International cuisine spices up downtown
Three vendors are busy serving up Korean fare, sushi and Mexican food to walk-up guests at the new Reynoso Food Court at Fifth and D streets in downtown Madras.
Israel and Blanco Reynoso own the new attraction, which features colorful tables and benches in the outdoor pavilion at the old Sunshine Corner. They plan a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22.
Imonae Korean Restaurant
The beef bulgogi and teriyaki chicken entrees are popular at Imonae Korean Restaurant, which opened Sept. 22.
"Everybody likes it," said restaurant owner Jin Park, adding, "a lot of people order the mandu. They really love it."
Mandu is fried dumplings. Customers also like the ramyeon, Korean instant noodles in a mildly spicy soup.
The first few weeks in the restaurant business have gone well for Park.
She moved here from Portland three years ago and also owns 97 Mart convenience store in north Madras. She enjoys making food for others around Christmas and New Year's, and people kept telling her they wanted her to open a Korean restaurant. It worked out for her to rent one of three spots in the new Reynoso Food Court.
She named her new business Imonae Korean Restaurant. Imonae means "auntie" in Korean. She said servers are often referred to as "auntie" in her native country. She has one employee at the restaurant.
Customers can order a combination meal or a bowl with a variety of Korean foods, such as marinated beef short ribs, pork bulgogi, breaded and fried crispy chicken, beef stir fry, and fried rice. The menu includes kimchi, sweet pickled radish and salad with sweet dressing. And for dessert, there's Korean shaved ice in strawberry, mango and chocolate flavors. They also offer soda, beer and soju, a clear distilled alcoholic beverage.
Imonae hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, although days and hours could change.
El Burrito Loco
Hector Galan likes to cook â€“ for himself, for his family and for parties.
"Every time I did parties, people asked me if I did catering, and I told them no, and then I had an opportunity to open this," Galan said of his new El Burrito Loco walk-up restaurant at Reynoso Food Court.
He opened at the end of September and serves tacos, tortas, burritos, nachos, quesadillas and sodas with the help of his family. The burritos and tacos are popular among the new customers, and Galan said his restaurant has been really busy.
The name of his new venture has a double meaning, crazy burrito and crazy donkey, Galan explained.
He also owns a landscaping business, Fernandez Lawn Care.
El Burrito Loco is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. They are closed on Mondays.
A taste of Japan has arrived in Madras with the opening of Akira Sushi.
Zhenchang Ye opened the walk-up restaurant at Reynoso Food Court on Sept. 24, offering a large menu.
He says the special rolls are popular, especially the dragon roll, which includes shrimp, crab and cucumber topped with unagi eel and avocado. The chicken teriyaki donburi rice bowl is another favorite, along with the stir-fried noodles.
Akira Sushi offers a variety of meats, such as seafood, chicken, beef and pork. Customers can choose from traditional, vegetable, spicy and hand rolls as well as assorted nigiris, hibachi fried rice and noodle soups. The lunch combos are served with Japanese salad and rice and either two spring rolls or two pot stickers.
Ye moved to Madras last month to open his new venture, which he runs with two others. He said business has been pretty good.
They are open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and are closed on Mondays.
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