Remember 2010, when you could hardly go outdoors without running into a new barbecue joint that someone was opening? Then food trucks came, and all that entrepreneurial energy seemed to be channeled into cupcakemobiles and poutine-wagons (not really, but damn, why not?) Well, we've had Asian food on our radar for a few years, as a younger generation with one foot in Asian culture and the other in American pop culture produced enticing hybrids like Korean tacos and chicken wing joints and we all acted like a new word, izakaya, had been in our vocabulary all along. It seems like every other press release or news blip that crosses our desk has an Asian spin. We're officially calling 2012 the year of new Asian dining, and here are the latest bulletins from the leading edge of the trend.
• Glitzy Chinese food downtown doesn't sound promising— it sounds like a pricier P.F. Chang's. But glitzy Chinese food downtown from a veteran of Lao Sze Chuan and Tony Hu's other Chinatown trendsetters? That has us interested in Red Violet, which will be helmed by Franky Fong (just his name alone conjures up a whole Rat Pack vibe) at 121 W. Hubbard, and which promises chic modern takes on Chinese-American classics like a sweet and sour dish using Kurobuta (aka Berkshire) pork. We just hope some of the authentic funk can survive crossing Roosevelt Road. [Dish]
• Also close to opening on the same stretch of Hubbard, maybe as early as mid November, is Slurping Turtle, Takashi Yagihasi's ramen joint at a lower price point than his namesake Takashi. Besides ramen, he'll offer sashimi, a bincho grill and a menu of dumplings and other hot dishes for both lunch and dinner at the restaurant at 116 W. Hubbard. [Eater]
• Ex-Charlie Trotter chef de cuisine Matthias Merges, whose yakitori-inspired Logan Square spot Yusho seems as if it will open next month, wasted no time using Time Out's recent list of chefs to watch as a recruiting tool and has hired Jennifer Petrusky, sous chef at GT Fish & Oyster, as his chef de cuisine. [Eater]
• Banh Mi are everywhere all of a sudden, so you're almost surprised there wasn't a Banh Mi food truck already, but now there is: Duck N Roll. Track them at their website, Twitter or Facebook. [Thrillist]