100 Favorite Dishes, No. 6: Pulpo a la Plancha at Casa Rubia

The octopus at Casa Rubia is as colorful as it is delicious.
The octopus at Casa Rubia is as colorful as it is delicious.

For last week's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we've been counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Any fan of chef Omar Flores' cooking at Driftwood would expect an octopus dish after he transitioned to Casa Rubia. The chef made a name for himself in braised sea creatures. The technique is intact at his new post -- it's grilled and blackened after it's braised until tender -- but now the plate has a Spanish flair that will capture your heart and soul.

Start with those potatoes. They're cooked in chicken stock that's been laced with an absurd amount of saffron. When they emerge they're so golden it's alarming, and they explode in your mouth with exotic flavors.

Those pickled onions are almost as interesting, colored an unnatural shade of magenta. They clash with that creamy, green Romesco sauce, but they do it in a good way. Olives and parsley add color and texture to a dish that looks a little bit like confetti but it all works well -- probably because the octopus holds everything together.

The meat is tender enough that it cuts easily with a fork, and a wicked-hot grill adds a subtle, smoky flavor. Forget those tough and fishy versions you've had at other seafood restaurants. This octopus is a work of art.

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