There is Tex-Mex food, and there is Mexican food. No Dalllasite seeking authentic Mexican food in their hometown need travel far nowadays. There are dozens of neighborhood Mexican places scattered across the area, each typically reflecting the food of the region where the owners originated.
There is also the adventurous Mexican food of Mexico’s big cities. Restaurants with names like Komali, Lazaranda, MesoMaya and Wild Salsa. They offer a chance to explore chilies more arcane and intriguing that Tex-Mex’s jalapeños (Komali had six different chilies on its menu the last time I was there), sample ingredients uncommon in European-inspired cooking. How about a side of cactus? How about huitlacoche growing on your corn? How about fried insects? One can also experience the exhilarating flavors and textures created when the native ingredients of Mexico are inducted into the sophisticated preparation techniques of France.
At a packed blow out six-course Third Anniversary Dinner (at which I was an invited media guest), Lazaranda reiterated that it is a master at the latter. Executive chef Antonio Marquez trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, so that really should not be too much of a surprise. A first course of Fuji apple soup with goat cheese croutons, topped with toasted walnuts and cilantro oil was as subtle and harmonious as any soup served in one of the city’s top restaurants. I am going to start a reality show which swaps dishes at smart restaurants with food from ethnic places just before service. The dinners will be quizzed at the end of the meal as to which of course was the ringer. This sophistication and elegance of this dish would have made it indistinguishable from one of Bruno Davaillon’s glorious soups at the Mansion. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
I recently had some beautiful dishes at Lazaranda in Addison, 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 true stand out. You may have heard about the small group of restaurants from Mexico, with its single location in the States in the food capital of Addison, Texas Continue reading →
I just read a restaurant review by a famous critic whose prose makes mine sound like a garbage truck being shoved into reverse. He argued that great meals are made not by the food, or the beverages, but by the ‘whole milieu’ in which one enjoys it. The location, the company, the sense of accomplishment from endeavors earlier in the day. From kind remarks one heard. Maybe it was a combination of those things that made tonight’s tequila dinner at Lazaranda in Addison so enjoyable. According to famous critic, I could have replaced the food with a TV dinner, the Don Julio 100% blue Weber agave tequila with battery acid, and the evening would have been just as adorable. Continue reading →
I’ve stated before that Texans like their Tex-Mex two ways, orange & brown. We will eat a slab of beef for breakfast and wrap anything in a tortilla and call it a meal. However, this leads to some problems when you are a bona fide Mexican restaurant and want to serve… seafood.
People get confused, agitated. “Where are the fajitas?” “I don’t understand why this rice is white.” “Can you fry this?” Continue reading →