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Best restaurants in Dallas, am I missing any?

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I've lived in DFW for a little more than four years and in that time I've eaten at almost four hundred of the places that the area offers. I've kept a spreadsheet to monitor the ones I've been to and which ones I particularly liked

I'm curious if the ChowHound community has some gems that I have missed along the way. Happy to share my thoughts on the restaurants I've been to, though in fairness most of my reviews are pretty basic.

My spreadsheet can be found here
https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?h...

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  1. a couple of places that I like, that I didn't see on your list...

    Seafood Shack (on Webb Chapel, south of Forest)
    Lockhart Smokehouse (in Bishop Arts)
    Cedars Social (downtown)
    Ozona and AllGood Cafe, for two of the better CFS I've had (not that I'm an expert, though)

    and not sure how far north you want to go, but since I saw First Chinese BBQ, I'd add two more in Richardson:
    Royal Sichuan
    Maxim's and Kirin Court for Dim Sum

    -----
    First Chinese BBQ
    111 S. Greenville Ave., Richardson, TX 75081

    Seafood Shack
    11625 Webb Chapel Rd, Dallas, TX 75229

    Kirin Court Restaurant
    221 W Polk St, Richardson, TX 75081

    1 Reply
    1. re: gavlist

      These all look great, I appreciate it. Can't wait to try them.

    2. Especially good at Seafood Shack is their shrimp tostadas with extra avocado. Especially on Mondays when they're the half price special.

      -----
      Seafood Shack
      11625 Webb Chapel Rd, Dallas, TX 75229

      1. Forgot the four Thai places I regularly have on my rotation:

        Do not order any of the regular menu items ask for a Thai menu or what they have in season/special
        Jasmine Thai - Custer and Spring Creek - Plano (southern muslim)
        Bangkok Orchid - Beltline and 183 - Irving (southern buddist)
        Andaman - Hickory just east of Downtown Square - Denton (Southern)
        Bambu - Richardson (Issan)
        Tacos El Geurro - Bryan and Live Oak - E Dallas
        Keiichi - Just about three blocks north of downtown square - Denton
        Kolache Haven - I35 Service Rd just south of Ft Worth Dr - Denton
        Ravelin Bakery - Elm St south of the downtown square - Denton
        Beth Maries - Downtown Square - Denton
        Beirut Rock - S. Cooper just a block south of UTA campus - Arlington
        Bread Haus - Ira E Woods and Dallas Dr - Grapevine
        King's Noodles - Sherman and Greenville - Richardson (get the Zha Jiang Mein)

        -----
        King's Noodle
        201 S Greenville Ave, Richardson, TX 75081

        Beirut Rock Cafe
        1201 S Cooper St, Arlington, TX 76010

        Keiichi
        500 N Elm St, Denton, TX 76201

        Bambu
        1930 N Coit Rd #100, Richardson, TX 75080

        Jasmine Thai
        2050 Spring Creek Pkwy, Plano, TX 75023

        13 Replies
        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

          Much appreciated. You seem to have been to even more restos than I have.

          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            LewisvilleHounder,
            I read your L.A. trip report including unfortunate Jitlada one. I like JItlada for a couple dishes like steamed mussels. Though my go to Thai in Los Angeles is Renu Nakorn in Norwalk, which previously owned by Saipin Chutima of the Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas. Do you think it's worth to try Thai such as Jasmine or Bangkok Orchid in Dallas? Can I have Sai Oua (Issan Sausage), one my favorite Thai dishes in either restaurant?
            I do not hijack the thread but... I have to to a conclusion that you are one of the authorities of ethnic cuisine in Dallas.

            1. re: jblee

              Bambu specializes in Issan-style Thai food. I called the owner a few months ago and organized a dinner which included dishes on Lotus of Siam's menu (specifically Issan sausage too), so give them a call and that shouldn't be a problem. I saw your other thread and didn't join the discussion since it was mostly focused on TexMex/BBQ/regional specialties, but based on your interest, you should definitely add Bambu to your dining itinerary when you come visit Dallas. A meal there would be worth your time.

              With regard to the spreadsheet, LH nailed a bunch of places I'd rec, and I'd also add:
              Nam Hua - Vietnamese: imo the best Vietnamese restaurant in town, surprised LH didn't mention it

              Blue Ginger Garden - Malaysian: I haven't had a dish here that I dislike and from what I hear, it's the only good Malaysian restaurant in North Texas. Light years better than Secret Recipe and very much worth driving to Plano. You'll notice roti canai on practically every table; everyone orders it since theirs is top notch. My favorite dish there is the Hokkien Lor Mee (Yellow noodle with creamy egg sauce). I also like the whole curried fish head and the beef rendang improved compared to the first time I'd had it there. They're starting to venture deeper into Nyonya and other forms of Malaysian cuisine in their specials menu too.

              Hong Kong Royal for dim sum. Quality of dim sum is consistent and better than both Maxim or Kirin, plus no crowds, but variety of dishes is not as expansive as Maxim/Kirin. Dim sum is cooked to order regardless of time of day, and if there's something you want that you don't see on a cart, they'll make it for you. Favorites are curried squid, fried taro, crabmeat xiumai, gai lan/chinese broccoli. don't recommend the non dim sum items, go to FCB for those

              Sushi Robata: enjoy the izakaya items here and I really like the niku tofu. If interested in sushi, sit at the bar and ask for Mori. Although I prefer the rice at Teppo and Keiichi more, Sushi Robata is in the rotation since Mori's seasonal menu typically includes fish that isn't the same as other sushi restaurants.

              and short blurbs on these..
              Inca's Cafe - Peruvian (ceviche rocks here)
              Aahar - Indian (all around solid buffet, locations in Richardson and Valley Ranch)
              Namoo - Korean (consistently does better banchan than many Korean places in the area, all around reliable and good Korean restaurant)

              -----
              Bambu
              1930 N Coit Rd #100, Richardson, TX 75080

              1. re: air

                Blue Ginger Garden serves amazing Malaysian food.
                Everything I've ever eaten there left me wanting to return soon.

                1. re: air

                  I am allowed a few misses here and there. Since I am more often than not, typing at my desk at work then I have a very limited amount of time to get in what I would like say. Some days I can go on writing forever and other days mental block.

                  Nam Hua is great....I am sure I have posted what I liked there a few times. Also Leslie Brenner at the Dallas Morning News wrote a article shortly after meeting me and I raved about the place to her. I went the day after the article ran. It was the most packed (even with many Non-Asians) I have ever seen. Service is generally spotty and despondent as it is in most Asian places.

                  Hong Kong Royal is great and I have no quams about the food I just get a bit scared at why my wife and I are the only ones dining some nights. The place is generally a bit more "busy" on the weekends. Like air said go for the BBQ at First Chinese BBQ which is not too far away in Carrollton....straight shot down Josey.

                  I haven't been very many time to Sushi Robata and I am not sure why. Food is great and prices are very reasonable, sometimes very cheap. I guess air never invites?

                  Inca's Cafe/Lounge is also the best I have had a ceviche without shelling out $15-$25 per. The ceviche I had in LA at some place everyone was touting (Mo Chica) was terrible. The chica morrada (purple corn drink) is really tasty and they got a heck of a deal on the fried seafood platter too, if you are into that $18 for enough food for 2.

                  I am kinda dicey about Indian food lately. I feel that it is slipping here in Dallas. I just have been let down as of late and my home made stuff is so much better that I am afraid to shell out the money. Royal Sweets has a decent all veg buffet, but it is pricey for a lunch at $10. Aahar has some highlights on its buffet and is generally very affordable. I usually go for most of the vegetarian dishes and the idli and sambar. If they ever have it try out the tindora dish they have close to the salads. It is the one dish I have yet to find at any other place in Dallas.

                  I have yet to get to Namoo, so no comment there. I need a large group as it is pricey for dinner there and Korean is just not as high on the pecking order of my ethnic rotation. I will say that a recent meal at Chicken House in front of Super H Mart while a bit pricey at $15 plus drink (if you are into that) was a very generous amount of food and the seasoning just right on everything. I have no clue of what the dish was called....we will just call it table cooked heap of pork and veggies with Korean pepper sauce.

                  -----
                  Royal Sweets
                  219 W Airport Fwy, Irving, TX

                  First Chinese BBQ
                  111 S. Greenville Ave., Richardson, TX 75081

                  Hong Kong Royal Restaurant
                  3030 N Josey Ln Ste 130, Carrollton, TX 75007

                  Sushi Robata
                  4727 Frankford Rd, Dallas, TX 75287

                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                    We had a mixture of chicken/pork kalbi at Chicken House, and that was indeed quite an enormous amount of food. Would be more than happy to do that again.

                    And didn't mean to sound harsh - was just giving you a hard time! Brenner's review on Nam Hua is also a good point, didn't think about that. Since the review I'd try to eat there at non-busy hours and haven't personally experienced any issues that would make me not want to return. Will make sure to clue you in on the next Sushi Robata/Teppo run.. plus there are a couple Indo/Pak places on my radar too.

                    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                      I like making Indian food at home too but I keep it pretty basic. What Indo-Pak stores in Plano do you recommend that carry a good selection of Indian ingredients?

                      1. re: Scagnetti

                        I was just speaking to Samir the exec chef for Nick and Sams (who is Indian) and he says the best purveyor for all things Indian is Taj Imports at Belt Line and 75

                        1. re: Scagnetti

                          Scagnetti,

                          I will honestly say I really haven't shopped around at Indian stores in Plano. I really like Subzi Mandi in Irving and the Taj Mahal in Richardson. I generally stock up at Phoenicia in Houston (my brother lives there) for all my bulk spices. They do not have things like cardamom and dried fenugreek leaves (used to make Methi Chicken and the sort). Oh and I looke for deals on onions like El Rancho 8 lbs for $1 this past week. Try watching the VahRehVah video on Youtube

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiMQd-...

                          I will get back to you on some suggestions fo stores. I have some great resources at work!

                      2. re: air

                        Added to my list to try. Very impressed by your selections. Looking forward to the Malaysian place. Had a place in Cambridge I liked a lot and haven't had it since.

                      3. re: jblee

                        jblee,

                        The answer is yes to your first question you should defintiely try out one of those restuarants, Jasmine or Bambu. I can't tell you what to have I can just tell you what I have had and which I thought were amazing dishes. Start another thread if you would like some suggestions on that end before you head out.

                        Can you get Issan Sausage in Dallas, yes you can at Bambu. Bambu has the grilled and the fresh one.

                        Also I know it is too late but plan for next year in N. Fort Worth/Saginaw area there is a huge Thai/Laotian buddist temple that holds a celebration for Thai/Laotian New Year. It unfortunately ran concurrently with Good Friday and on Saturday. Many years there is never overlap between the two holidays. I had a co-worker pick me up some Sai Oua (fresh and grilled), steamed rice in bamboo (green bean, taro and I believe coconut), thai jerky, and three thai desserts for my wife and I.

                        So do we have a large population for Thai/Laotians yes, as big as LA, no. You will just have to look harder, be very open minded about the food and ask the questions that will get you access to better food. It is out there and available just most people in Dallas are so entrenched on Meat and Three, Steak and Taters, and Tex-Mex. Many are just unwilling or uneducated (not in a bad way) to try different ethnic foods such as Thai or Laotian.

                        And yes Jitlada will never be on my list again. Thanks for reading that LA post we had a great time in LA and look forward to going back....it will be hard to get out of the San Gabriel Valley though after all those great places!

                        -----
                        Bambu
                        1930 N Coit Rd #100, Richardson, TX 75080

                        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                          I love Bambu. Especially their whole fish and clam dishes.

                          -----
                          Bambu
                          1930 N Coit Rd #100, Richardson, TX 75080

                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                            Oh and I am by no means an "authority" on ethnic food here in Dallas. I just have had the pleasure of dining at a good majority or the popular and highly discussed restaurants. I know what I like and it generally goes to say that most people like what I do.

                      4. Impressive list...

                        1. York Street is now closed.

                          It also appears that you've had brunch more on one list than I've had in my life.