Blink and a restaurant has closed in Harborplace or a new one has opened. The latest opening is Big Kahuna Cantina in the Light Street Pavilion (410-539-7060) where Paolo's used to be. The menu is a mix of Polynesian and Mexican dishes, and -- no surprise here -- there's a huge selection of tequilas and fancy drinks of the little-umbrella sort. Do I need to mention the tiki torches?
Paolo's (an Italian bistro, if there is such a thing) seemed to suffer being so close to Little Italy. The area's other Paolo's, in Towson (1 Pennsylvania Ave., 410-321-7000), is still going strong.
COMING LATE THIS SUMMER --Or not. You know how often construction projects get finished on schedule. But as of now, the end of summer should bring two very good Annapolis restaurants to the harbor area. Lemongrass, a hip Thai spot, is planning to open a branch here in August, with its sibling Tsunami, an equally hip Asian fusion restaurant, not far behind.
The two will be tenants in the Tack Factory retail development at Bank Street and Central Avenue near Inner Harbor East. Lemongrass will have 225 seats and Tsunami, 150; they'll share an open courtyard. No plans for the third restaurant in the group, the glamorous Metropolitan, to head this way.
TIDBITS AND CRUMBS --Donna's has opened a new carryout with a few tables (110 S. Paca St., 410-328-8988). The menu has breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads, panini and rotolos (rolled tortillas). ... Potbelly Sandwich Works can be found at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport on Concourse C. (I tell you this to save you from the airline's snack box.) ... Snyder's (9616 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills, 410-581-2999) has reopened after extensive renovation, repositioning itself as a good, old-fashioned New York-style deli. ... After my negative review of Lillies (500 Harbor View Drive, Federal Hill, 410-230-0705) a while ago, the new manager wrote recently to say that the entire staff has been retrained or replaced, including the kitchen staff, the menu has changed, and that all in all, it's a much nicer place to be. ... Ixia (518 N. Charles St., 410-727-1800) has a new spring menu with items like an olive-oil poached salmon with an heirloom radish salad and a roast chicken with risotto verde in a limoncello sauce. I don't usually mention menu changes, but I like the food here. (Be warned, these good things don't come cheap.)
Send restaurant news, trends, questions of general interest or observations to me at email@example.com or fax me at 410-783-2519. Snail mail works, too: Elizabeth Large, The Sun, Box 1377, Baltimore, MD 21278.