Where Braden and Yasmin Wages, the Globe-Trotting Owners of Malai Kitchen, Eat in Dallas

Eat what the chefs eat: noodles.
Eat what the chefs eat: noodles.
file photo

All chefs are busy, but the husband and wife duo behind Malai Kitchen have set a new standard for what it's like to have a lot on your plate. When they're not brewing their own beer, expanding their restaurant, or learning exactly how hard it is to make their own coconut milk, Braden and Yasmin Wages occasionally make it out to dinner in Dallas.

But not too often. For busy chefs like these, going out to a restaurant is going to get even more difficult when Yasmin gives birth to their first child in December. In the meantime, before their lives are over for good, you can find them chowing down at these five Dallas restaurants.

Nonna Authentic Italian food is hard to come by at Dallas, unless you're going to a place like Nonna. Take the chefs' recommendation and order the clam pizza that they always crave, and indulge in the restaurant's ever-rotating pasta dish. At a place like Nonna, though, whatever you choose is probably not going to be disappointing, even if you don't listen to the chefs.

Tei-An Without a doubt, this is the single most common response that we've gotten from chefs in this series, but the Wages say that's for good reason. "Why wouldn't every chef go there," says Braden Wages. "It's the best." As for his picks at Chef Teiichi Sakurai's One Arts Plaza spot, the tonkatsu ramen or udon is always a good choice. Yasmin prefers the duck dipping soba, and professes a "shameless" love for Sakurai's seaweed salad.

Mr. Mesero Of course, these chefs have the obligatory Tex-Mex restaurant on their list, but they've chosen a great one. Mico Rodriguez's "American+Mexican" joint is always a good stop for carne asada and enchiladas and several Mambo Taxis. Hopefully when December rolls around, the lady Wages will be able to imbibe in this Dallas classic once again.

Jimmy's Food Store This East Dallas staple is arguably one of Dallas' best sandwich shops, a fact that Yasmin and Braden Wages agree whole-heartedly with. The two frequent Jimmy's for the massive Italian Stallion sandwich, made with god-knows-how-many different kinds of meat, and an authentic New Orleans-style muffaletta.

Al Markaz Indian food is another of those cuisines that can be hard to come by in Dallas, unless you travel outside the city limits. You'll have to go to Carrollton, but Al-Markaz, the market-slash-restaurant, is home to what the Wages call the best seekh kebabs in all of Dallas. "They're all you need to die happy," says Braden, which is high praise coming from a guy who's travelled all over the globe.


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