Several months ago chef Julio Peraza took over the kitchens at both Komali and Salum, the beloved restaurants owned by chef Abraham Salum. Salum knew what he was doing as Peraza came with this amazing background working with some of the top chefs and top kitchens in America.
Chef Julio Peraza, born in El Salvador, began his career by attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Upon graduating in 2002, Peraza launched his career as a line cook under the guidance of Chef Joel Guillon at The Argent Hotel in San Francisco, and at Gary Danko Restaurant where he developed his passion for fine dining.
After four years in San Francisco, Chef Peraza traveled extensively and held various positions prior to being promoted to the sous chef position at St. Regis Hotel in Kauai. Two years later, Chef Peraza moved to Las Vegas and worked under Chef Kerry Simon Cathouse as a sous chef. Soon after, he worked as executive sous for Chef David Myers’ Comme Ca located in West Hollywood and at the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas.
Before moving to Dallas, Chef Peraza was the executive sous chef for Chef Michael Mina at American Fish, located at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas. He has also worked in Dallas with Chef Andre Natera at both Pyramid Restaurant & Bar and Village Kitchen.
It took Peraza some time to make it to Dallas, and did so to be with his wife and her family. This is where we benefit, and this new menu at Komali are evidence that we have a sweet road ahead of us with the new chef at the helm.
We had a chance to sample some of Peraza’s new offerings recently, and here are the highlights:
What a truly refreshing, and visually appealing salad. The House Salad is a far cry from hand torn iceburg lettuce and a dreary dressing.
The almond crusted shrimp is packed with flavor, and has a delicious crunch from the chopped nuts that adorn the shrimp.
A stolen page from the Salum playbook perhaps, the lamb chops are a must order item.
Light and just in time to beat the summer heat, the mescal cured salmon screams exquisite. A perfect plate of balance and taste.
The sea bass is one of the more requested dishes off the new menu, and for good reason. The exterior is crisp with a slight crunch, and the interior is ever so moist and delicate, as you would expect.
Leann Berry’s margaritas are simply the best that can be found on this hemisphere. The always popular Serrano Sandia is now kicked up a notch with the Pura Vida Blanco Tequila infused with refreshing watermelon and Serrano peppers making this a perfec summer cocktail. A bit spicy with the ever-cooling affect of the watermelon. This cocktail is worth the trip to Komali alone.
Do not feel that the menu is all about the coastal cuisine, although that plays a big pat of what the chef is doing at Komali. It makes totla sense, but there are plenty of courses in a giant section labeled “Land” that includes a beautiful cochinita pibil, the beer braised pork shank, and a chicken in mole that is the finest example of the sauce I have tasted outside the State of Oaxaca.
“The food is more up-to-date in Mexico City than most people would probably think, so it was a good starting point for me when I was researching the cuisine. When Chef Salum and I got into the kitchen together, I wanted to take that rich history of amazing food and blend my fine-dining background and modern techniques. We are taking very traditional dishes, but refining what we are putting on the plate. With this menu we wanted to showcase how simple and beautiful the cuisine is, while also taking it to the next level. I am working with the kitchen staff and teaching them that you have to put love on to the plate and into the sauté pan. R0eal serious cooking. I am excited about the changes and look forward to working with Chef Salum and our dedicated team,” explained Peraza.