Restaurants / Openings

Hot New Dallas Restaurant Bans the F Word

New Team Refuses to Tolerate Pretentiousness

BY // 04.27.17

The food at San Antonio restaurant Hot Joy is tricky to categorize. Chef John Philpot draws inspiration from China, Texas, Vietnam, Japan, Louisiana, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, and anywhere else that strikes his fancy. But if that leads your mind to a certain F Word, you’ve got the wrong idea.

“We like our food and drink to be big, spicy and funky. We’re not understated, nuanced or predictable. And don’t even get me started on ‘fusion,’ ” Hot Joy owner Chad Carey tells PaperCity.

The restaurant does not merge culinary traditions, it throws them out the window, favoring deliciousness over authenticity.

Now, Carey is bringing Hot Joy’s irreverent attitude to Uptown Dallas’ dining scene. The owner is partnering up with Front Burner Restaurants — the group responsible for hotspots such as Velvet Taco, Sixty Vines, and Ida Claire — for the project.

Hot Joy will open a pop-up location at 3130 Lemmon Ave sometime this summer, hopefully by the end of July. If all goes as planned, the restaurant will stay in this location for two years before finding a permanent home in Dallas.

The Lemmon Ave location will mirror the eccentric style of Hot Joy’s San Antonio digs, with an atmosphere as boisterous as the food.

This offhand approach is exactly why the word “fusion” is banned from the kitchen.

“I went to San Antonio a couple of years ago, and all anyone would talk about was how I had to go try Hot Joy, and as soon as I walked in, I understood why,” says Randy DeWitt, CEO of Front Burner. “The vibe was wild, they had the music turned up to 11 and the food was really different, but not in a pretentious, over-the-top way.”

Philpot will carry over some of Hot Joy’s signature dishes to the new location, including the elusive twice-fried chicken wings with crab fat caramel. The chef also devise some new dishes specifically for the Dallas menu, but you’ll have to wait to see what he dreams up.

“Hot Joy, one of the reasons we like that name, is it connotes a certain kind of spontaneity and that’s part of the spirit of what we do,” he says.

This offhand approach is exactly why the word “fusion” is banned from the kitchen.

“The thing about fusion is that there’s an intentionality to it to the point where it feels forced or conjured,” Carey says. “We like the idea that we’re really just cooking food and we’re pulling from a whole bunch of different sources in accordance with that.”

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