Our first attempt to try it was on a Saturday night at 6 p.m. thinking it was still early enough to at least grab a seat at the bar. There were no seats and the wait for a table was an hour and a half. So, we opted to return the next day as soon as they opened for lunch at 11 a.m. We were seated immediately, but within an hour the place was almost full.
The menu is diverse and includes some of your favorite Tex-Mex combo classics like enchiladas, pan-fried tacos and tamales. It also ventures west and features some New Mexico staples like green chile pork stew with pozole. The house specialties include a Frito tamale pie, wagyu brisket tacos and Berkshire puerco con mole verde.
Odelay sources top-tier ingredients and makes most dishes from scratch. In-house ground meats are from Rosewood Ranches. Seafood comes from the Gulf area. And flour tortillas are made from scratch as seen through a glass window. The tortilla chips are homemade as well, and the complimentary salsa is fresh and has the perfect amount of kick but is not too hot.
The enchiladas at other tables looked great as did the shrimp cocktail, naked chile rellenos (baked not fried) and tres quail (wrapped in bacon and stuffed with jalapeño). And believe it or not, they even offer a smash burger served with their house-ground wagyu blend, American cheese, minced red onions, green chiles, pickles, lettuce and a chipotle special sauce.
And no self-respecting Tex-Mex place would be complete if they didn’t offer chicken-fried steak ($19). At Odelay, they use pounded and fried rib-eye steak served with queso, black beans, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo.
While the menu is great, they really focus on the full experience here, including the atmosphere. Large wooden arched doors at the entrance bring you into the hostess stand where there are two floor-to-ceiling walls with a variety of colorful La Catrina dolls.
The restaurant is multi-level and there are several C-shaped booths in the main dining area. A large U-shaped bar seats 20 to 25 with a beautiful stained-glass window centerpiece filled with beautiful bottles of tequila and spirits. The bar program rightfully centers around tequila with a menu created by master sommelier Sergio Quijano. One of their most popular drinks is the Sangre De Cristo with mint syrup, muddled lemon, red wine reduction and dusted with a hibiscus. If you’re a tequila fan, the frozen Paloma is a fantastic choice.
In the next few weeks, they will open their 3,000-square-foot patio. It also has a southwestern vibe with string lights, lush greenery and Mexican décor that includes Spanish textiles and ceramic sculptures hanging throughout.
Food and drink prices are Odelay are moderate, and you can enjoy happy hour discounts on drinks Monday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m. Service was great, and everyone seemed eager and ready to help.
Odelay, 5600 West Lovers Lane, Suite 109. Open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday - Sunday; Open for dinner 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday - Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday