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— You may recall last month we mentioned The Food Truck, a gourmet-on-wheels operation. The truck, which is called Preston, is now more or less fixed at lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, at Bernice Garden, a sculpture garden at 1401 S. Main St., Little Rock (old-timers may recall, with perhaps a touch of irony, that the lot was once the site of a Captain D’s). The phone number is (501) 291-2695; their website, thefood truck-lr.com, is now fully functional.

And speaking of gourmeton-wheels, Green Cuisine, a new vegetarian food truck, sets up 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. weekdays at West Sixth and Chester streets, across from the main Little Rock fire station, in the lot adjacent to the one that serves Vino’s. “You don’t have to be vegetarian, you just have to like to eat,” according to the website, rollingtoma to.com, which has a place for a menu but doesn’t yet have one posted. The phone number is (501) 454-7555.

Several sharp-eyed observers have reported seeing vans and trucks in front of the former Koto Restaurant, 17200 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock (it’s also the location of the former Vermillion Bistro, by the way, if that helps you place it), and a notice on the window about a liquor license application. The Alcoholic Beverage Control folks say they’ll rule Wednesday on the restaurant mixed-drink permit request from a Kathy Lee of Sherwood, for an establishment to be called Papa Sushi.

Chef Joey D. McDaniel has re-opened Dreams in the Goodwill building, 1110 W. Seventh St., Little Rock. Mc-Daniel first opened the eatery in April but had to close it temporarily in June while he was recovering from a sore Achilles tendon. He says his new menu features more gourmet sandwiches and grilled items. Hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays for lunch carry-out and delivery. The phone number is (501) 247-1229.

Closing after less than four months is not quite a record, but it’s pretty close. Mexican restaurant Los Hernandez, in the revolving-door drivethrough with limited seating at 5504 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, is gone and the phone number, (501) 753-2010, has been disconnected.

Oak Street Bistro, 800 Fourth Ave., Conway, has a new seasonal lunch and dinner menu in place. Among the new items, says owner Pam Trent: a Waldorf & Roasted Turkey Salad, Moroccan Marinated Tuna Sandwich, Puttanesca Pasta and Bourbon Honey Glazed Pork Chop. Returning items from previous fall menus include Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Country Ham Sandwich and the Bistro Style Shrimp Po’ Boy. The restaurant moved into a joint Fourth Avenue tenancy with florist Tipton Hurst in April after 17 years at 713 Oak St. (hence the name). Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday brunch. The phone number is (501) 450-9908; the website, oakstreetbistro.net.

In our “wrapped up in chains” department, an outlet of the San Francisco Bay area-based Straw Hat pizza chain opened Nov. 1 at 209 B St. at Fountain Street in the new Midtown subdivision of Bryant. The menu offers California-style pizza with pastas, sandwiches, calzones and a salad bar. It’s the first location in the state, but part of the chain’s plan to expand into Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Oregon, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas “and beyond.” Straw Hat President Jonathan Fornaci told the business publication Daily Vista in 2008 that it had sold 10 Arkansas franchises. A company spokesman did not return a reporter’s call for more information by deadline. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is (501) 847-1400; the website is strawhatpizza.com.

And speaking of expanding into Arkansas, Liz Jones, marketing coordinator for Dallas-based Genghis Grill-The Mongolian Stir Fry reports that the chain-franchise operation is looking to expand from its single Arkansas restaurant, on Chenal Parkway in west Little Rock, within the next year to add locations in midtown Little Rock, Rogers and Fayetteville, depending on if it can come up with the right sites. Keep an eye on progress at genghisgrill.com.

And in the “nostra culpa” department, an item in last week’s column should of course have included veterans as well as active-duty military among those eligible for free Veterans Day meals today at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar outlets.

Has a restaurant opened — or closed — near you in the last week or so? Does your favorite eatery have a new menu? Is there a new chef in charge? Drop us a line. Call (501) 399-3667 or (501) 378-3513, or send a note to Restaurants, Weekend Section, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203. Send e-mail to:

eharrison@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 42 on 11/11/2010

Print Headline: TRANSITIONS

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