When Lazaranda threw open its doors in 2011 I remember the sense of anticipation about the prospect of an established Monterrey restaurant spreading its wings north of the border helmed by a Mexican chef who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
Partners Mario Letayf and Antonio Marquez said ‘At Lazaranda, we offer the real food of modern Mexico, a combination of Mexican heritage and modern techniques and ingredients.” The early tastings bore that out. Recently, I revisited Lazaranda as part of a media event to see how the latest menu stood out.
Per the honored Dallas tradition, dinner started with a margarita. In this case the “Double-Barrel” built on a version of Herradura Tequila customized for Lazaranda after being aged in two types of barrels. Made with fresh lime and Cointreau, it was exquisite with a strong grip in the back of the mouth from the tequila.
Our first food offering was a triad of bite size tostadas. The blue crab was marinated in key lime and spices with red onion, cilantro, serrano peppers and guacamole, all topped with a dollop of chipotle aioli. It fabulously highlighted the briny taste of the crab meat. The Michoacán featured a slice of sushi-grade ahi tuna, spinach chiffonade, citrus soy sauce and aioli. It resembled nigiri sushi built on a corn chip base, rather than rice. The earthy sinew of tuna worked rather well with this dish. Finally, the Aztec ceviche tostada had dried chilies making it the most piquant of the three. Ceviche is something of a specialty at Lazaranda and you would be well advised to try one from the selection at the top of the menu.
Panela Cheese Zarandeado places a mixture of chipotle, garlic and soy sauce on top of panela cheese which is then grilled. The cheese is soft, but not melted. It is ideal for slathering on tortillas along with Lazaranda’s very good guacamole.
Octopus Ajillo cooked the octopus with roasted garlic and chile and served it atop a bed of rice all accompanied by beans sprinkled with queso fresco. This was great comfort food.
Chilango Pork Osso-Bucco, a slow-cooked pork shank over a bed of chorizo and cilantro beans, had the harmony of flavor of its Italian counterpart (based on veal shank) but a Mexican accent from the spices and cilantro. This dish will likely prove popular as we move into the winter months.
Bolo’s Mahi is the most popular dish on the menu and originated from the pacific coast of Mexico. It takes grilled mahi-mahi, serves it over a bed of white rice and tops it with a mixture of guacamole, jalapeño and crushed chile de arbol.
Finally, we had the usual sugar rich Mexican desserts. We sampled an Aztec brownie, corn cake (which is from Monterrey where it is known as corn bread) and Dulche de Leche cake is a crowd pleaser. All good for dessert fiends.
Lazaranda joins the phalanx of aspirational Mexican restaurants in town (Komali, Mesa, Mesomaya and Wild Salsa) that disprove the notion that Dallas is only Tex-Mex. . We recommend that you check it out.
Chef Antonio Marquez will host a celebratory, five course dinner for Lazaranda’s third anniversary November 5 at 7 PM featuring seasonal Mexican cuisine paired with Roca Patron Tequila for $45. On November 6, guests may attend Lazaranda’s anniversary party and enjoy $4 house margaritas, $3 Dos Equis, $4 Ribeye tacos, and $8 pomegranate margaritas. To purchase tickets for the chef dinner, please call 972.866.8900.