West Coast Restaurant Pulls a Single White Female on Chinatown BrasserieWhen former Chinatown Brasserie chef Tyson Wong caught the last train for the coast, we knew that his new employers wanted to draw on his experience. But from the look of Red Pearl Restaurant’s menu, they’re doing everything to replicate Chinatown Brasserie but cloning the waiters and cooks from pirated stem cells. This has to be one of the most naked ripoffs since David Coverdale decided to make a career of imitating Robert Plant.
Tyson Wong Ophaso Heads for the West CoastTyson Wong Ophaso, who you may remember as the chef at Chinatown Brasserie whom was beat up by three drunks in front of his own restaurant last year, had some good news to tell us when we ran into him the other night: Six months after leaving the Brasserie, he’s been hired as corporate chef by Domaine Restaurant Group, which owns Dakota and 25 Degrees in the Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel, as well as two Red Pearls, a kind of California version of Spice Market with “fresh, clean, and lean versions of Asian street food,” as Ophaso tells us.
Back of the House
Tyson Wong Ophaso Leaving Chinatown Brasserie for Bangkok FamilyTyson Wong Ophaso, until yesterday executive chef at Chinatown Brasserie, says he just needs a break. “I haven’t seen my family in fifteen years,” the Bangkok native tells us. “And they’re getting old, man. I’m the only son.” Ophaso, whose career has taken him from Thailand to France and had him running the La Cote Basque kitchen at age 26, most certainly deserves some time off. (Especially after the brazen — and bizarre — assault that he suffered outside of the restaurant in September.) We wish him all the best.
Chinatown Brasserie Presents Peking Turkey!Tyson Ophaso and Joe Ng, the chefs at Chinatown Brasserie, are also on the Thanksgiving bandwagon, and will be cooking turkeys in the restaurant’s custom-built Perking-duck oven. Expect crisp, laquered skin like you’ve never seen on your family table. The birds will be accompanied by the restaurant’s delicate, supple steamed Mandarin pancakes, cranberry-ginger chutney, and hoisin sauce. On top of that, Ng will also be preparing turkey spring rolls, baked turkey buns, and other Thanksgiving-inspired dim sum items. The menu will be available all weekend.
Executive Chef Assaulted at Chinatown BrasserieWe’ve heard of people having it out with management, but this is ridiculous. Around midnight on Wednesday, an exchange of words between three men who had just had an hours-long dinner at Chinatown Brasserie and maître d’ Robert Banat devolved into the trio yelling at Banat and shoving him. Executive chef Tyson Wong Ophaso tells us that when he stepped in to separate the men from his maître d’, the biggest and youngest of the three threw Ophaso on his back. (Ophaso is five foot, six inches, 130 pounds.) Cursing loudly, the man then dragged the hapless chef by his feet onto the sidewalk and proceeded to beat him up, despite the best efforts of Brasserie staff — but no other onlookers — to protect him.
The men fled before police arrived, but one of them left behind his credit-card information, and all three were captured on the restaurant’s cameras. They’ve all been identified, and Ophaso is pressing charges. Meanwhile, what kind of town is this that a chef is beaten by three goons, and no strangers come to his aid? Any man that cooks orange beef like Ophaso deserves the utmost protection against bruisers.
The Go-Go Gourmet
You have to hand it to David Burke. The frequently mulletted meat-and-lobster whiz has done it all: He pulled off an experimental gastronomy restaurant in a neighborhood populated mostly by septuagenarians and rethought the hamburger inside a department store. Now, in his crowning glory, he has created a menu for bikini bar Hawaiian Tropic Zone on Seventh Avenue.