10 months after it was first announced, Tiffani Faison's second restaurant, Tiger Mama, opens to the public today at 1363 Boylston St. in Fenway, just a few doors down from her first restaurant, barbecue-focused Sweet Cheeks. (The space was previously home to Michael Schlow's Happy's and Barrio Cantina.)
Here's what to know about the "sexier than Sweet Cheeks" sequel.
- The Food: The menu (view it here) draws inspiration from Southeast Asia — Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia. It's meant to be a playful interpretation of the cuisines, not straight-up authentic, and it represents Faison's travels through the region with her wife and business partner Kelly Walsh. Most dishes are small to medium and priced between $6 and $19, meant to share; the lazy Susans on the tables will come in handy. There are also some large-format options, meant to serve around four people each, and these will rotate.
- The Drinks: There are two bars, and one of them is devoted to tiki drinks.
- The Team: Even if you haven't been to Sweet Cheeks, Faison might look familiar thanks to her numerous television appearances. Among them, she was runner-up on the very first season of Top Chef and later returned for Top Chef All-Stars' eighth season. Faison and Walsh co-own Tiger Mama; Toro and Coppa alum Mike Stark joins the team as chef de cuisine, and Baldwin Bar alum Charles Coykendall is running the bar.
- The Space: There's a wall of herbs, a disco ball elephant, palm trees, and tiger stripes. Take a look. There's room for 135.
- The Details: Tiger Mama is open at 5 p.m. seven nights a week, closing at 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Make reservations online (there's availability tonight) or try stopping by — some tables will be saved for walk-ins.