Daniel Ang says that he drafted a five-year plan that would propel his emerging food business from concept to food truck to brick and mortar restaurant. Unbeknownst to him at the time, that five-year plan would soon condense to a five-month plan.
“When something like this lands in your lap, you better take it,” Ang says.
Ang is referring to a storefront space in Lakewood that will become the new home for Dang Good Foods
, the food truck that he rolled out just four months ago. The space (13735 Madison Ave.), which for the past three and a half years has been home to Thai Thai, will become available this December when that popular eatery relocates to larger quarters
just a couple blocks down the street.
At just 15 or so seats, the shop is small, but not too small for Ang.
“Many of my friends in the business told me to go big or go home,” he explains. “I say, if you go big, you definitely will go home! My mindset was, if I am going to do a restaurant, I want to start out small like this, an intimate, non-pretentious place that is all about the food.”
The menu at Dang Good Foods will build upon the dishes that Ang has been selling from the truck of the same name, what he labels “the taste of Singapore and more.” He borrows from all across Southeast Asia, with inspiration from Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, among others. Many of the dishes, like the popular braised pork belly steam buns, are an amalgam of family recipes.
Menu items might include spring rolls, Spam musubi, satay noodle bowls, meat- or vegetable-based rice bowls, laksa (Malaysian coconut curry noodle soup) and japchae, a dish of stir-fried glass noodles. Ang says that he’ll take a seasonal approach to his menu, adding and subtracting dishes based on the weather.
“I want to make people comfortable enough to venture outside of their comfort zone with their taste buds,” adds Ang. “I’ve noticed over the past five to seven years people getting more and more adventurous with their foods here in Northeast Ohio.”
The future of the truck currently is up in the air, he reports.
Look for a December opening.
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