A veteran Milwaukee chef will open Dia Bom at Crossroads Collective food hall on Jan. 17, incorporating Latin American flavors into Japanese grilled skewers and Chinese steamed dumplings.
The food hall, at 2238 N. Farwell Ave., announced the new vendor Friday. Dia Bom will take over the stall vacated by Heaven’s Table BBQ, which opened its own storefront in late December at 5507 W. North Ave.
Dia Bom’s chef and owner, Ramses Alvarez, plans to open two more locations in the coming year, at the pending Flour and Feed Marketplace in Bay View and at Zócalo Food Park in Walker’s Point.
Dia Bom’s menu will include variations on Chinese bao and Japanese kushiyaki — items such as chorizo bao with yuzu avocado and bao filled with jerk chicken; skewered chicken mole, and togarashi-crusted zucchini on skewers; nopales kimchee as one of the side dishes; and, for dessert, churro bao with strawberries.
Alvarez attended culinary school in Mexico City, where his mother had a sopes street food stand where he helped as a child and where his godfather was a chef. He was the opening chef at the former Juniper 61 in Wauwatosa and has led other kitchens around Milwaukee; in the pandemic, Alvarez has worked as a personal chef.
“With Dia Bom, I am taking some of my favorite techniques and combining them. The mixture of these flavors and traditions is a reflection of my experiences,” Alvarez said in the announcement.
Dia Bom is Portugese for good day, Alvarez said. The name came to him and his girlfriend while vacationing on the beach in Florida, where the days were good, he said, and it seemed a good fit for the restaurant.
Crossroads Collective is open for dining, and orders can be placed via QR codes. The east side food hall also has takeout and its own delivery; orders can be placed online at crossroadscollectivemke.com.
Contact dining critic Carol Deptolla at [email protected] or (414) 224-2841, or through the Journal Sentinel Food & Home page on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter at @mkediner or Instagram at @mke_diner.