Food News

Food News: A Mexican Diner, a New Hotel and the Weirdest Restaurant Announcement Ever

The El Monstro from El Famoso, a new "Southern California-Mexican inspired diner and bar" that opened today in Irving.
The El Monstro from El Famoso, a new "Southern California-Mexican inspired diner and bar" that opened today in Irving. Courtesy of Ben Gibson/El Famoso
This week's Dallas food news round-up includes several new restaurants, from a Southern California/Mexico-inspired diner to a whatever a "new-aged" Uptown restaurant might be.
  • A combination restaurant and art gallery is coming to Uptown. PL8 Bistro and Gallery will open March 23, "bringing an innovative restaurant and art concept to the buzzing corner of Routh and McKinney Avenue," according to a press release. While the restaurant's name evokes outdated '90s ephemera a la Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi," the new eatery from WhiteROC Hospitality Group plans to showcase Dallas artists in a space "featuring a bright, inviting ambiance and restaurant-forward concept," which sounds cool, we guess, considering that it is, in fact, a restaurant.

    The press release is filled with similarly flowery yet meaningless language that doesn't actually say anything about what PL8, under "esteemed celebrity chef Alfio Longo," will serve. An "eclectic menu," "a mix of international flair and fresh ingredients," "an exquisite selection of plates paired with a wide selection of global wines," "new-aged style," "the best food and drink using the highest-quality ingredients" — if you can deduce a single dish this restaurant might serve, you're a step ahead of us. The only information we were able to glean from the bizarre press release is that the restaurant is at 2533 McKinney Ave. and will have three bars scattered across two levels.

  • While we're on the subject of intentionally vague restaurant announcements, a new "boutique-style" hotel is opening March 1 at 1907 Elm St. downtown and, along with 177 rooms, will have "Restaurant & Bar," according to a press release. Cambria Dallas Downtown "will feature a full-service restaurant and bar, offering three meals daily in a relaxing environment with mid-modern aesthetic," the release says. "Featuring a classic American menu with locally sourced ingredients, the restaurant and bar will focus on seasonal fare and creative cuisine. The menu will include something for everyone, from Texas-raised steaks to shareable dishes and small plates. The bar will feature custom, Texas-distilled cocktails and happy hour offerings."

  • In slightly more decipherable news, a new restaurant opened today in Irving: El Famoso, a "Southern California-Mexican inspired diner and bar" that serves lunch and dinner at 5228 N. O'Connor Blvd. in Gables Water Street, a mixed-use development in Las Colinas, according to a press release.
    "After traveling around Southern California exploring the origins and evolution of Mexican street food in that part of the country, owner and creator Charlie Green (better known for bringing Olivella’s to the Dallas Fort-Worth market) identified a forgotten niche in the fusion of Mexican comfort food with its American counterpart," according to the release. "Green had a vision to open a greasy spoon Mexican diner in DFW, the kind that sprang up in and around Los Angeles in the 1930s and 1940s, had their heydays in the 1950s and 1960s, and all but faded away by the 1980s. Only a handful still remain."

  • There's yet another opening at Legacy West in Plano: Bulla Gastrobar, a Florida-based franchise promising "authentic Spanish tapas and cocktails in an energetic, social atmosphere," according to a release. It's open for lunch and dinner daily, and its menu "strikes a balance between being casual and communal with an assortment of tasty libations and shareable dishes," the release says. There's also a "Spanish brunch" on weekends with $6 mimosas and sangrias until 4 p.m.

  • Sylvan Thirty is about to get a new restaurant that, like several of its neighbors, specializes in a particular dish, in this case, the banh mi. Construction begins in April for Bánh Mì Station, a "1,440-square-foot space seating nearly 50 people; that includes an enclosed arched trellis patio," CultureMap reports. "The owner is Kevin Vivorakij, who previously owned popular Denton Asian-fusion restaurant The Bowllery; it closed in December when its lease was up." The menu will be a bit more nuanced, CultureMap reports — the restaurant will also serve "bao, the steamed bun topped with meat and vegetables; and Asian-fusion sides such as Thai curry mac and cheese, papaya salad and pulled pork Kimchi fries."

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Beth Rankin is an Ohio native and Cicerone-certified beer server who specializes in social media, food and drink, travel and news reporting. Her belief system revolves around the significance of Topo Chico, the refusal to eat crawfish out of season and the importance of local and regional foodways.
Contact: Beth Rankin