El Buda Latin Asian Restaurant will open in downtown Orlando on Thursday, Dec. 7, a day which will live in infam... Sorry, I was thinking of something else.
The restaurant is the project of Roberto Treviño, a Californian who relocated to Orlando recently after several years in Puerto Rico. There he was involved with restaurants Dragonfly, Aguaviva and Budatai, the lattter as a chef/owner.
He also developed a following as a celebrity chef with stints on Iron Chef America, where he was pitted against Mario Batali, and on Rachel Ray's $40 a Day. He is currently a recurring judge on Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay. Or Flay Bobby Beat; I get them confused.
El Buda's menu fuses Latin and Asian flavors with such dishes as Dim Sum and Platitos (Pork and Sweet Plantain Dumpling and Octopus Pimenton Kaisou), Rice and Noodles (Ho Fun with Grilled Churasco and Ropa Vieja BiBimBap), Poke, Crudo and Greens (Herame con Coco and Smoked Salmon Pineapple Poke) and Deluxe Meat and Fish (Duck Breast with Miso Honey Potatoes and Beef Short Rib with Yuzu Papas Bravas).
The restaurant takes the space in Church Street Station that most recently and ever so briefly was occupied by Maddey's Craft & Cru. Treviño plans to make use of the cellar space, accessible by a winding staircase in the middle of the restaurant, as a Prohibition style cocktail lounge.
“I moved to Orlando this summer," Treviño said in a statement, "and have had the opportunity to explore the different neighborhoods and am just in love with all the different little unique pockets, especially downtown.
“Orlando is in this amazing place right now as a food city," he said, "and I feel blessed to be part of what’s happening here and hope that people discover us downtown and get as excited about our food as we are about being here.”
El Buda is at 116 W. Church St., Orlando. It will be open for lunch and dinner daily, with weekend brunch hours to be added later.