Buns Dumpling Cafe opens downtown on Sandoval Street

Jan. 30—Buns Dumpling Cafe opened Jan. 23, a swift turnaround from La Tour Experience's closure Dec. 11.

Buns already had signs up by Jan. 3. The cafe at 500 Sandoval St. is the newest offering by mother and son Sani and Jason Zeng, who also own Dumpling Tea and Sushi8 Hibachi & Sushi, neighboring eateries at Paso de Luz mall, formerly Plaza Galeria, 66 E. San Francisco St.

They weren't looking to open a full-scale restaurant, but Sani Zeng said the 500 Sandoval building owner approached her a couple months ago. The idea appealed to her because the property has a small parking lot.

The Zengs have more dumpling and bun offerings at Buns as well as cold salads and some Korean dishes such as bibimbap.

Sani Zeng opened Dumpling Tea five years ago, and Jason Zeng opened Sushi8 in November 2020. Those establishments will remain open as they expand offerings at Buns Dumpling Cafe.

"This one is for locals," Jason Zeng said about Buns Dumpling. "That's for tourists [at Paso de Luz]."

La Tour Experience operated at the Sandoval location for just under a year. Before that, Lucky Goat and State Capital Kitchen occupied the space originally built for Pizza Hut.

"I think we'll make it work," Jason Zeng said.