this issue

SEPTEMBER 2018

Feature 30

CULTURAL CAPITAL Largely the creation of former refugees and their descendants, OKC’s Asian District has grown, evolved and improved, becoming more diverse – and more successful – than ever, without losing touch with its founders’ traditions.

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4320 W. Reno Ave, OKC 405.946.5500 SEPTEMBER 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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in this issue In the 405 21 Reminiscing with radio legends Jack and Ron; stay hydrated in style with the perfect water bottles; a look at Guthrie’s not-quite-national park; in praise of a (somewhat diluted) royal bloodline

SEPTEMBER 2018

Corner Comforts Off to the side but not overlooked – designer Lindsay Palazzolo combines neutral shades, multiple textures and a sense of airiness throughout the entirety of her remodeled Nichols Hills home.

Home

41 Inside the Palazzolos’ well-designed palace; top-tier gear to equip your desktop

Travel

55 Recommended destinations for dazzling fall foliage

Dining

61 Tsubaki Szechuan showcases spicy Chinese specialties; Danh Do’s caramel catfish recipe; sensational wings at Eddie’s; Yucatan Taco Stand’s margarita musts

Events

71 The Plaza District Festival turns 20 with a bang; the OKC Philharmonic’s energetic new season; art on the square at 12 x 12

In Every Issue

16 From the Publisher 18 Web Sights 66 Food and Drink 74 Speakerbox 76 On the Radar 80 Backstory

ON THE COVER

The gateway to OKC’s vibrant, dynamic Asian District. Photo by Shannon Cornman

42

VOLUME 4 / NUMBER 9, 405 MAGAZINE (PERIODICALS 21350) IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY, 12 TIMES A YEAR, BY 405 MAGAZINE, INC., 1613 NORTH BROADWAY AVENUE, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73103. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT OKLAHOMA CITY, OK AND ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO 405 MAGAZINE, P.O. BOX 16765, NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA 91615-6765.

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SEPTEMBER 2018

VOLUME 4 • NUMBER 9

Publisher | Editor-in-Chief Heidi Rambo Centrella heidi.centrella@405magazine.com

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Steve Gill steve.gill@405magazine.com

The Right Path

Style Editor Sara Gae Waters saragae.waters@405magazine.com Travel Editor Matt Payne matt.payne@405magazine.com Fashion Director Jennifer Salyer jennifer.salyer@405magazine.com

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Contributing Writers M.J. Alexander, Mark Beutler, Jerry Church, Christine Eddington, Greg Horton, Lauren Roth, Elaine Warner

ART Art Director Scotty O’Daniel scotty.odaniel@405magazine.com Graphic Designer Brian O’Daniel brian.odaniel@405magazine.com Contributing Photographers M.J. Alexander, Shannon Cornman, Charlie Neuenschwander, Don Risi, Trace Thomas

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READER SERVICES 405 Magazine 1613 N. Broadway Oklahoma City, OK 73103 Phone 405.842.2266 Fax 405.604.9435 info@405magazine.com, 405magazine.com Back Issues Back issues are $9.50 (includes P&H) each. For back issue availability and order information, please contact our office. Bulk Orders For multiple copy order information, please contact our office.

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405 Magazine Volume 4, Number 9, September 2018. 405 Magazine is published monthly by 405 Magazine, Inc. at 1613 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, 405.842.2266. © Copyright 2018 405 Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of 405 Magazine content, in whole or part by any means, without the express written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. 405 Magazine is not responsible for the care of and/or return of unsolicited materials. 405 Magazine reserves the right to refuse advertising deemed detrimental to the community’s best interest or in questionable taste. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ownership or management. Basic annual subscription rate is $14.95. U.S. single-copy price is $4.95. Back issues are $9.50 each

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

The Spice of Life

HEIDI R A MBO CEN TRELL A Publisher | Editor-in-Chief heidi.centrella@405magazine.com

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PHOTO BY SIMON HURST

A SI A N FA R E has long been a staple in my diet, preferably with plenty of heat (or several peppers, as Steve Gill refers to the heat levels of Tsubaki Szechuan’s dishes on page 62.) Today, we have more options than ever across the metro, and several of the very finest are located within the Asian District – once referred to by many of us as Little Saigon. My long-time friend from high school and I are in the midst of planning a few upcoming excursions, to include a little staycation of sorts by way of an unofficial Anthony Bourdain-esque culinary journey through the Asian District – admittedly, we are huge Bourdain fans, and the idea was sparked by binge-watching “Parts Unknown” and “No Reservations.” We’ll be acting as though we actually are visiting the countries of China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam (I’ll be chronicling the trip as videographer … with my phone – because that’s what we do). Our stops, of course, primarily will be restaurant-related, but we also have our eyes set on the fabulous Super Cao Nguyen – my son’s favorite market, which sells products from more than 60 countries of origin – and other locally owned businesses in the area. If this idea piques your interest, look no further than page 30 to learn more about the personal histories of various families’ immigration to OKC, their thoughts on the importance of maintaining traditions and a sense of heritage among generations and the overall economic health, vitality and diversity of the Asian District. We’re also taking a little advice from travel writer Elaine Warner and mapping out an upcoming trip to enjoy the fall foliage a little later in the year. In all the years I’ve lived here in Oklahoma, I’ve never taken the Talimena Scenic Drive (pg. 56), so that will definitely be on our fall to-go list. Travel is supposed to broaden the mind, but I believe that has more to do with new experiences than the actual destination – that it’s not as important to go far away as it is to go someplace or do something new, even if it’s actually nearby. So in that spirit, I hope your introduction to autumn is filled with fresh discoveries, and that some of them are spicy.


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Web Sights What’s online at 405magazine.com

Buffalo Ally 710 0 N. WESTERN AVENUE | 405.858.70 0 0

A STRONG BODY IS NOT MADE IN COMFORT

A Fort Smith Stopover

Pioneering history on display, arresting large-scale art on local buildings, the top-notch U.S. Marshals Museum on the radar … there’s a lot to enjoy in Arkansas’ second-largest city, and if you’re planning to take the Talimena Drive this fall (see page 56), it’s definitely worth taking the minor detour to explore Fort Smith, as well. Elaine Warner did just that, and shares her highlights – from the courtroom of Judge Isaac Parker to the new Park at West End – at 405magazine.com/September-2018/ Touring-Fort-Smith/. Incidentally, that new park isn’t far from Rolando’s Restaurante in downtown Fort Smith … and yes, you should take that as a hint.

Park Place

The patch of land in question is noticeably small, but the story behind this Guthrie landmark is bigger than you might think – even after you read “Guthrie’s Lovely Little Park” on page 26. M.J. Alexander dug up additional details on the smallest national park that isn’t, so if you’re interested in a closer look, head online to 405magazine.com/September-2018/Guthries-Green/ for more.

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A new season is waiting in the wings this month, but we’re still hungry for an opportunity to share some of the metro’s outstanding dining options with you – so we’re continuing the giveaway we call the Friday $50. Each week in September, we’ll be giving away $50 worth of gift cards, featuring an eatery found in this month’s issue or one of our office’s other local favorites. For your chance to win, sign up for our e-newsletters if you aren’t already (it’s free, just visit 405magazine.com/newsletters/) and keep an eye out for the link to click. We’ll draw a winner at random each Friday afternoon, which means having something delicious to celebrate could easily be in your future.


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405

PHOTO BY CHARLIE NEUENSCHWANDER

in the

Two of a Kind Mr. Elliott and Mr. Williams – better known to OKC radio listeners as longtime morning show co-hosts Jack and Ron – disappeared from the FM airwaves without saying goodbye. But the scrappy duo hasn’t signed off for good yet; fans, stay tuned. SEPTEMBER 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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in the 405 CREATIVES

KEEP ON ROCKIN’ Radio stars Jack and Ron not signing off yet BY MARK BEUTLER PHOTO BY CHARLIE NEUENSCHWANDER

JACK EL L IOT T WA S ON the air, playing country music at WKY, when the call came from the general manager’s office. The station had been a radio giant back in the day, but its audience was dwindling as powerhouse KXY throttled its competition. So a format change to “easy listening” was in the works, and Elliott was fired. It was early summer 1990. “Getting fired from that place was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Elliott says 28 years later. “No way I could perform in that radio format without taking a head-first dive out a fifth story window. I went across Britton Road, where WKY was located, to the Benham building and met with Ron Williams and station management for KOOL 102. We had dinner and made a deal. The first day we hit the air, we just knew the chemistry was electric.” A few months later, the new team of “Jack and Ron” was gaining momentum, playing all the “KOOL” oldies from the ’50s and ’60s. “We kicked it from day one,” Williams says. “Jack and I had known each other before teaming up, but we just didn’t tell management. Man, those days were fun.”

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“Jack and I had known each other before teaming up, but we just didn’t tell management. Man, those days were fun.” RON W I L L I A MS

But in the radio business, nothing is permanent. A few years later, KXY was, ironically, instrumental in Jack and Ron finding another home. “The company that owned KXY bought KOOL-102 and again, we were caught in a format change,” Elliott says. “KOOL became Twister, and we hit the road. That’s when we landed at KISS-FM, and it was there we enjoyed a 23year run.” Through the years, Elliott said, he and Williams developed a more talk-based morning show with listener calls, features and entertainment. Eventually, station management asked them to move their show a little farther down the dial and breathe some life into


FUN 96.9. And that was the beginning of that chapter’s end. “Over there, we were required to play much more music than our audience had come to know us for,” Elliott says. “We were there a couple of years and our parent company filed for bankruptcy. The entire airstaff was dismissed in basically a corporate move. I do not believe our local management would have ever made such a decision. They even told us ‘Jack and Ron’ was the biggest brand in the OKC radio market.” The end came on Dec. 29, 2017, just before the new year. Much like the call he had received at WKY a couple of decades earlier, Elliott said the axe came down swiftly. “We got off the air that Friday morning and learned it was over,” he says. “No last show, no farewell to our listeners. They just pulled the plug.” Since then, he and Williams have been embracing today’s technology to connect with their fan base. “We have a new podcast, and it is a great opportunity to be in control of our work,” Elliott says. “It’s ours, we own it. The podcasts are audio-only, [but] our producer Brad Reed also shoots the entire thing on video and we run it on our Facebook page, then add it to our YouTube channel and iTunes.” It’s the interaction with their listeners Williams said he misses the most. “I miss being able to touch base with our public, the community, and being able to convey different thoughts to the community,” he says. “Plus, it’s always good to hold buttheads accountable! I appreciate the fantastic adventure we’ve had. Our journey was made even better by the respect we have shown each other. But we would be nowhere without our crowd.” The duo said they still hope to resurface on terrestrial or traditional radio and also have been approached about a possible syndicated show. “We never got a chance to say goodbye to our listeners,” Williams says, “so we appreciate 405 Magazine giving us this forum to say, ‘Thank you.’ And keep your eyes and ears open – Jack and Ron are not done yet!”

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in the 405 TRENDS

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From Blue Seven Large Army green Corkcicle tumbler, $29.99; Small copper Corkcicle tumbler, $24.99

Fill ’Er Up Hydrating in style

for either hot or cold beverages, is a must. Having one not only saves your pocketbook from all those purchases of bottled water, but is environmentally conscientious, as well. There are a lot of great companies making cool (or hot!) and stylish water bottles in a rainbow of colors – subdued or flashy, short or tall, they’re all just right for keeping hydrated. - SAR A GAE WATERS

Blue Seven, 7518 N May, OKC, myblueseven.com; Culinary Kitchen, 7222 N Western, OKC, culinarykitchen.com; Tulips, 570 Buchanan, Norman, tulipshome.com

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From Culinary Kitchen Stemless wine Swig in mint, $19; Light blue Zoku, $38; Recycled glass Bottles-Up, $30

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in the 405 OKLAHOMYTHS

Guthrie’s Lovely Little Park A small piece of not-quite-history ON T HE F RON T lawn of Guthrie’s post office, a

stone marker in the shape of Oklahoma marks where the U.S. Government Land Office once welcomed Land Run homesteaders to file claims on their new turf. But behind the post office there is another monument: an island of green in the parking lot’s sea of asphalt. This 100-square-foot piece of land is promoted as the nation’s smallest national park. The State of Oklahoma touts the plot as a “memorable landmark,” adding, “Guthrie lays claim to the smallest U.S. National Park … Since the state marker stands behind the Guthrie Post Office, technically on federal property, the park’s status eventually changed from a state monument to a national park.” In 2017, the City of Guthrie declared the second week of May as “Smallest National Park Week.” In the months before and after, the Smallest National Park was covered by newspapers, TV stations, magazines and bloggers. THE CLAIM: Guthrie is home to the smallest national park in the United States. THE SOURCE: Travel Oklahoma FACT CHECK: False. Of the 60 national parks in the United States, none are located in Oklahoma. THE TRUTH: Among the current roster of 60 U.S. national parks, the smallest are in states that border Oklahoma: the 5,549-acre Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas and the newly designated Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis, measuring 91 acres. Back in Guthrie, self-appointed guide Stacey Frazier leads the curious on “smallest national park” tours, bedecked in a faux ranger uniform featuring a “Star Trek” patch on her right sleeve and a badge fashioned from the trunk decal of a ’72 Cadillac. She is quick with a quip, honed during years of leading the town’s ghost tours, and offers comments with deadpan delivery: “I have not had a single bear fatality reported in my park since I came on watch.” To draw attention to the site during last year’s Smallest National Park Week, local welders created a decorative iron archway arch declaring “GUTHRIE: FIRST CAPITAL” below silhouettes of a horse-drawn wagon, tipi, two bison and a pump jack.

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MINOR MEMORIES

Ironically enough, Oklahoma once actually was home to the smallest national park in the United States. Platt National Park was established June 29, 1906, out of the old Sulphur Springs Reservation. Featuring 32 freshwater and mineral-rich springs among the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains, Platt was the eighth national park in the United States and – at fewer than 10,000 acres – the smallest. However, Congress voted in 1976 to expand the park to include the Arbuckle Recreation Area and additional land. Platt’s national park status was revoked, in favor of a new name and designation: The Chickasaw National Recreation Area.


WHY SO TINY?

Guthrie’s memorial to its original Land Office wasn’t intended to be so small. By the time the city got around to creating a space, in 1974, it was discovered that a long-ago clerk mistakenly recorded the land to be set aside in remembrance as “100 square feet” instead of “100 feet square.” The post office parking lot had been long established, but a resilient elm in the corner nearest the post office inspired organizers. So they measured out 100 square feet around the tree and built a protective curb around its base. There was no room for a historical plaque, so the marker they ordered was installed near the sidewalk to create a refuge 8 feet by 12.5 feet.

At the arch’s dedication, Frazier mused about how interest in local history waxes and wanes over time. In front of the new panel, with the elm as her witness, she said, “My hope is that by having this here, we’re not going to lose the story again. The stories will be told. And not only will they talk about the tree, they will talk about the Land Run, they will talk about the state capital being moved, they will talk about the economic rebirth, they will talk about this amazing — this completely unique downtown.” Covering the dedication, which also featured Guthrie Vice Mayor Ed Wood, The Guthrie News Leader reported that the event was held “in front of an elm tree and a wrought iron fence, which actually – yeah – is a national park.” Sadly, no. As Ron Parker, chief of interpretation for the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, notes, “Only God can make a flower. Only the U.S. Congress can make a national park.” - M.J. ALEX ANDER Editor’s note: Oklahoma is rich with history, lore and fun facts, but some of them aren’t quite factual. In this series, M.J. Alexander hunts for the accuracy – or lack thereof – behind some of our state’s stories.

SEPTEMBER 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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in the 405 LAUGH LINES

Uncle Charlemagne A Y E A R AG O in this column, I had begun to unravel the mysteries of my family tree. DNA testing had wholly debunked my sister’s genealogical sleuthing that my siblings and I are of Apache heritage (“Native Roots,” October 2017). It was a rude awakening – I went to bed as a proud Apache one day and woke up as Little White Dove the next. Despite having had a year to adjust to my 23andme DNA reveal (100 percent European), I hadn’t fully embraced my new and true identity until the past few weeks. My trek up the ancestral tree has taken on a frenetic pace since Mr. Roth joined another ancestry website, myheritage.com. After watching him painstakingly fill in one leaf after another on his own tree, I added the few sketchy details I know about my side of the family. A click here, a re-route there and in no time, I stumbled onto an online family reunion through familysearch.org. New names appeared, one right after the other, each stretching further back in time. Census records with my relatives’ names on them solidified the data. At first, there weren’t too many surprises. My people were mostly uneducated farmers who had more children than teeth. They did, however, trace back to Plymouth, Massachusetts and Virginia – “Colonial America.” But even this wasn’t too surprising: My DNA says my ancestors aren’t Native Americans, which narrows them down to being Pilgrims, the other white meat. Fleeing their oppressive English and Irish homelands, my Pilgrim forefathers could have inspired Lee Greenwood with their patriotic names on the census records – names like “Lafayette Washington,” “Nancy Alabama” and “Benjamin Franklin.” I continued to click my way back in time. Within 20 minutes, I could link myself to Lisa Gherardini (of Mona Lisa renown), the King and Queen of Dublin and Clovis I, King of the Franks. Royalty! Nooooowwwwwwwww it all makes sense. Of course I’m a royal. I’m no longer Little White Dove – I am Her Royal Highness Little White Dove! I turned to Mr. Roth and claimed my heritage with a single declaration: “I’m a royal, lovey. And I need a maid.” Wasting no time, I shared the news of my blue blood with my own (newly regal) descendants, who were still brooding from the disappointment of not being Apache. With their “fool me once” skepticism, they were quick to dismiss my royal proclamation with a touch of indifference, once they’d confirmed there was no inheritance to claim. No matter. News of this magnitude demands a proportional measure of fanfare. Something more than wearing a tiara

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to work. Something more than insisting that Mr. Roth call me “Your Royal Highness.” This kind of news requires a coat of arms, foiled and embossed on all our stationery. And … a signet ring. But I didn’t stop there. Subsequent clicks up the line revealed that I’m also a descendant of Charlemagne – winner, winner, poulet dinner! With this discovery, I grew more reverent – ok, more pompous – about my pedigree. “Does he even know what a catch I am?” I wondered silently as Mr. Roth sat beside me, clicking away on his laptop to unravel his own family tree. When he announced, “Hey, look here – I’m related to Charlemagne, too,” I recoiled. “Wait, we’re … we’re … are you saying we’re … related? Oh, noooooo. This just got awkward.” My mind raced to find a genealogical escape clause that would suggest I was not married to a cousin (although that would only substantiate my royal lineage). “If you’re related to Charlemagne,” I conjectured, “then we must all be related to Charlemagne. Maybe it’s because we’re both white and we’re from Europe.” I Googled it, like any responsible researcher would do. When I typed in my question, “Is everybody related to,” Google went ahead and added the word “Charlemagne,” as if every white person on an ancestry site had the same fear. In his book A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, a guy named Adam Rutherford unceremoniously stuck a pin into my royal balloon with his concise explanation of how everyone with a drop of European blood is related to Charlemagne, which probably means everyone is also descended from royalty. What else does it mean? I’m still not Apache. Mr. Roth (and every guy I’ve ever dated, for that matter) may or may not be my cousin. I am an un-special, workaday queen. And Mr. Roth is probably royal to the same degree that I am, although I’ve decided to withhold that information from him until I have a tiara. And a signet ring. And a maid. - LAUREN ROTH

ILLUSTRATION BY NICE STUDIO

Whose lineage is it, anyway?


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CULTURAL CAPITAL

The growth of OKC’s Asian District

In one of the great stories of Vietnamese mythology, a carp is the only fish that successfully leaps over a series of gates, and as a reward, is transformed into a dragon. Unlike destructive serpents in Western mythology – think St. George, Beowulf, The Hobbit – Eastern culture views the dragon as an auspicious symbol of prosperity and power, and because of its association with rain, also of life and abundance. The carp becomes a dragon because it was persistent, because it succeeded in its efforts.

IT’S AN APT METAPHOR FOR THE VIETNAMESE COMMUNITY in Oklahoma City. The Viet-

nam War generated a mass emigration of people from the region, including Laos and Cambodia, and the individual stories of courage and perseverance, poverty and loss, and ultimately triumph and prosperity are told with a matter-of-fact tone within OKC’s Asian District. As business owner and second-generation Vietnamese-American Mike Hoang puts it, “My family’s story is unique in America, but not in the Asian District.” The war ended with the fall of Saigon in 1975. The waves of immigration that followed – some not related to the war itself – would last until the late 1990s, as more than 1.5 million refugees were resettled around the world. Of those, more than 700,000 were “boat people,” those who fled the country in boats and ships, and most of whom lived in temporary camps in Southeast Asian nations until they received a sponsor family or organization in another country. The United States was one of the main destinations for Vietnamese refugees, and the U.S. military had camps set up at various bases around the country, including Ft. Chaffee in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Its relative proximity to Oklahoma City made our city an easy choice for permanent settlements. Catholic charities and local Protestant congregations sponsored and resettled hundreds of Vietnamese refugees in 1975 and 1976. Because most of the immigrants fell into two religious categories – either Catholic or Buddhist – Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral became a social and community center for the new arrivals, and so the surrounding neighborhoods, which at that time were suffering from blight and high crime, became home to the first Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodians to arrive. Those first families formed the beginning of the Asian District.

B Y G R E G H O R T O N /// P H O T O S B Y S H A N N O N C O R N M A N

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Co Nguyen with a treasured family portrait

FIRST ARRIVALS Co Nguyen came to Oklahoma City

in 1976; she was 19. Her entire immediate family escaped Vietnam on a fishing boat. Forty-two years later, she is still emotional when she recounts the story. The flotilla of fishing boats was directed toward a large American ship, and as Co recalls, the smaller vessels pulled up alongside the ship, and the passengers climbed the nets to get aboard, leaving their boats behind. As the number of empty smaller boats expanded outward, people had to jump from boat to boat to make it to the ship. “With my own eyes, I saw hundreds lose their lives to the sea,” Co says. “It was a nightmare. My parents and my four siblings all made it. It must have been God protecting us.” When her family arrived in Oklahoma City, there were fewer than a thousand Vietnamese immigrants. Her father worked for an air conditioning contractor and her mom took a job at Tony’s Italian Restaurant on N. Penn. (The location is now Rococo, and owner Bruce Rinehart still has the Tony’s sign in his restaurant.) Co took a job at Split-T until she was hired by AT&T – which sold to Lucent – and worked there for more than 20 years. She met and married her husband in Oklahoma City. The two attended Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help; they were married there in 1978; they raised their six children there, and

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the couple still attends the church. The cathedral would eventually add a Vietnamese-language service when the population reached a point that they needed their own time slot for Mass. As Co recalls, it was about 20 years after they arrived in OKC. “There were no Vietnamese-owned businesses in the district when we got here,” she remembers. “The original Cao Nguyen wasn’t even open yet. Still, the Americans we met were so welcoming and so nice to us. I thank God for the American people.”

FOOD UNITES Ba Luong, whose family owns Super Cao

Nguyen market, credits food with helping solidify the district and open it to non-Asians. “I use this quote a lot, but it’s true,” he says. “Language divides people, but food unites.” Ba’s father, Tri Luong, bought Cao Nguyen from the original owners in 1979, and the store has remained in the family since, including the expansion in 2003. As part of that new development, the Luong family saved room on the complex’s south side for restaurant space. It’s now home to Tsubaki Szechuan, one of the city’s best Chinese restaurants (see page 62), and Ba said he’ll soon be announcing a new restaurant that will be “very authentic” and fill the vacancy left when Mr. Pho closed.


“Before Lido opened, the district only had a couple pho shops and a few mom-and-pop restaurants, not the kinds of businesses that bring in non-Asian diners,” Ba Luong says. “This was before pho became huge, of course. Lido brought fresh, West Coast-style Vietnamese food to Oklahoma City, and people responded. It was the first restaurant in the district to start pulling in lunch diners from downtown and the Capitol.” The Lee family bought Lido in 1990. Tri Luong himself put in the call to friends who were then living in Southern California. The restaurant and the center Vermicelli bowl from Lido in which it’s located have been an anchor in the district ever since. The menu is expansive, but its diversity allows for beginning and experienced diners alike to find dishes they love. Vermicelli bowls and spring rolls remain popular choices, but deeper into the menu, Vietnamese comfort foods such as Salt and Pepper Squid and Thit Kho To (caramelized pork in a clay pot) bring in Vietnamese diners and non-Asians who know their way around the cuisine. The center, originally called Little Saigon, has a new tenant, too, and it’s one of two national, Vietnamese-themed chains in the metro, the other being Lee’s Sandwiches. Bambu started in San Jose, California, in 2008 and has since expanded around the country. The concept is focused on chè, which are dessert drinks made with coconut milk or coconut water, but also offers coffee, tea, smoothies and juices. “It’s a dessert concept,” Ba Luong says, “so you can eat spicy at Lido or Tsubaki Szechuan and then go cool off at Bambu.”

“[my father] made the push to be more inclusive, to be an Asian district, not a Vietnamese district.” - Ba Luong -

Super Cao Nguyen co-owner Ba Luong

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LANGUAGE

Barrier THE QUESTION HAD TO BE ASKED:

Mike Hoang

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Is there a language barrier in the district? Can a non-Asian move comfortably, dine easily, interact without confusion as a patron of the district? It’s one of those questions you put out there, and in our world of heightened racial awareness, you wait with breath held for the sign you’ve asked a fair question. “It’s an issue for me, and I’m Vietnamese,” Mike Hoang says. Hoang, 32, owns a marketing firm downtown and a real estate investment firm. His English is native perfect. “My Vietnamese needs work. I’m not always confident I’ll be able to communicate well in the language.” Hoang was born in the U.S. His family arrived in 1983, and their three children tell the story of their journey: eldest, a daughter, born in Vietnam; middle, a son, born in a refugee camp in the Philippines; and youngest, Mike, born at St. Anthony in Oklahoma City. Because his parents worked constantly, he was raised by family and friends, and like so many Americans, he learned English from “Sesame Street” and friends. He spoke Vietnamese at home, and they went to “school” on Sundays to get the grammar and structure of the language. Still, between school and friends, and then work later, he used English more and more. The consensus, though, is that most businesses in the district are very English friendly. Of course, you might encounter small businesses where language can be difficult, but even there, the merchants are happy to have customers and will make a way around the barrier. For many reasons, including the language issue, Hoang, Thuan Nguyen and Phuong Vu see themselves as an “in between” generation, a group tasked with bridging the divide between first and third generations. “Our parents sacrificed so much,” Hoang says. “We are here because of them. I’m fully American and fully Vietnamese. I inhabit a space in between. As a generation, if we are not mindful of preserving our traditions, our children will lose those traditions.”


LITTLE SAIGON For a time in

“We were thrilled to hear from this group,” Cooper-Hart says. “They were already extremely well organized when they reached out. They’d secured their 501(c)3 status and worked with the Center for Nonprofits. We’ve discussed what the next step will be for the Asian District, because every district has a different first step.”

the 1990s and 2000s, the Asian community around NW 23rd and Classen Boulevard discussed how best to brand their district. Since the overwhelming majority of refugee families had been Vietnamese, “Little Saigon” was a popular choice. Many OKC residents have memories of Little Saigon signage along Classen – not because that was the name of THE NEXT GENERATION Thuan the district, but because the center in Nguyen owns THN Insurance which Lido operates used to be called Solutions, with his office located the Little Saigon Center. Although it in the Asian District, and is one of was common to refer to the district the young business owners leading that way, the name did not win out the call for more development. A for the district, thanks in large part first-generation immigrant – he to Tri Luong. was a toddler when his family “My father wanted to put up signage arrived in OKC in 1979 – Thuan that would identify our district,” Ba helped found the Asian District Luong says. “He made the push to be Cultural Association, the 501(c)3 more inclusive, to be an Asian disthat Cooper-Hart referenced. trict, not a Vietnamese district.” The organization has a seven-memIn fact, community leaders had Further success should be in the district’s future. ber board, all of whom are business talked about adding a physical gate owners inside and outside the district. The board is a mixture that would span Classen, similar to projects in well-known of first- and second-generation immigrants, and they see Chinatowns and Koreatowns around the country. Engineering themselves as something of a bridge generation. Many of the was the problem, though. second-generation children were born within a few years of “Classen is six lanes plus a median,” Luong says. “The gate arriving, so the children of the first generation are close to would have collapsed.” their age. Their experiences are very similar, and they are all Signage was the obvious choice, and “Asian District” evenin their 30s and 40s now, ready to extend the reach of the tually won out as the preferred designation. The city council community outside the boundaries of the district. made it official in 2005. “We formed the association as a way to preserve our traditions, but also to entice economic development into the OFFICIAL STATUS The Asian District is smaller than most district,” Thuan says. “We would like to see more diverse locals realize. Officially, it runs from NW 23rd to NW 30th economic development projects, as well as more real estate streets, and from Western to McKinley avenues. That means development.” popular and recognizable spots are outside the district, includPhuong Vu, a Realtor and board member, said his genering Pho Lien Hoa and Vietnamese Public Radio. In practice, ation – the second – is tasked with carrying forward a torch locals treat everything from NW 22nd to NW 36th as the distheir parents are passing along. “Asian culture is different with trict, so unofficially, it includes Café Kacao, Lee’s Sandwiches parenting,” Phuong says. “Your parents aren’t your buddies; it’s and Memorial Park. ‘yes, sir’ and ‘no, sir,’ and many of our parents worked multiple A general obligation bond in 2007 paid for the streetscape, jobs after they came here. We are respectful of their traditions including the Asian District markers, but the district operates and their ways of doing things.” independently of partnerships such as Downtown OKC. Jill Ba Luong addresses this issue with an example drawn from DeLozier, vice president of the Downtown OKC Partnership, Super Cao Nguyen. “When we first expanded, it was tough. We said the original Business Improvement District for downtown had an identity crisis. I started adding products slowly from difdistricts was created in 2000. Since, the BID has been revised ferent countries; my father had always run an Asian market, but to include Film Row and Midtown, but she said more expanI was getting requests from other places. Once I added things sion is unlikely. and the store didn’t fail, my father accepted the changes. We “We already have one of the largest and most complicated now have products from more than 60 countries of origin.” BIDs in the country,” she says, but adds, “that doesn’t stop Diversity is a theme that kept coming up in conversations other districts from becoming their own BID.” with business owners in the district. The younger generation In fact, a coalition of young business leaders in the Asian is ready to embrace a more diverse Asian District, including District has approached Kim Cooper-Hart, who oversees the city of Oklahoma City’s Commercial District Revitalizabusinesses such as Café Kacao, Classen Coffee Company and tion Program, about more intentional development plans other non-Asian-owned businesses that bring economic health for the area. and vitality to the district and the Asian community overall.

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THE

Next STEP

Asian Night Market Festival TOWARD THAT END, THE ASSOCIATION

hosted the first Asian Night Market Festival in Military Park on June 9. Samantha Vu, a scientist at the State Health Department and a first-generation refugee – she was 2 when she arrived in 1980 – acted as the event planner. “We had approximately 15,000 people at the event,” Samantha says. “We need more of this in the world. We have too much exclusion and prejudice. It was wonderful to see thousands of people come together to enjoy the food, displays and entertainment, and to get a taste of Asian culture.” The team hung flags for each Asian country represented, more than a dozen total. But in addition to the Asian displays and food, diversity was present in the form of dancers from Central and South America. Thuan Nguyen said the association wanted to showcase not just Asian culture, but diversity in the Asian District as a way of bringing the larger community together. Going forward, the Asian District Cultural Association hopes to stage the night market festival annually. They also are dreaming about an Asian cultural and community center in the district. The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (Tet Trung Thu) has been celebrated every year since the refugees arrived, inside and outside the district. Eventually, they want to get outside the district even more; Thuan Nguyen talked of dragon boat races along the river. The ideas come as fast as the team can speak, and at the heart of them is the idea of preserving the traditions, honoring their previous generations – those who survived and those who died along the treacherous route from Southeast Asia to Oklahoma City – and instilling in their fully Asian-fully American children the treasures of their grandparents’ diverse Asian ways and customs.

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#Meet Me In Mee t Julia… Barkeep is bringing something different to OKC, providing cocktail supplies, ingredients, accessories and drinkware. Bragging the largest variety of bitters in the state, Barkeep also has plenty of mixers, syrups and tinctures that will allow you to get creative and experiment with a huge variety of flavors. We have all the tools you need to make drinks like a pro, and we have a bar to teach you to use them! Come sit at our little bar where you can get a cocktail featuring some of the ingredients in-store and watch how it’s done. Also, keep on the look out for classes and tastings! 1121 N Walker Ave | 405.613.5672 | barkeepokc.com The Black Scintilla is a lifestyle boutique located in the heart of Midtown. We specialize in making every woman feel beautiful inside and out by offering sizes small to 3xl, complimentary hemming alterations, and affordable prices. With our carefully selected variety of gift able items, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for anyone on your list.

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Made in the Shade A mix of textures, well-chosen accents for visual interest and an overall feeling of comfort – the Palazzolos’ backyard retreat is a sun-dappled spiritual reflection of their Nichols Hills home’s beautiful interior.

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home HABITAT

THE PALAZZOLO PALAZZO A rebirth in Nichols Hills

BY CHRISTINE EDDINGTON PHOTOS BY DON RISI

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In 2011, Lindsay Palazzolo, her husband Anthony and their daughters Anna and Charlotte bought a classic home in Nichols Hills and promptly gutted it right down to the studs. The reimagining took a year, and while it was happening, the family decamped to a nearby condominium to wait patiently for their new-old home to be reborn.

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home HABITAT

“I T TOOK A Y E A R , because we contracted it ourselves, while we were working full time,” Lindsay says. She made her career in oil and gas, but her education is in architecture, and she’s had a passion for interior design since she was a girl. “I painted my room a different color every year when I was growing up. By the time I was 9, I was constantly rearranging my room – and it’s still my passion.” Palazzolo retired from the oil business and has gone back to her roots: design. Her new enterprise, ZZolo Design, focuses on residential interior design and decorating. The original homeowners’ household had three daughters, and there were enough bedrooms on the first floor for everyone, so with the exception of a utility room, the entire second story was closed off and unfinished. The Palazzolos bought the house from one of those daughters, who had recently begun framing in a master suite upstairs, following the home’s original floor plans.

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The living room (top) initially had one small door, leading indirectly to a galley kitchen (above). Lindsay wanted to open up the space without losing the home’s individual rooms. It’s a peaceful space, with plenty of visual texture. “I don’t use colors on the walls,” Palazzolo says. Here, a custom-mixed beige on the walls is paired with Sherwin Williams Navajo White trim, creating the perfect amount of contrast. (left) The Palazzolo posse: Charlotte, Lindsay, Anna and Anthony


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home HABITAT

The kitchen opens into a family room (above) that is at once spacious and cozy. Darker neutrals are the name of the game. Leather, brocade, wood, velvet, metal, stone and basketry combine, making this space a feast for the senses. Art and accessories enhance smaller niches (top and right) with a sense of airiness. What once was a dining room (below) now serves as Lindsay’s ZZolo Designs HQ. She wanted a bright, light-filled office, and the dining room had everything she wanted. Fortunately, the large family room is spacious enough for family dining.

Around the same time that the owner’s daughter was preparing to sell the Palazzolos’ now-home, Lindsay and her brood were happily living in Edgemere Park. But fickle fate intervened when a real estate friend of Lindsay’s called one day out of the blue. “She said, ‘I’ve got a client and I’d like to show them your house,’” she says. After seeing it, and although it wasn’t for sale, the clients were smitten, and asked the Palazzolos to name their price. After some stressful negotiations, including a busted appraisal and, finally, a cash offer, the deal was done. Shortly thereafter the Nichols Hills home, which had been patiently waiting for someone to breathe it back to life, was reborn.

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travel Deciduous Dazzle

COURTESY OKLAHOMA TOURISM

Independence Day is behind us, but there are still colorful explosions of a more arboreal kind coming up soon â&#x20AC;&#x201C; just head to the Ouachita National Forest in southeastern Oklahoma once autumn gets fully underway. If you catch it at the right time and in prime conditions, the 54-mile stretch of roadway known as the Talimena Drive is a truly awe-inspiring sight.

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travel STATESIDE

LEAVES OF SPLENDOR

The Talimena Scenic Drive

Fall foliage near and far

L E A F PEEPI NG is a major tourism draw in New England

DR I V E FOR BE AU T Y Looking for spectacular autumn scenery in Oklahoma? The state’s premier foliage route, the Talimena Scenic Drive, glows with color – bronze, gold and russet, punctuated with the rich purple of gum trees, scarlet of sugar maples and sumac and deep green pines. One of the nation’s first designated Scenic Byways, this 54-mile drive stretches from Talihina in Oklahoma to Mena, Arkansas. Plan a minimum of two hours, and don’t be surprised

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PHOTOS COURTESY OKLAHOM TOURISM

around this time of year … but unless you also want some fresh lobster, there are other options around the country to see breathtakingly beautiful examples of nature’s colorful handiwork. Just hop in the car and head to some of my favorite spots for autumn appreciation.


NATURE’S DRAMA IN ASHLAND, OREGON

PHOTO BY MATT PAYNE

Each autumn, around the same time as Ashland’s famed Shakespeare Festival, the trees of this southern Oregon town perform their multi-chromatic version of high drama. Lithia Park and the surrounding areas open a splendid treasure chest of gold and red leaves, giving travelers another reason to visit the already thriving cultural and culinary hub.

if you find yourself taking longer. Traffic on the winding twolane road is heavy during peak leaf-watching season, and with dozens of overlooks, multiple stops are a must. Take a picnic, since there’s only one restaurant on the route, and there are no gas stations and scarce bathrooms – so plan ahead! Just across the state line in Arkansas, the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge sits in a state park near the end of the route. With a spectacular view, good food and comfortable lodging, it provides a great stopping place. Stop at the Talimena Scenic Drive Visitor Center, 201 First in Talihina, for information before you hit the byway. With fewer scenic overlooks but considerably less traffic, Highway 259 from Big Cedar to Broken Bow offers just as much color. Beavers Bend State Park is a great destination and its Folk Festival, Nov 9-11, is a major area event. Peak color is difficult to predict, since it depends on a variety of factors, but late October through mid-November is a good guess. Check online for updates at talimenascenicdrive.com. R IDI NG T HE R A IL S For those seeking a thoroughly memorable sensory experience, this fall trip hits all the buttons. See gorgeous mountain scenery, feel the rocking of the train’s cars

on the rails, hear the clacking of the wheels and the shrill sound of the whistle, smell fresh-baked rolls and taste a cooked-fromscratch meal, all in one day’s great outing: Take a trip on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Co-owned by the states of New Mexico and Colorado, the Cumbres and Toltec is the nation’s highest and longest narrowgauge railroad. Running from Chama, New Mexico, to SEPTEMBER 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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travel STATESIDE

STRIKING GOLD IN COLORADO

Antonito, Colorado, it hops back and forth, crossing the state line a total of 11 times on one trip. Although peak foliage time is unpredictable, mid-September to mid-October should provide good color. One advantage for viewers is that the rails span several thousand feet in elevation during the journey, so the trees won’t all turn at once. Check online at cumbrestoltec.com for an up-to-date prediction. You can depart from either end of the line, enjoy a tasty lunch mid-trip in Osier and bus back to where you started. On the trip, sit back, relax and take in spectacular views and mountainsides glowing with brilliant yellow aspens – after all, Mother Nature is an extremely talented artist. - ELAINE WARNER

Portrait of a

What does it mean to be a Charger? By the time they graduate, Heritage Hall students stand out among their peers as some of the best educated, college-bound students in the country. Fully prepared for success at the university level, our graduates are confident, compassionate leaders who have contributed hundreds of service learning hours as part of a well-rounded education that fuels character development and a lifelong aspiration To Learn, To Lead, and To Serve.

CHARGER

L U K E S T E WA RT TO

LEARN

Heritage Hall “Lifer” • 2018 National Merit Semifinalist • Cum Laude Society (GPA ranking in top 10 seniors) • 2018 Heritage Hall Chinese Award recipient • 2018 Heritage Hall Mathematics Award recipient •

TO

AT T E N D I N G : MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Heritage Hall Challenge Scholar Independent Studies Program Scholar (International Relations in East Asia) • Academic Bowl Member: 2018 4A State Champion; 2017 4A State Runner-up •

LEAD

2018 Headmaster’s Award recipient • Member of OKC Riversport (rowing club) Varsity • Member of OKC Riversport Lightweight 4+ and 8+ • Oklahoma City Boathouse District Corporate Rowing program – Coxswain • Dramatic Arts stage manager, sound and light operator/designer •

TO

S E RV E

Special Care, Inc. summer classroom volunteer • Teen Board for Special Care, Inc. •

1800 NW 122nd St. Oklahoma City, OK 73120 • 405.749.3001 • heritagehall.com

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PHOTOS: ASPEN BY MATT PAYNE; NEW MEXICO BY ELAINE WARNER

On a scale of one to epic, Aspen’s rugged beauty is off the charts on its least pleasant day. But from mid-September into October, when the aspens’ chalky trunks begin their annual shimmering dance of gold and yellow, one could spend a week among the trees without even visiting the beautiful mountain town of the same name. Nowhere are the visual riches more evident than on a drive up beautiful Castle Creek.


With cooling temperatures on the horizon, it is a great time to get outside in the Ozarks. At Big Cedar Lodge guests enjoy countless adventures, ranging from a 2.5 mile cave and nature trail tour to horseback riding in a 10,000 acre nature park. After, enjoy patio dining with breathtaking views at one of many spectacular restaurants. Whether you are looking for a weekend stay or just a day getaway, connect with the great outdoors at Big Cedar Lodge.

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dining

PHOTO BY SCOTTY O’DANIEL

Handle With Care The menu at Tsubaki Szechuan calls them “little juicy pork buns,” and that’s not poetic license: These tender xiaolongbao are better known as “soup dumplings,” because they actually contain a warm broth surrounding the meat filling. They’re delicious, and rare in OKC, but a star of the menu in this Asian District must. SEPTEMBER 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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dining

LOCAL FLAVOR

CHINA’S SOUTHWEST STYLE Savor and spice at Tsubaki Szechuan BY STEVE GILL PHOTOS BY SCOT T Y O’DANIEL

ON E OF T HE BE ST things about Chinese food might be its

ubiquity – chances are that wherever you happen to be at any given time, there’s probably someplace nearby that will sell you some sweet and sour pork. Even my fairly small home town in southeastern Oklahoma had a Western Sizzlin’, a nondescript Tex-Mex place, a scattering of fast food outlets … and Chan’s Oriental Restaurant. (Friday night was fried catfish night, but that’s another story.) From egg rolls in east L.A. to moo goo gai pan near the middle of nowhere, going out for Chinese is a breeze. On the other hand, consider that mainland China is bigger than the contiguous U.S., with more than four times our population. As a category, “Chinese food” is an even looser catchall than “American food,” which can cover dishes from burgers to barbeque brisket to clam chowder. All of which is to say that Take, for yes, sesame chicken is delicious if done well, but if you’re given example, the the chance to branch out a bit more into regional Chinese “Dry spicy tasty cuisine, you should try it. And fortunately for OKC diners, one beef with ginger such opportunity has joined the Asian District in the form of and peanut” Tsubaki Szechuan. (three peppers) A collaboration between Peter and Mandy Liu and partner – a mouthful in Henry Yang (who runs Tsubaki Sushi on Memorial Road), its execution, as well menu a tribute to the cuisine of the Szechuan (Sichuan) province as name. The in southwest China. In a coincidental similarity to the American ginger flavor takes southwest, the region has a well-deserved rep for spicy spea backseat to the cialties, and several items on this menu are not playing around smoked chilies when it comes to rocking diners’ taste buds. But speaking of the for a delicious blend of textures and burst of flavor. There’s also a menu, its most immediately impressive attribute is sheer size. It chance your plate, like ours, will have an unexpected passenger, is, and I am not exaggerating, 27 pages. True, much of that space in the form of a carrot carved into the shape of a surprisingly is taken up by color photos, but it would take weeks of dedicated detailed roosting bird. visits to eat even halfway through – there’s simply a huge wealth Manager Bao Nguyen calls the Mapo tofu (three peppers) “a of options to peruse and consider. So you should probably order classic Chinese dish that’s actually very hearty despite being some dumplings (see page 61) right away before getting too lost tofu” – its sauce made from fermented black beans is a powerful in the possibilities. example of Szechuan cuisine’s characteristic combination of hot If you want familiarity, you can get classic lo mein or beef and and numbing spiciness. In general, I’m more likely to go for extra broccoli; if you’re feeling more hardcore, they can whip firm tofu as a matter of preference, but this dish makes up dishes based around tripe, tendons and kidneys. But a good case for the silky, almost creamy alternative. the restaurant’s highest points are in the dishes just outThe Authentic Szechuan fish filet is also listed at TSUBAKI SZECHUAN side what Americans would consider standard Chinese three peppers, although that seems low to me. It might fare, and the sweet spot – er, spicy spot – is generally be my fault for being insufficiently cautious with 1117 NW 25th, OKC found accompanied by little chili pepper icons. the Sichuan peppercorns; they aren’t overpowering 405.609.6606

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individually, but they can combine their powers to become near-incapacitating if you don’t space them out. The fish beneath them – I believe it’s swai – is firm and tender, and its broth wonderfully fragrant. Unless you’ve wrecked your sense of smell because your nose is running from too many peppers. One more recommendation, in case you’re not in the mood for quite so much zing – the crispy orange shredded beef has zero pepper icons, but might be my favorite thing I’ve found so far. Its short strands of beef are an ideal texture, and the thick, sticky sauce of garlic and ginger and orange peel is incredibly rich and addictive. This is a “try to discreetly scrape up a few more flecks off the empty plate before the waitress comes back” dish. The Lius, Yang, Nguyen, the waitstaff and everyone involved have done well at bringing a specific regional cuisine across the world to share with OKC, and making the experience accessible to anyone. You don’t have to be able to name the Eight Cuisines of China to enjoy it; just grab some chopsticks – or even a fork – and shower your taste buds with spicy goodness. SEPTEMBER 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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dining

CHEF’S TABLE

Vietnamese Comfort Food Danh Do’s caramelized catfish

DA N H DO STA RT ED hanging out in his family’s kitchen because it was the one place he

could get one-on-one time with his mom. He grew up primarily on Vietnamese food, and as a kid, he watched cooking shows and loved being pulled into the kitchen to help his mother. “I started cooking in high school, but it was really basic stuff,” he says. “When I went to college, I experimented with more complex dishes.” How does a chemical engineering major end up in Chef Kurt Fleischfresser’s chef apprenticeship? Do said he bounced around between a couple of majors, but it was at a church event – a career day program with a Q&A – that he figured out what he wanted to do. Do still remembers the moment. “When it was my turn, I went on about my current major – some sort of business degree I don’t remember anymore – and one of the kids asked why I wasn’t pursuing a career in cooking.” At many of the retreats and events, Do had cooked for kids and volunteers, who liked his food enough that they assumed he’d go pro. The indirect vote of confidence gave him the push he needed to commit to culinary arts. He eventually secured a gig at a country club’s

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snack bar. When the club decided to upgrade to a full kitchen, they asked him to take the job. “They were one of the few places that didn’t care that I didn’t have any previous work experience,” he says. “No idea if it was because they were desperate for people or they believed in me. That’s actually where a coworker told me about The Coach House program.” Do worked with Fleischfresser and Chef David Henry for about two years. He’s currently the general manager at Gogi Go in Midtown, with his chef friends Dan Johnson and Kevin Lee. On days when he’s not at work, he is often baking macarons for Koala Tea, a boba tea concept he owns with some family members, or dreaming up new dessert options. His love of sports never went away either; he’s an avid Thunder and Sooners fan. Mostly, though, he’s a homebody, so it’s appropriate that for his recipe, he chose classic Vietnamese cooking – comfort food based on his mother’s old family recipe. - GREG HORTON

PHOTOS BY SHANNON CORNMAN

For Chef Do’s caramelized catfish recipe, go to 405magazine.com/ Eat-Drink


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KEY $ most entrees under $10 $$ most entrees $10 to $25 $$$ most entrees over $25 outdoor dining reservations accepted valet parking new or updated entry

American

A Flight of Flavor Variety shines in Eddie’s wings FO U N D AT 930 E 2nd in Edmond, just east of UCO, Eddie’s Bar

and Grill is the namesake and magnum opus of Eddie Wrenn. While its ample dark wood black accents and low lighting make it a cozy spot for a beer and a burger (pro tip: The signature Eddie’s burger is an excellent choice), especially when there’s a game on the giant screens, the restaurant’s biggest, most popular claim to fame is its wings. Grilled to succulent perfection and sold by the pound, they’re generously basted in one of 15 sauces from gochujang to Carolina mustard to a tastebud-searing – in a good way – scorpion pepper sauce. On Wednesdays, when they’re on special for a tantalizing 50 cents apiece, “we’ll sell anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000,” says Wrenn. Fans will also soon be able to find Wrenn’s recipe at new restaurant Hott Wings (the extra t is presumably for extra temperature), coming to the Edmond Railyard complex, 23 W First in the former Cross Timbers lumber yard. The mixed-use open concept will also be home to Roxy’s Ice Cream, Wicked Hangry, The Chosen Juan taco shop and more. Wrenn says he thinks of it as “a cross between The Jones Assembly and Bleu Garten,” and a big development for Edmond’s future. It should be opening any month now, so stay tuned … In the meantime, Eddie’s does prime rib on Fridays, and flies fresh salmon in regularly, so there’s plenty to tempt a palate. But for taste and price, especially if you’re in the mood for spice, it’s definitely worth giving the wings a test flight. - STEVE GILL

405 MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2018

NEIGHBORHOOD JAM Serving tasty takes on classic American dishes and more specialized options, this breakfast-centric spot aims to become a community favorite through outstanding execution. 15124 Lleytons Court, Edmond, 242.4161, 102 W Main, Norman, 310.2127 $

AURORA Its warmly comfortable atmosphere makes a perfect backdrop for a quick cup of Hoboken coffee or hearty breakfast or lunch assembled from superb ingredients – just be certain not to miss the beautiful secluded backyard area. 1704 NW 16th, OKC, 609.8854 $

PICASSO CAFÉ Their neighbors in the Paseo are painters, potters and sculptors, so it’s apt that creativity abounds in these zippy sandwiches, salads, pizza and surprises, including plentiful selections for vegetarians. 3009 Paseo, OKC, 602.2002 $

THE DRUM ROOM March your own drumsticks in for a heap of crispy, juicy fried chicken (among the city’s best) starring alongside fried okra, waffles and a fully loaded bar. 4300 N Western, OKC, 604.0990 $$

THE PRESS Built in a former printing facility and garage, this concept from The Mule’s team adds Oklahomainspired comfort food to the Plaza District – the chicken-fried steak comes recommended. 1610 N Gatewood, OKC, 982.1010 $$

EDDIE’S BAR & GRILL This stylish spot not far from UCO is equally ideal for a casual drink, appetizers while watching the game or a dinner date. And bear in mind that the wings are outstanding. 930 E 2, Edmond, 285.7725 $$ HUNNY BUNNY Bringing the allure of fresh, hot breakfast treats to Uptown 23rd, this purveyor of made-fromscratch biscuit sandwiches located in the Tower Theatre is a must for comfort food lovers. 429 NW 23rd, OKC $ THE HUTCH ON AVONDALE The all-time classic Coach House receives an update with a more modern menu sprinkled with experimental twists, and a full suite of tempting cocktails, wines and spirits. 6437 Avondale, OKC, 842.1000 $$ THE JONES ASSEMBLY It’s noteworthy as a spectacular concert venue, but don’t overlook the kitchen’s output the rest of the time. The bar (try a Frosé) and main menu (try everything) are sufficient to make memories even on non-special occasions. 901 W Sheridan, OKC, 212.2378 $$ KITCHEN NO. 324 A seasonally inspired café and craft bakery serving spectacular rustic American cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner, and a thorough treat for breakfast or brunch. 324 N Robinson, OKC, 763.5911 $ KITCHEN AT COMMONPLACE Few bookstores offer more than coffee and pastries, but then Commonplace Books isn’t exactly ordinary. This full restaurant is a small but savory treat. 1325 N Walker, OKC, 534.4540 $$ MARY EDDY’S Inside the inviting environs of Film Row anchor 21c Museum Hotel, this showplace of a

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NASHBIRD Make tracks to this 9th Street spot serving Nashville-style “Hot Dang!” chicken, with whatever spice level you like. Speedy service, whiskey cocktails and beer and a spectacular patio add extra savor. 1 NW 9th, OKC, 388.0033 $

RED CUP Comfortably ramshackle surroundings encourage curling up for conversation over great coffee, baked treats, vegetarian-friendly breakfast and lunch specials, and live music. It’s highly recommended. 3122 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 525.3430 $ SCOTTIE’S DELI Soups, salads and especially sandwiches, all made from scratch and featuring meats that are cured, smoked and cooked in-house. Start with the pastrami and get ready to fall in love. 427 NW 23rd, OKC, 698.3696 $ SCRATCH Isn’t that the best place for food to come from? Top-of -the-line ingredients are combined into entrees and sides that are carefully concocted in-house, as are the bevy of wondrous craft cocktails. 132 W Main, Norman, 801.2900; 607 NW 28th, OKC $$ VAST Keeping your attention on the steaks, seafood and other temptations might be difficult; the view from atop the Devon Tower is truly unparalleled in Oklahoma, making this a fantastic date spot. 280 W Sheridan, 49th floor, OKC, 702.7262 $$$

Asian CAFÉ ICON Tempting sushi, Japanese specialties and delicious spectacles fill the menu to bursting with visually splendid and palate-pleasing treats. 311 S Blackwelder, Edmond, 340.8956 $$ EL TORO CHINO Big, bold flavors from disparate cuisines are blended in this self-described “Latin + Asian Kitchen” - creating results that are as excitingly distinctive as they are delicious. 2801 NW 36th, Norman, 708.9472 $$

PHOTO BY SCOTTY O’DANIEL

GOOD TASTE

restaurant turns out a seasonally driven menu of expertly tuned flavors and dishes meant to be shared. 900 W Main, OKC, 982.6900 $$


GORO An “izakaya” is a Japanese pub; visitors to the Plaza District will quickly come to associate the term with expertly crafted deliciousness thanks to this cheerful spot for ramen, yakitori, bar snacks and more. 1634 Blackwelder, OKC, 606.2539 $ GRAND HOUSE This longtime Asian District favorite adds an extra touch of atmospheric class to complement its extensive range of Chinese cuisine – try the weekend dim sum. 2701 N Classen, OKC, 524.7333 $$ KWAN’S KITCHEN Cantonese classics and French-Chinese cuisine in truly sumptuous surroundings? The roomy, regal Kwan’s has you covered. And try the lunch menu’s array of $8 selections for a quick, savory bite. 3031 W Memorial, OKC, 607.8838 $$ MUSASHI’S Exquisitely flavorful Japanese cuisine prepared with genuine artistry, thanks to the skilled chefs executing culinary performance art at tableside hibachi grills. It’s a great spot for a special occasion. 4315 N Western, OKC, 602.5623 $$ NOODEE / OKIE POKIE Rice or salad or noodles, grilled meats or fresh seafood, topped and sauced with a rainbow of options – whatever you pick from this pair of concepts under one roof, the resulting bowl will be just what you want, and also delicious. 2411 N Guernsey, OKC, 605.5272 $$ TSUBAKI SZECHUAN Bold flavors are a hallmark of Szechuan cuisine, so tell your taste buds to buckle up; spice is always present but never overpowering in this collection of staples and authentically executed dishes. 1117 NW 25th, OKC, 609.6606 $$ YUZO Variety is the word in this sushi tapas bar, boasting a tempting swirl of Colombian, Brazilian and Japanese culinary influences. 808 N Broadway, OKC, 702.9808 $$

Bar & Pub Food MATTY MCMILLEN’S Specialty cocktails or straight whiskey, the beverage selection nicely sets off a classic menu in the Hal Smith Restaurant Group’s take on an Irish pub – try the weekend brunch buffet. 2201 NW 150th, Edmond, 607.8822 $$ OAK & ORE A Plaza District port of call built with repurposed rustic materials, it offers more than a handful of creative sandwiches that practically require a knife and fork, as well as a tantalizing selection of lovingly chosen craft beers. 1732 NW 16th, OKC, 606.2030 $

Barbeque THE BUTCHER BBQ STAND It’s open three days a week and is a good distance from the heart of the metro – but it doesn’t matter, because this is absolutely some of the best barbeque you’ll find anywhere. Go early and prepare to be dazzled. 3402 W Hwy 66, Wellston, 240.3437 $$ LEO’S BAR-B-Q Dense, rich flavor and tender texture, delivered in genuine unpolished style for commendable value – no wonder its ribs and brisket are favorites among Oklahoma connoisseurs. 3631 N Kelley, OKC 424.5367 $ SWADLEY’S Expertly prepared meats – the sausage is especially succulent – form the backbone of this Oklahoma chain’s crowd-pleasing menu. And if there’s a special occasion approaching, they’re also award-winning caterers. 5 metro locations, swadleys.com $$

Burgers & Sandwiches THE GARAGE BURGERS & BEER It can get noisy in the sports-bar atmosphere, but even so your focus will likely be on savoring the many tempting flavor possibilities of huge, juicy burgers and fries. 8 metro locations, eatatthegarage.com $

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NIC’S GRILL It’s small, it’s crowded … and it’s incredible. It’s only open for lunch and the lines are often long, but the colossal burgers are easily among the metro’s best. Don’t forget some money, since it’s cash-only. 1202 N Penn, OKC, 524.0999 $ TUCKER’S ONION BURGERS With one burger, plus the recently added Impossible Burger (vegetarian), one side (fries) and one salad, the menu is easy to remember - and the execution makes the meal unforgettable. Add a shake and enjoy. 4 metro locations, tuckersonionburgers.com $

Continental BLACKBIRD A Campus Corner gastropub pairing succulently creative dishes like pot roast nachos with a broad beer, wine and whiskey list. There’s little on the menu that won’t tempt palates. 575 S University, Norman, 928.5555 $$

SEAN CUMMINGS IRISH RESTAURANT The namesake chef brings the food, drinks, music and atmosphere of an Emerald Isle public house back to the metro – go raise a glass. 7628 N May, OKC $$

CHEEVER’S Southwestern-influenced recipes (the chicken-fried steak is a house specialty) and love of seafood drive the contemporary comfort food in one of the city’s finest dining destinations. 2409 N Hudson, OKC, 525.7007 $$

THE WINSTON A menu packed with intriguing possibilities among “elevated pub food” balances out an impressive selection of beer, wine and whiskies. Cheers. 106 W Main, Norman, 561.7616 $$

EN CROUTE A warmly welcoming, comfortable café in Nichols Plaza offers treats all day long, from fresh pastries to select spirits and beer, with special emphasis on artisanal cheese

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Hasta Luego, Summer Drink to patio weather

LUDIVINE The menu adjusts constantly to reflect availability of elite-quality, locally sourced ingredients - but every dish is the result of genuine culinary artistry. 805 N Hudson, OKC, 778.6800 $$$ THE MANTEL Marvelous steaks, seafood and other specialties combine with a refined atmosphere to set the stage for a truly memorable meal, especially if you have a date to impress. 201 E Sheridan, OKC, 236.8040 $$$ THE METRO A perennial favorite that feels comfortably upscale without exerting pressure to impress on its clientele, the far-reaching menu covers culinary high points from vichyssoise to crème brulée. 6418 N Western, OKC, 840.9463 $$ PASEO GRILL Quiet and intimate inside, cheerful and comfortable out on the patio, with an award-winning menu filled with distinctive flavors inspired by the cuisines of Europe in both areas – try the duck salad. 2909 Paseo, OKC, 601.1079 $$$ THE PRITCHARD WINE BAR Tempted by tempranillo? Musing about muscat? This Plaza District stop is amply stocked with an extensive list of exceptional wines, and sampling the varied dishes is a pleasure in itself. 1749 NW 16th, OKC, 601.4067 $

SU M M E R I N O K L AHO MA can be problematic for lovers of

outdoor relaxation – alfresco dining loses some of its allure when the air feels like the inside of a convection oven – so September, with its promise of changing seasons and cooler-but-not-too-cool weather, should be celebrated with a welcome return to the patio. And an excellent place for that celebration is atop the Bricktown Canal, with a frosty margarita in hand, outside Yucatan Taco Stand, 100 E California. Bartender Chris Terrill’s strawberry mint version is fueled by Herradura tequila muddled with strawberries, fresh lime and a touch of basil that provides a counterpoint to the fruit’s sweetness. It’s refreshing and extremely tasty … but given that pineapple and cinnamon are two of my favorite flavors, the version that combines them is an even better choice. In a drink this delicious, I don’t mind that its Don Julio blanco is barely perceptible, but if you’re in the mood to savor that spirit, there’s plenty behind the bar. In fact, that label is one of … hang on … carry the four … 72 varieties of tequila listed on their menu. That is an absolutely impressive number. J.J. Kuhn, who recently became the restaurant’s GM, had been a fan of this Bricktown getaway since it opened, so was excited to take over when the opportunity arose – he said the only factor that gave him pause was having to learn the ins and outs of that massive array. Fortunately for patrons, there are multiple flights available for tasting experimentation, and staff should be happy to guide you through finding a match for your palate. Just make certain that, whatever selection you wind up with, you take it outside. - STEVE GILL

ROCOCO An “East Coast-style” restaurant with a diverse menu of international dishes, all set off by carefully selected wines to create the perfect dinner pairing. 12252 N May, OKC, 212.4577; 2824 N Penn, OKC, 528.2824 $$

French CAFÉ CUVEE Located in Midtown’s magnificent Ambassador Hotel, this paean to the flavors of la belle France is the result of a collaboration between star chefs and elite ingredients. 1200 N Walker, OKC, 898.8120 $$ LA BAGUETTE BISTRO Les Freres Buthion have deep roots in the city’s culinary landscape, and this flagship combines fine dining with a great bakery, deli and butcher on site. 7408 N May, OKC, 840.3047 $$ FAIT MAISON Foie gras to Brandy Alexander, this classical French restaurant delivers exceptional cuisine made with exacting care – the name translates to homemade – for exquisite, if pricy, event dining. 152 E 5th, Edmond, 509.2555 $$$

German DAS BOOT CAMP Longtime fixture for Deutsch festivities Royal Bavaria has brewed up a second round of exceptional cuisine and magnificent beer in a less expensive, faster-paced location in downtown Norman. 229 E Main, Norman, 701.3748 $ FASSLER HALL Bringing German flavor to Midtown via house-made

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sausages, warm soft pretzels with cheese sauce, duck fries and a heftig beer menu, plus a weekend brunch – what’s not to love? 421 NW 10th, OKC, 609.3300 $

Indian GOPURAM - TASTE OF INDIA A full-service restaurant whose richly appointed interior and attentive staff accord patrons the feel of fine dining, even during the plentifully stocked lunch buffet. 4559 NW 23rd, OKC, 948.7373 $$ MISAL OF INDIA A Norman institution for over 30 years, specializing in tandoori-cooked delicacies and boasting healthy, natural, delicious cuisine served amid splendid ambiance. 580 Ed Noble Pkwy, Norman, 579.5600 $$

Italian & Pizza EMPIRE SLICE HOUSE Reigning over the Plaza District in New York style (that means thin, flexible crust with a lot of surface area to cover in cheese and tasty toppings), it offers whole pizzas or slices, a full bar and a primo patio. 1734 NW 16th, OKC $ THE HEAT There’s really no need to be humble about this true Chicago-style pizza, boasting perhaps the best crust known to man. It’s one of our favorites; choose your toppings and think deep thoughts. 1319 S Broadway, Edmond, 715.1818 $ MONI’S Handmade, New Jersey-style brick oven pizza and authentic pasta recipes from Southern Italy in a casual, comfy ambience (ideal for dates). 17200 N May, Edmond, 285.5991 $$ PATRONO In the perfect spot for downtown residents and visitors, this small, upscale bistro packs outstanding flavor into its inspired, authentic cuisine. 305 N Walker, OKC, 702.7660 $$ PIZZERIA GUSTO Neapolitan-style pizza (which harnesses an extremely hot fire to quickly cook superfine flour crusts and quality ingredients) stars alongside Italy-inspired salads, pastas and appetizers. 2415 N Walker, OKC, 437.4992 $$ STELLA MODERN ITALIAN CUISINE A luscious spate of legitimately Italian tastes for a casual lunch, or romantic dinner, amid stylish scenery. The weekend brunch offerings are especially superb. 1201 N Walker, OKC, 235.2200 $$ TOMMY’S ITALIAN-AMERICAN GRILL Stylish and welcoming, this northside neighborhood Italian bar and grill offers up a full selection of beautifully done classic dishes, in addition to more imaginative creations, weekend brunch and some truly excellent brick oven pizza. 5516 W Memorial, OKC, 470.5577 $$ VICTORIA’S A comfortable atmosphere, with local art on its walls and the art of pasta on its plates – the chicken lasagna and linguine with snow crab are especially excellent. 327 White,

PHOTO BY SCOTTY O’DANIEL

AT THE BAR

and charcuterie. 6460 Avondale, OKC, 607.6100 $


Norman, 329.0377; 3000 SW 104th, OKC, 759.3580 $ VITO’S RISTORANTE Homestyle Italian cuisine in an intimate setting where the staff and management treat customers like guests in their home. It’s a small space, so calling ahead is recommended. 7521 N May, OKC, 848.4867 $$

Mexican & Latin American BARRIOS A serious collection of Latin-flavored deliciousness, including a brunch that’s maravilloso, in a cool Midtown space with a back patio that’s pure paradise. 1000 N Hudson, OKC, 702.6922 $ BIG TRUCK TACOS It’s nearly always standing-room-only at lunch, but don’t let that deter you; spend a few minutes in line and get an ample reward in the form of fast, fresh, imaginative taco creations. 530 NW 23rd, OKC, 525.8226 $ CAFÉ ANTIGUA Visitors can enjoy lunch options from beef stew to a club sandwich, but once they sample the luscious variety of Guatemalan breakfast options – served anytime – they may be perfectly happy to never order anything else. 1903 N Classen, OKC, 602.8984 $ CAFÉ DO BRASIL It’s a long way from OKC to Rio, but the savory menu in this Midtown hot spot covers the distance in a mouthful. Even brunch is a spicy, inimitable treat. 440 NW 11th, OKC, 525.9779 $$ CAFÉ KACAO A sunlit space filled with bright, vibrant flavors from the zesty traditions of Guatemala. Lunch possibilities beckon, but it’s the breakfast specialties that truly dazzle. 3325 N Classen, OKC, 602.2883 $ HACIENDA TACOS Quality and variety make this restaurant in the Shoppes at Northpark a pleasure to visit, and to explore the menu again and again. 12086 N May, OKC, 254.3140 $ TARAHUMARA’S Beloved by locals (there’s usually a line but it moves quickly), this airy ristorante serves huge, tasty Tex-Mex classics plus less ubiquitous fare like carnitas de puerco and mole poblano. 702 N Porter, Norman, 360.8070 $$

Seafood BRENT’S CAJUN Sit down to a massive platter of jambalaya, crawfish etoufee, Pasta Orleans or any of the well-seasoned temptations on the weekend brunch menu – and spice up your life. 3005 S Broadway, Edmond, 285.0911 $$ CRABTOWN A huge Bricktown warehouse where the Cajun Crab Boil is a favorite, guests are encouraged to “leave the silverware at home and dig in” and taste is king. 303 E Sheridan, OKC, 232.7227 $$

THE DRAKE The Good Egg Group’s flagship and a standard-bearer for diners who crave excellent seafood, it serves chef’s creations featuring the sea’s finest, plus an oyster bar and tempting cocktails. 519 NW 23rd, OKC $$$

in g n i m o C ember Nov

OFF THE HOOK It’s a choice destination for po’ boys, fried or grilled baskets and specialty items such as the smothered seafood fries. Go get hooked. 125 S Britton, OKC, 840.3474; 1920 S Meridian, OKC, 606.6040 $ PEARL’S OYSTER BAR A perennial OKC favorite for its flavorful seafood and spicy Creole-inspired dishes: Shrimp Diablo, Tabasco-infused Caesar salads, Andouille omelets at Sunday brunch and more. 5641 N Classen, OKC, 848.8008 $$

Steakhouse BOULEVARD STEAKHOUSE Perfectly soigné ambiance down to the last detail and cuisine easily in the metro’s elite – a sumptuous, if pricy, masterpiece. 505 S Boulevard, Edmond, 715.2333 $$$ BROADWAY 10 Cruise into the Buick building in Automobile Alley to savor steak supremacy or seafood selections (even sushi) in a cozy enclave amid urban bustle. 1101 N Broadway, OKC, 212.3949 $$$ CATTLEMEN’S Almost as old as the state itself, this Oklahoma institution’s immense corn-fed steaks and matchless atmosphere are history served anew every day. 1309 S Agnew, OKC, 236.0416 $$ JAMIL’S STEAKHOUSE Saving room for your steak, lobster or prime rib is difficult when your gratis appetizers arrive in the form of a Lebanese bounty, but make the effort. Jamil’s has been feeding Oklahoma exceptionally well since 1964. 4910 N Lincoln, OKC, 525.8352 $$$ MAHOGANY PRIME STEAKHOUSE The ambiance and service are sublime, but fine aged steak broiled to perfection is the star. 3241 W Memorial, OKC, 748.5959; 100 W Main, OKC, 208.8800 $$$ MCCLINTOCK Where better to find a saloon than in Stockyards City? There’s plenty of room at the massive, 50-foot oak bar, and plenty of cocktails and whiskies behind it, but the main draw may be the massive, excellent steaks and chops. 2227 Exchange, OKC, 232.0151 $$$ MICKEY MANTLE’S This lushly atmospheric social spot in Bricktown serves powerhouse entrées and sides with a full complement of amenities destined to impress. 7 S Mickey Mantle, OKC, 272.0777 $$$ RANCH STEAKHOUSE Customaged hand-cut USDA Certified Prime tenderloins and ribeyes, served amid warm Southern hospitality. 3000 W Britton, OKC, 755.3501 $$$

THE

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OKMuseums.org


events

COURTESY PLAZA DISTRICT ASSOCIATION

Blockbuster Bash Back in 1998, the inaugural celebration had music, dancing â&#x20AC;Ś and not all that many people. These days, the neighborhood and its denizens, both residential and commercial, have a lot more success to celebrate, and more than 20,000 revelers are likely to attend the 20th Plaza District Festival on Sept. 29. Food trucks, visual artists, live performances from local musicians and plenty of enthusiasm will make NW 16th party central.

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events PRIME PICKS

Master Works Sept. 1-May 12, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum From the Kiowa Six (with their connection to the University of Oklahoma) to students of the Santa Fe Indian School, from geometric designs and symbols to fully realized figures, the newest exhibition at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum spans decades of contemporary Native creativity in the vivid, eye-opening historical overview “American Indian Artists: 20th Century Masters.”

Frank Big Bear, Jr., “Western Front #7”

Molto Vivace Last year saw him getting in tune with his new orchestra and city; now Alexander Mickelthwate is about to raise the baton on his first full season as music director and conductor of the OKC Philharmonic, and the first movement is a doozy. For its opening concert, “The Rebels,” the Phil presents Berlioz’s “Le Corsaire,” a passacaglia by 21st-century composer Tan Dun and Beethoven’s magnificent Symphony No. 9, featuring special guests Canterbury Voices.

Cutline

It Seems Probable

Johnny Mathis

Sept. 6, OKC Civic Center

To put it another way, “Chances Are” fans will be thrilled at this opportunity to hear one of the all-time great singers work his magic, as the legendary Johnny Mathis visits OKC on his “The Voice of Romance” tour. He still loves performing – he once said, “I don’t think about retiring. I think about how I can keep singing for the rest of my life” – and after more than six decades in music, he’s still going smoothly. 72

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Plane Dealing Sept. 14, Wiley Post Airport The sky’s the limit at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County’s 4th annual aviation-themed fundraiser Flight for Futures, presented by Boeing – dancing to live music, tasty samples from first-class local restaurants and a drawing for luxury travel are all on the evening’s itinerary, at an event whose proceeds will help local kids’ futures truly soar. Ready for takeoff?

PHOTOS: JOHNNY MATHIS COURTESY JOHNNYMATHIS.COM; “WESTERN FRONT #7” COURTESY NCWHM; ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE BY SHEVAUN WILLIAMS & ASSOCIATES

Sept. 15, OKC Civic Center


“Oklahoma’s Premier Family Attraction”

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September 13-18 Thursday, Sept. 13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. . . 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1:30 & 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17 . . . . . . . .10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m.

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Upper Level Adult (12+) . . . . $27 Upper Level Child (2-11) . . . . $22

CARNIVAL RIDE ARMBANDS when you purchase an unlimited carnival ride armband at the Jim Norick Arena Box Office or through our other ticket buying options. (outside gate admission NOT INCLUDED)

MONDAY-THURSDAY / $20 advance / $35 regular FRIDAY-SUNDAY / $30 advance / $45 regular

HURRY, OFFER ENDS SEPTEMBER 12!

JIM NORICK ARENA BOX OFFICE, EASY WAYS TO BUY TICKETS! okstatefair.com or 405-948-6800 CHICKASAW COUNTRY ENTERTAINMENT STAGE C O N C E R T S F R E E WITH OUTSIDE GATE ADMISSION

September 13 COLT FORD 7:30 p.m. September 14 NEAL McCOY 7:30 p.m.

September 15 BEATLEMANIA LIVE! 8 p.m. September 16 LOS TRAILEROS DEL NORTE 6 p.m. September 17 JORDAN FELIZ 7:30 p.m.

September 18 HERMAN’S HERMITS STARRING PETER NOONE 7:30 p.m. September 19 ELVIS EXTRAVAGANZA 7:30 p.m.

September 20 DYLAN SCOTT 7:30 p.m. September 21 DRU HILL 7:30 p.m. September 22 FOGHAT 8 p.m.

September 23 SPACE ODDITY THE ULTIMATE DAVID BOWIE EXPERIENCE 6 p.m.

The Official Soft Drink of State Fair Park

SEPTEMBER 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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events SPEAKERBOX

Rock This Way Common-sense tips to make concerts enjoyable for all L A ST Y E A R , I saw Iron Maiden at the Ches-

SH U T T HE HEL L U P! For years, Ryan Adams had problems with hecklers screaming out “Summer of 69!” – which isn’t even his song. One night, he invited a heckler on stage to fight. I heard that Justin Townes Earle got into it with a heckling fan at his recent OKC show, and told him to “Eat my s___, and pipe down!” Neil Young has always been a highly combative artist, especially when he’s trying to showcase new songs. In the early 1970s, when Young would try new material on audiences, some crowds would bark out favorite songs they wanted to hear. Young would say, “This is my show and my stage. Do you want to shut the hell up?” For some shows, it’s best not to have a conversation with your buddies. Some venues and some artists deserve a quiet room. You can talk afterward. Think of these shows like you’re at a golf tournament: Hush while they address the ball, scream like a maniac when they sink the shot. PU T T HE PHON E AWAY Corey Taylor, lead singer of Slipknot, has been known to knock phones out of concert-goers’ hands if he sees them in use. Jack White has a no-phones policy and employs a service called Yondr that utilizes slip cases that lock your phone and are kept in the lobby, kind of like a coat check. And don’t think that this is too harsh. The Masters golf tournament absolutely forbids mobile phones on the course. The rumors are that you can walk through the parking lots at Augusta and hear car trunks buzzing and humming. On their newest tour, U2 has created an app for smartphones that concert-goers can use to highlight certain aspects of the show. They essentially created a solution to a problem by making it part of the show. The best rule is to use common sense. Take a few photos for yourself, and then slip the phone in your pocket. And don’t stand at the front and film the entire show. People behind you don’t want to see a phone in their way, and the artists don’t like it, either. You came to the concert to enjoy it, not to chronicle it for eternity. As more and more artists start laying down the law, it’s best to check with the venue before you pack your phone. R-E - S -P-E - C-T Respect the people around you by recognizing their “space.” Getting drunk and

high-fiving all your bros throughout a concert is annoying as hell. Oh, and if you’re tall, think of the little people and move to the back. Finally: No moshing. Ever. You’re too old for that. - JERRY CHURCH

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NEW MUSIC

LEON BRIDGES “Good Thing” Bridges, whose 2015 debut “Coming Home” was a combination of contemporary soul mixed with vintage 1960s gospel and rhythm and blues, took his time on his second record to make sure that he didn’t get pigeonholed as a nostalgia act. Much of “Coming Home” had Bridges sounding a little close to Sam Cooke. On “Good Thing,” Bridges has pretty much left the 1960s behind and skipped ahead two decades. Early 1980s R&B and radio-friendly funk set the tone for the new record, which has plenty of homages to Kool and the Gang and Michael Jackson. This is a great way to avoid a sophomore slump.

ILLUSTRATION BY NICE STUDIO

apeake Energy Arena. A veteran concert-goer, I had my decibel-reducing industrial earplugs ready in my pocket, and when UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” came on (this is Maiden’s signature pre-stage overture), I put them in, where they remained the next three hours. I stood right next to my brother the entire concert and didn’t say a word to him. Why? Because I couldn’t hear him even if he was screaming at me. This is an ideal situation for a concert: Make sure the main act is so loud that it drowns out the din of the audience. This isn’t always the case for smaller, more intimate venues, and more nuanced performers who require an attentive audience that wants to listen to the music. So the next time you go to a show, use some common sense and follow these tips – you and the performer will be happier as a result.


C

M

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CM

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CMY

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events SPOTLIGHT

The Measure of a Marvel OVAC sizes up a fresh 12 x 12 ON E SQUA R E FOOT is a pretty small space – but you might be surprised at how much creativity a professional can fit inside it. And if you put enough of those small creations together, add in some outstanding food and live music and the impact of an ever-more-impressive legacy … it’s amazing just how big a deal the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s 12 x 12 event has become. The 29th annual 12 x 12 Art Fundraiser is coming to 50 Penn Place Sept. 28, and while the size limit for its component works remains 12 inches by 12 inches, organizers are planning for the event to be larger than ever. A total of 175 Oklahoma artists have contributed one creation apiece to be sold by silent and blind auction (but if you can’t take the suspense, you can pay a preset price to buy it outright), and while perusing the tiny treasures, guests can sample hors d’oeuvres and sweets provided by nearly 30 popular local restaurants, visit the cash bar, watch a special performance by Perpetual Motion Dance and get down to DJ Jon Mooneyham’s vinyl dance party. Meanwhile, OVAC is celebrating its 30th anniversary by kicking off a year-long campaign aimed at raising $200,000 for its Grants for Artists program – so attendance helps

EVENTS SEP 7 Renaissance Ball Honoring longtime supporters Bette Jo and Frank Hill, this return of the exquisite annual fundraising gala is followed by a rockin’ afterparty. OKC Golf & Country Club, 7000 NW Grand, OKC, 278.8207, okcmoa.com SEP 13-23 State Fair Disney on Ice, Foghat, a power-packed midway of rides and entertainment, a feast of specialty food and much, much more. State Fairgrounds, 3000 Gordon Cooper, OKC, 948.6700, okstatefair.com SEP 15 Cattle Barons Ball Help the American Cancer Society save lives, celebrate lives and fight for a

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provide artists with the financial support that executive director Krystle Brewer pointed out has been the organization’s purpose since its founding. “12x12 brings together hundreds of artists and art supporters to raise funds that directly support the arts in our state – something we all benefit from,” she says. You can get tickets at 12x12okc.org or by calling 879.2400, but don’t forget … because missing out would be a big, big mistake. - STEVE GILL

WANT TO SEE MORE? VISIT OUR ONLINE CALENDAR AT 405MAGAZINE.COM world without cancer in this jubilant western-themed affair. Farmers Public Market, 311 S Klein, OKC, 841.5817, cancer.org SEP 23 Mesta Festa Spend a Sunday in the neighborhood - even if it’s not yours - to hear music, sip local beer, visit with friends and enjoy Mesta Park. Perle Mesta Park, NW 18th and Shartel, OKC, 235.3515, mestapark.org SEP 27 Taste of Western One of the city’s most delicious districts concentrates its temptations into one evening in one room - wine, art, raffles and incredible food. Will Rogers Theater, 4322 N Western, OKC, 293.3033, visitwesternavenue.com SEP 28 ZooBrew The tenth round of this beer-fueled bash benefiting the

zoo offers unlimited tastings from more than two dozen brewers, plus games and music. Bottoms up! OKC Zoo, 2101 NE 50th, OKC, 425.0613, zoofriends.org SEP 29 Fiesta de las Americas More than 20,000 visitors are expected to gather in Capitol Hill for the culmination of Hispanic Heritage Month. Come eat and explore! Calle dos Cinco, 319 SW 25th, OKC, 632.0133, historiccapitolhill.com

SPORTS SEP 15-16 Bike MS A two-day trip from Norman to Guthrie and back via bicycle, it’s a demanding event, but a rewarding one for fighting MS. NCED, 2801 E Hwy 9, Norman, 855.372.1331, nationalmssociety.org/bikems

SEP 28-30 OK Regatta Fest The weather is cooling down, but action on the water is never hotter than these three days of rowing, kayaking, dragon boat racing and more. Oklahoma River, 800 Riversport, OKC, 552.4040, riversportokc.org

THEATER SEP 13-28 Richard III OK Shakespeare in the Park wraps up its season with a tale of regicide, horse play and other bloody business. Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno, OKC, 235.3700, oklahomashakespeare.com SEP 18-23 Les Miserables The stage smash brings revolutionary Paris to Oklahoma thanks to OKC Broadway. OKC Civic Center, 201 N Walker, OKC, 877.737.2929, okcbroadway.com

PHOTO COURTESY OVAC

ON THE RADAR

“Bee Dream 2018” by Sam Charboneau


NW 11th and Broadway

more info: oklahomacontemporary.org | @okcontemporary 3000 General Pershing Blvd. | Oklahoma City | 405 951 0000 SEPTEMBER 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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events SPOTLIGHT

Featuring Capital Distributing Roof Terrace Beer Garden Over 80 varieties of beer Food from local restaurants Live music from HOOK

The Next Step Factory Obscura debuts its great Beyond

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OK L AHOM A CI T Y

ences in general – should recognize the name Factory Obscura: the collective of local artists working in multiple media made a massive splash with last year’s immersive installation “Shift.” An estimated 20,000 people visited, touched, explored their way through and wondered at the large-scale outpouring of imagination before it disappeared. Now two dozen of Factory Obscura’s creators have reunited, combining their talents again with fresh inspirations and more space in which to work their varied, immersive magic: their next step, opening Sept. 22, is aptly named “Beyond.” We can tell you where to look – 1522 S Robinson in OKC – and when – afternoons and evenings from Wednesdays through Sundays – but what visitors will find inside remains a mystery. It’s best to come in with no preconceptions, anyway. A Factory Obscura project isn’t an art show with discrete displays of individual pieces; it’s a blend of carefully crafted elements arranged in a cohesive whole, meant to be touched, interacted with and pondered. The sensation of personal discovery is a big part of the point, and two people are unlikely to experience the multi-sensory undertaking in the same way. Especially since each of the four entrances to “Beyond” leads to a different, unique collection of creativity. With so much to see and feel and attempt to mentally process in this perspective-shifting art happening, it’s probably a good idea to plan for multiple trips (you’ll be wondering what’s behind those other three doors, after all), so visit factoryobscura.fun for passes and hints about the journey. The doors open on the autumnal equinox and close for good on the winter solstice, Dec. 21; what lies beyond them – what lies in “Beyond” – is waiting to be experienced. - STEVE GILL

PHOTO COURTESY FACTORY OBSCURA

DE VOT EE S OF T HE OKC art scene – or engrossing experi-


SEPTEMBER 14, 2018 Valair Hangar 9 | Wiley Post Airport | 7200 N.W. 63rd Street | 7:30 PM

Join the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County for a casual night of fun and aviation awareness at the 4th annual Flight for Futures event presented by Boeing! Enjoy adult beverages and food from some of Oklahomaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular restaurants and breweries while local music keeps the dance floor lively. Each ticket enters you in a chance to win a once in a lifetime paradise vacation for you and a friend!

Food tastings from popular local restaurants

Local beer and spirits will be served

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*Attendees must be 21 or over.

SEPTEMBER 2018 405 MAGAZINE

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backstory

The Flip’s Philosophy Turning over memories of an OKC classic WAY BACK I N 1985 , J.R. and Sue Ellen were feuding on the hit TV show “Dallas,” Madonna and Tina Turner were the hottest acts in music and the Coca-Cola company introduced its short-lived “New Coke.” In Oklahoma City, entrepreneurs Gail Vines and Betsy Mitschke had an idea for a new restaurant. They pooled their resources with a group of 17 investors, and on Valentine’s Day, Flip’s became one of the city’s most-beloved new restaurants. “The name ‘Flip’s’ came from Betsy’s husband,” Vines says. “His name was J.J. San Fillippo, so we shortened it. Within two years, we had enough money to buy out all those other investors, so the two of us owned the restaurant outright.” Many, many restaurants have come and gone since the 1980s, but Vines believes the secret to Flip’s longevity has several components. “I have always thought success will kill your business faster than failure,” she says. “We come from a very disciplined background. Some restaurants may start off with a bang and become successful, then they let their food or their service slip. We pride ourselves on both the consistency of our food and our service.” In fact, she says that’s one thing that sets Flip’s apart from other restaurants. “We make everything in-house. We make all of our own pastas, we cure our own meats. A lot of restaurants will just deep-fry something and put it on a plate. We take care to make sure our menu is updated regularly and our items are prepared fresh.” Several years ago, Chesapeake Energy bought many businesses around their campus. Vines said rumors swirled that Flip’s was next. “Aubrey (McClendon) was always a really good customer,” she says. “He came

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into Flip’s for lunch just about every day when he was starting Chesapeake. He would have lunch, then usually stay and work for an hour or so. We had a really good friendship.” As Chesapeake and its holdings increased, Vines said McClendon approached her about buying into the restaurant. “At the time, my son had cancer, and he ended up dying about three weeks later,” Vines recalls. “I told him, ‘Aubrey, now is not a good time. Besides, I really don’t like the way you operate some of the other restaurants you are involved in.’” Flip’s did close briefly for a while, but not because of Chesapeake – about five years ago, the restaurant suffered a massive fire.

“Our customers would stop by every day and ask us to not close the restaurant,” Vines says. “We had to make a lot of upgrades to bring the building up to code, which was very expensive. But there was never any doubt we would re-open. And we worked really hard to update the interior, yet keep it as close to the original as possible.” More than three decades after opening, Flip’s still packs them in every day. “Flip’s will be here long after Betsy and I are long gone,” Vines says. “We never get tired of serving our customers or hearing their compliments. It is kind of amazing: 33 years in business with two chicks running the place. That’s pretty unusual!”

PHOTO COURTESY GAIL VINES

BY MARK BEUTLER


Climbed 5 peaks this month Won the bouldering World Cup Forgot to lock her front door

People are amazing, but we’re still only human. Manage your lights, locks and thermostat from your device with Homelife. Learn more at Cox.com/homelife Cox Homelife is available to residential customers in select Cox service areas. A high-speed Internet connection is required. Applicable monthly service charges, installation, additional equipment, taxes, trip charges and other fees may apply. Subject to credit approval. Other restrictions may apply. Local ordinances may require an alarm user permit or external lock box. Service provided by Cox Advanced Services: Oklahoma, LLC–License #2002. ©2018 Cox Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. MAG105420-0025


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Profile for 405 Magazine

405 Magazine September 2018  

405 Magazine is the definitive city and lifestyle magazine of central Oklahoma, featuring people, places, events, dining and culture.

405 Magazine September 2018  

405 Magazine is the definitive city and lifestyle magazine of central Oklahoma, featuring people, places, events, dining and culture.

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