4

At Uptown's CrushCraft, the Best Stuff Isn't on the Main Menu and May Never Be

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

When you walk into CrushCraft, there are two menus to peruse. One looks a little like the menu board at Chipotle, with 10 or so dishes you'll mostly recognize. The other menu is scrawled on a a series of sheets of butcher paper that serve as a sort of proving ground for the restaurant.

There are tofu fries and spring rolls and tom ka gai, which isn't always available. There's also a sheet that displays two seemingly random dishes, one of which is the pla phat pik pictured above. Chef Paul Singhapong comes up with dishes, draws up descriptions and tracks their sales for a period of time. Strong performers are considered for the permanent menu.

The losers are kicked to the curb, which is why I hope this stir fry performs well. It could be removed from the menu by the end of the week and then you'll miss out on salty catfish with a firm bite and a red curry that imparts some serious heat. Kaffir lime leaves are deep fried to replace their unpleasant leathery texture with a satisfying crunch, and bits of eggplant, various chiles and pickled aromatics make each bite as interesting as the one before it.

And if you don't get there in time and the pla phat pik is missing, don't pass over the dishes that have replaced it. There's a decent chance the best cooking coming out of the kitchen any moment will only be available for an instant.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.