Iconic Lido restaurant reopens in Asian neighborhood of Oklahoma City


Barely three months after saying goodbye to Asian Quarter icon Lido restaurant, it’s back with new owners, fresh paint, and all your old favorites.

Long-time Lido regulars Quan and Tanh Nguyen bought the business and, with the help of their son Chris and daughter Elaine, relaunched the business founded by Tai Ly and operated by son Eric Ly for 30 years.

The Nguyens couldn’t stand there and let their favorite restaurant close, so they contacted Eric Ly and bought the business to renovate and reopen it, but not much else.

“The Lido is a hidden gem that has resided in the heart of the Asian Quarter for so long that we couldn’t imagine it closing,” said Chris Nguyen. “We will run the store as a family, just like Eric Ly and his family have done over the years.”

Quan, Tanh and Chris Nguyen are among the new owners of Restaurant Lido, which reopened on Friday in the Asian neighborhood of Oklahoma City.

The Nguyen were drawn to the restaurant for many reasons, but the food and the people behind it were really influenced.

“We love to share our Asian culture with the community and we are invested in preserving the integrity of the food because it has remained popular with so many regulars,” said Chris Nguyen.

To make sure things are the way they wanted, the Nguyen brought back the chefs, waiters, and recipes that made Lido so popular.

“The past year has been difficult for the community, so we’re happy to be able to provide jobs and a place to meet, especially after the pandemic, which has caused so many businesses to shut down,” Nguyen said. “We hope to continue to operate this restaurant for many years to come.”

The restaurant opened quietly on July 2, informing only a few regulars to get the ball rolling. I came for lunch before the opening on Friday and saw a lot of familiar faces in the refreshed dining room. The menu has been reprinted, but you won’t find many changes in the content – much to Lido Nation’s relief.

Sweet and sour soup from restaurant Lido, which reopened on Friday in the Asian neighborhood of Oklahoma City with a new owner.

The sweet and sour soup arrived as viscous and tangy as my palate remembered it, and the bowl of grilled shrimp vermicelli took me back to the days of listening to Green Day on tape with the top down in a little red Alfa Romeo for dinner on the way back to Edgemere Park.

At that time, the Lido paved the way for a new type of local restaurant. One that looked at the culture of the growing Vietnamese population without abandoning the Sino-American tradition. Thanks to Lido, Golden Phoenix, Grand House, Dot Wo and later Fung’s Kitchen, Asian cuisine is a signature of Oklahoma City. The restaurants that followed them and we the humble consumers owe a debt of gratitude to these longtime restaurants for making Oklahoma City a more delicious and exciting place to live and dine.

And now Lido is back to accept your loyalty and reward her with a sizzling clay pot of simmered pork or something more adventurous like Ginger and Scallion Cuttlefish. You can view the full menu online at lidorestaurantokc.com.

The Nguyen Family will open in the same building at 2518 Military Drive from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Fast bytes

Pitmaster Travis Clark shows off a freshly smoked whole pork for a special dinner at the Clark Crew in Oklahoma City.

This summer, chef Chris McKenna has moved from Stella Modern Italian to Clark crew where he teams up with famed pitmaster Travis Clark for a culinary adventure 405 Restaurant likely won’t forget. The dynamic duo have ambitious plans, but they warmed up a few weeks ago with a whole pork dinner on the back patio.

The pork was perfect and the covered patio was a welcome addition to the summer sunset. It was a rousing opening salvo, providing a relaxed setting to experience fireworks for the palace ahead of Independence Day. Look for more in the near future from Clark Crew. …

Six years ago, local teenager Gabriel Lewis was the subject of a viral video thanks to his appearance on “MasterChef” in 2017. Watch the video again, and you will remember Lewis was offered a gift. a job in New Orleans by chef Aaron Sanchez.

Lewis has grown up, now well over 6 feet tall, and carving a niche for himself in the culinary world that smacks of the future.

My interview with Lewis will be posted next week in this space, but if you want a glimpse of what the young culinary artist has been up to, head online at chefgabeonline.com. …

After meeting Lewis for a conversation at Francis Tuttle School of Culinary Arts, I ran into another rising chef, Alyssa Ulrich.

Like Lewis, Ulrich graduated from Francis Tuttle, and she too has ambitious plans for 2021. Ulrich is a baker and she works at The Hall’s Pizza, but in October she will open The Harvey bakery and kitchen.

Ulrich said she has a pop-up event to plan and has more in store. The menu will be based on fresh bread and highlight the wonderful platform it provides for multiple applications. And, of course, there will be dessert.

Look for The Harvey Bakery and Kitchen which will open in the former Chrysler-Plymouth building at 301 NW 13 St. in October. …

Swadley’s Misty Bottom Kitchens are gradually arriving at your local state parks. After winning an offer through the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation, Swadley’s opened Foggy Bottoms in Roman Nose, Lake Murray, Sequoyah and Beavers Bend at the height of the pandemic. Work continues and next is Robbers Cave, Quartz Mountain and Little Sahara. Family restaurants offer burgers, sandwiches, main courses, breakfast, and a kids’ menu. …

The Oklahoma Israel Exchange and the Oklahoma Wheat Board host a Field Blessings Dinner at Castle Falls, 820 N MacArthur Blvd., at 6:30 p.m., July 22. The four-course farm-to-fork dinner featuring several local products and foods grown in Oklahoma will be a celebration of Oklahoma agriculture with western swing music from the Simple Band of Gifts. All funds raised are intended to support initiatives to strengthen partnerships and collaboration between Oklahoma and Israel. The cost is $ 118 per person. Tickets are available online at okisraelexchange.com/event-details/farm-to-fork-fare.

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