Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sobani Kitchen, Bar and Patio Reopens with New Menu Items, Interior & Chef

Sobani Kitchen, Bar and Patio in Lakeway will reopen Wednesday, November 28th after a brief closing to undergo interior renovations and develop a new casual American menu. The new Sobani will feature casual American comfort fare along with Japanese-inspired dishes. Among various updates, the restaurant now serves more plates geared toward sharing. Austin native James McMillan is the restaurant’s new executive chef. McMillan recently served as executive sous chef at Brennan’s Restaurant and was executive chef at Rattan Pan Asian Bistro, both of Houston. He brings extensive knowledge of Japanese cooking from working with his family’s restaurants, Kyoto, Origami and Brentwood Tavern.

Originally opened in November 2010 to impressive reviews, owner Taako Parker has revamped the concept to a more casual setting and menu that offers up a creative twist on American favorites along with a nod to her Japanese heritage.  Sobani’s new menu now has small and large plate categories with group-friendly pricing. Small plates include tuna tartar of sashimi tuna served on crispy wontons with wasabi aioli and balsamic glaze; Prince Edward Island mussels sautéed with fresh shallots, garlic and white wine; and grilled Shishito peppers tossed with lemon oil and sea salt. All are priced from $5-$12. Sobani’s soup and salad section offers a daily seasonal soup and variety of salads including Taako’s chicken salad served on spring mix with roasted bell peppers, green onions, cherry tomatoes, and edamame beans. Entree highlights include pork katsu made with Berkshire pork loin breaded and fried in panko, served with steamed white rice and tonkatsu sauce; the Sobani burger made with house-ground beef served on a brioche bun with spicy Japanese mayo, smoked apple wood bacon, white cheddar, red onion and a truffled fried egg on top with fries; and fresh Atlantic salmon served atop goat cheese polenta with sautéed green beans and citrus beurre blanc. Prices for entrees range from $11-$21.  On the sweet side, dessert highlights include a green tea crème brulee with mixed berries and white chocolate bread pudding served with fresh berries and amaretto whipped cream.

The restaurant now has a full bar of beer, wine and cocktails plus a special Happy Hour menu of small plates ($4-$6) such as white cheddar truffle mac and cheese; fried chicken sliders with house pickles. Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday from 3-7pm. Drink specials include discounted wines ($5-$7) and select cocktails for $7.  The bar provides a range of wines, local brews such as Fireman’s 4, Jester King’s “Noble King,” Austin Beerworks’ Pearl Snap and local sakes from Texas Saké Company.

“We’re excited about getting our loyal guests and new friends in to Sobani to see and taste what’s new. Chef James brings a lot of talent and energy to the kitchen, and we’re confident it’s going to be a real standout in the local dining scene,” said owner, Taako Parker.

Sobani, which means “neighbor,” in Japanese was created to deliver a fun, local dining destination. Nestled in the corner of the Lighthouse Market Shopping Center on RR 620, the renovated interiors feature warm colored walls, eclectic Japanese and jazz artwork and a trellised patio (which is also dog friendly).

Sobani serves modern American comfort fare with Japanese touches for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday. Located at 1700 RR 620 North in Lakeway, Texas, the restaurant takes reservations for parties of six or more and can host private functions for a range of sizes and occasions. Sobani is open Monday through Thursday from 11am-10pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am-12am.

The restaurant earned the 2011-2012 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. For up to date information, follow Sobani on Facebook and Twitter.  Visit or call (512) 266-3900.

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