Yesterday we joined a hoard of Dallas media in a press luncheon at Lazaranda. We have written about the fairly new restaurant several times in the past and have found it to be a fresh oasis among the many restaurants located in the Addison area. Most in the area are chains and not uniquely inspiring, with only a few exceptions. Lazaranda might be considered a chain as well, with several locations in Mexico proper.
During the luncheon the restaurant plied the group with some spectacular dishes including a Sea Bass Ajillo, which is a seared Sea Bass with garlic and gaujillo peppers along with a dash of orange juice and tomato sauce. A stand out dish.
They also offered up a ration of ceviches which were also order worthy. Large, plump white fish in a light bath of citrus soy and creamy chipotle dressing. All the while corporate chef Antonio Marquez was leading us through the menu. He was both affable and full of energy. The chef makes a monthly trek to the United States to check on the restaurant and tweak the menu items.
I have sampled most of these dishes in the past and have given the restaurant some well deserved loving. I especially like the idea and logic of Lazaranda lunches which allows you to build a platter piece by piece. Add any amount of tacos or enchiladas, many seafood based with the one amazing exception of the meaty rib-eye taco. This can be a fantastic bargain for the light eater, or a Wonka-style wonderment for the famished.
If you haven’t noticed we are building up to a crescendo here.
In speaking with the chef we made mention that the most intriguing item on the menu is the daily whole fish offering, and with out a moment of hesitation he led us in the kitchen to watch the fish being prepared.
The fish of the day is sold by weight, and this day it was a red snapper flown in fresh and never frozen. We watched as the chef prepared the fish to grill on the zaranda, or the mesh basket that presses the fish in place as it is cooked on the grill. For larger fish, two of the zarandas are used to hold the fish into place.
The chef suggested that you might order one pound of fish per person, or half that if it is to be served as an appetizer.
As the chef prepared the fish, he carefully removed the spine and flattened the fish with the head intact. Two filets were separated and he suggested we sauce them both differently for a variety in flavors. There are many sauces to choose from, and today we went with the house blend of garlic, mustard, chipotle and soy. The other filet would be treated with crushed red pepper mayonnaise, olive oil and soy sauce.
Our fish was about one pound and would take twelve minutes to finish off on the grill. Once cooked it is plated and served with their house rice and mixed vegetables for one amazing looking plate. The fish was as amazing to eat as it was to see.
Lazaranda can make a mean fish just about any way you might choose including frying it whole, but grilled is how they shine the best.