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Mai’s Oriental in Snider Plaza is Closed

A friend just called and told me Mai’s Oriental in Snider Plaza had closed. I looked up some old reviews of the spot which was opened by Mai Phom in 1994. Then I realized that sometime within the last two years, the name of the restaurant was changed to Jiang’s Cuisine. I had no idea the restaurant had switched hands until this moment.

I feel horrible. Mai Phom was Dallas’ primary Vietnamese cuisine evangelist. She opened the city’s first popular Vietnamese restaurant in 1980. The original restaurant in East Dallas still bears her name but she moved to the tiny spot in Snider Plaza where she could be found every day. My former colleague Mary Brown Malouf once wrote:

“Those were the days when ethnic food meant Mexican food, unless it meant Szechuan. Now Vietnamese is practically mainstream and even has at least one almost upscale representative. Mainly, it has become habitual; many of us go out for Vietnamese as often as we go out for Mexican. So it seems strange to me that Mai, who was a pioneer, is now relatively unknown. Her little restaurant in Snider Plaza is practically a secret.”

I tried to reach someone with the restaurant to get a clear picture of what has transpired, but they have already closed and there is no voicemail. If anybody out there has the story, I’d love to know it.

UPPITY DATE: Jiang’s Cuisine has moved.

11 comments on “Mai’s Oriental in Snider Plaza is Closed

  1. Pingback: Jiang’s in Snider Plaza Closed? | Park Cities People

  2. What Tr asked: Is there? If so, that place used to be great but sharply nosedived abount 10-ish years ago. Presumably because she was no longer involved, if she ever was.

  3. She was indeed one of the first Vietnamese restaurants in Dallas. This was before DFW had the large influx of Asians. Now that DFW has a large Asian population there are simply much better restaurants around.

    This same thing happened to the likes of the Joy Inn which at one time was the “best” Chinese restaurant in DFW. There food would not even be on the map with today’s abundance of Chinese restaurants.

  4. TR, Mai opened the restaurant on Bryan but moved to SNider Plaza. New owner kept the name.
    Bluebird, I checked on the business info and while the name changed there were two owners listed and one was Mai’s so I thought she still had a hand in the business. Either way I totally missed the whole change. I guess I need to get out more. Her place on Bryan was the spot to be in the 80s! Curry pots!

  5. Mai Phom opened the eponymous restaurant at Bryan & Fitzhugh. One of the sweetest and most pleasant ever to operate in Dallas.

  6. Now didn’t Mai also have a nice place on Greenville and University before she moved to Snider plaza?

  7. yah i didn’t know anything about the behind-the-scenes, just that it was named Jiang’s. interesting story on the Facebook page – that she has turned into “Sacramento’s celebrity chef”

    i know people still praise the Mai’s in East Dallas, but i think it’s been pretty mediocre for a while