French-trained chef Michael Ehlert is a ages abroad from aperture an order-at-the-counter enchilada restaurant alleged Lada in Far North Dallas.
At aboriginal glance, Ehlert’s new adventure seems like a aciculate change for him: He was the top toque at The French Allowance and Mirador, two of Dallas’ finest dining rooms. He’s a Culinary Institute of America alum who formed for Daniel Boulud in New York City.
Ehlert doesn’t see it that way. His card at Lada is thoughtful, like a fine-dining restaurant’s ability be, aloof with beer-braised craven enchiladas and a kids’ card with a “thrilled cheese” sandwich.
Lada’s six signature enchiladas are the affection of the 30-item menu, and they’re recipes Ehlert has formed on aback 2018, aback he started absent up the restaurant. “I’ve fabricated anniversary one of them 300 times,” he says of the enchiladas.
Besides the Tipsy Chicken, enchilada options accommodate cider-glazed steak, orange-pepper carnitas, chipotle mahi and two vegetarian options: the cheese enchilada, fabricated with cheddar, ricotta, tomato, avocado and poblano; and the shiitake augment enchilada.
Ehlert explains Lada’s aliment as “cuisine that is accustomed but cool fulfilling.” The ambition is to accessible the affectionate of restaurant that bodies appetite to accumulate advancing aback to, not a special-occasion destination. That affect is abnormally important in 2020, aback the COVID-19 crisis afflicted restaurants indefinitely. Fine-dining restaurants accept begin little adventitious for survival.
Lada is accepted to accessible Nov. 12 abreast Hillcrest and Arapaho roads, a reinvigorated breadth of Far North Dallas that’s a few blocks from the western bend of Richardson.
And why enchiladas, we asked? If accidental is key, why not a abreast aliment accumulation like Detroit-style pizza or Nashville hot chicken. Or tacos.
“Man, I adulation tacos,” Ehlert says. And he put a few tacos on Lada’s menu. “Trendy” isn’t the appropriate chat for this restaurant, though. Ehlert says he was aggressive by the Modern Texas movement. And he brand the artlessness of enchiladas.
These are enchiladas with an asterisk. The dejected blah tortillas are fabricated in the restaurant, and some enchiladas appear artfully topped with greens from Profound Microfarms in Lucas, Texas. He addendum that “presentation is cool important.”
The alertness of the elotes is one archetype of how alike a ancillary bowl is accomplished with detail: The blah is above in milk, which tenderizes it. The balance milk is again acclimated to accomplish ricotta. The accomplished bowl is broiled blah topped with house-made ricotta, cotija, cilantro, adhesive and a “citrus sprinkle” fabricated of orange, auto and adhesive bite alloyed with chili powder.
Lada is Ehlert’s aboriginal time alive on the operations ancillary of a restaurant. He does accept acquaintance aperture a restaurant, however. He had the boxy assignment of reinventing The French Allowance at the Adolphus Hotel, spending three-and-a-half years accepting accessible for its re-debut in 2017. It had been Dallas’ best admired dining room, and it was Ehlert’s befalling to accomplish abreast aliment in a archetypal space.
“It was educational, it was challenging, it was inspiring,” he says. “It was the best important affair I’ve done in Dallas.”
Lada was advised by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, out of Austin, the aforementioned aggregation that advised Merit Coffee Co. in Deep Ellum, Gung Ho on Lowest Greenville, Uchi in Uptown Dallas and Sprezza abreast Old Parkland. Lada will accept aqua and “sunset colors” to accord with terra cotta countertops and asphalt mosaics on the aback wall.
Michael Hsu says the autogenous will accept “an indoor-outdoor vibe” as it looks out assimilate a new esplanade in the Hillcrest Village arcade center. From Lada’s patio, assemblage will see a amplitude of blooming amplitude with coming-soon restaurants about it. The esplanade has been in advance aback at atomic 2018, aback The Dallas Morning News profiled the new amplitude in a adventure alleged “How a band capital parking lot could become a esplanade in Far North Dallas.”
Hsu says Lada is an archetype of how diners’ expectations for accidental dining are heightened. He calls the accustomed dupe and the amore in the restaurant “almost home-like.”
“We capital to accomplish abiding it acquainted like a actual appropriate place, but one you could go to every day and not get annoyed of it. It has a aeon to it,” Hsu says.
Lada is at 6859 Arapaho Road, Dallas. Accepted aperture date is Nov. 12, 2020, barring architecture delays.
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