We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Diaz-Bizuet and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Anas, the owner, and I started talking about this fusion about 6 years ago, it started with the realization that our family lives were extremely similar, and that even with all the culinary influences that the Mexican cuisine has embraced, middle eastern ingredients have made their way into in yet the uses were slightly different and that was something that we wanted to highlight.
We wanted to bring together the colorfulness and warmness of both cultures in a single place. to make it feel comforting yet new.
What should our readers know about your business?
We strive to bring great service and good food made with quality ingredients, and on top of that we are hoping our place transmits the nostalgic feeling that we are trying to recreate, we want our guests to feel at home, to create a longing within them for something that they have actually never experience. I know, it’s hard to explain, I want our guests to feel happy and comfortable every time they visit and at the same time, feel the yearning for a childhood that they never lived.
The restaurant business has always been challenging, its everchanging nature makes it a daily struggle, it has never been easy, but finding and retaining fitting talent might be the hardest of it all but once you manage to find the right people, a lot of the daily challenges can be easily managed. It’s all about the team. I would be nothing if it wasn’t for the people that work with me and the ones that offered me their services even for a limited time, they have all brought great value to the place.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First stop, Chinatown, for a day long of munching and checking out the little shops while sipping on some bobba. after that, I would definitely bring them over to my side of town to check out Number’s, because it’s a landmark of our night life and then maybe get some tacos across the street and sit at Avant Garden’s patio to enjoy some jazz with chowing down our food from El Palomo.
We would very likely get sushi at Kata robata and swing by the toasted coconut, and besides checking out the Menil Collection and MFAH new wing, I would probably take them on a tour to all my friend’s restaurants, starting with Homestead, to have some delicious breakfast with Fernanda Alamilla.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Cristian Pacheco. A great friend and the one that deserves all the credit for the artwork in and outside the restaurant.
I’ve known Cris for almost 18 years and never before, nor since I’ve seen such an amazing and talented artist at work.
He also happens to be a musician and a writer, art pours out of this man.
He helped me understand and develop my ideas, challenged some of them which made them even better in the end.