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Former Alamo Drafthouse chef to open A-OK Chinese

Matthew Odam

Former Alamo Drafthouse executive chef John Bullington and Austin service industry veteran Jerry Reid plan to open A-OK Chinese at 1509 S. Lamar Blvd. in mid-December.

The small counter-service restaurant will offer dine-in and take-out, complemented by a mobile app for ordering. The menu will be a collection of Americanized Chinese staples like sesame chicken (or beef, shrimp or tofu), pork dumplings, hot and sour soup and fried rice.

“We’ll serve reasonably priced, really good American-style Chinese food,” Reid said. “That’s it. Nothing outrageous or over-the-top. Unless good is over-the-top. We’re not trying to be authentic or attempt to reinvent Chinese food. We just want to make the Chinese food we grew up loving (and still love) to eat. Only better.”

The restaurant, which will be located in the Temple Square Shopping Center, will offer a few beers from (512) Brewing on tap and cans from Austin Beer Works, Hops and Grain and Real Ale, as well as wine.

Bullington, who also worked as executive chef at Mars Mediterranean restaurant, left the Drafthouse in 2012. If you’ve worked in the Austin resrtaurant world for any extended period of time, chances are you’ve crossed paths with the popular Reid, who has almost 30 years of experience at Austin restaurants, with stints at Mezzaluna, Siena, Vino Vino, Olivia and Lucy’s Fried Chicken.