Openings and Closings

La Mina Opens Underground at The Village

Tlayuda de barbacoa
Tlayuda de barbacoa Courtesy of The Village
The Village continues its massive reinvention. This residential development has been around for decades as a post-college (and beyond) party HQ and has recently been given a makeover. Adding to its long list of amenities, a Mexican restaurant, La Mina, recently opened. And this spot is subterranean by design. (Gold star if you can name that song without Googling it.)

La Mina, which means "the mine" in Spanish, is tucked under the new Drey Hotel and is actually a bit underground. At the helm in the kitchen here is chef Tony Ibarra, whose résumé includes time at Petra and the Beast, FT33, CBD Provisions, Small Brewpub, Proof and Pantry and Nanna.

The menu is a one-pager broken into appetizers, tacos and regionally inspired large plates. One of those regions also includes Texas, so you’ll find enchiladas de queso y rajas ($16) with Oaxacan cheese, poblano chilies, epazote, salsa ranchera, rice and refried black beans. A carne asada de mole amarillo ($29) is a grilled steak with yellow mole, roasted potatoes, chorizo and carrot-jalapeño escabeche.
click to enlarge The undergound-ish patio at La Mina. - COURTESY OF THE VILLAGE
The undergound-ish patio at La Mina.
Courtesy of The Village
Other menu highlights include coctél de camarones: poached shrimp with mezcal, cucumber, radish and avocado. The tlayuda de barbacoa is norteño-style braised beef with refried beans and house-made heirloom corn tlayuda. The fish Veracruz is cooked in banana leaf with capers, olives, tomato, potato and calabaza. There’s puerco con chile and cochita pibíl tacos.

Brunch on both Saturday and Sunday has its own menu and drink specials. Signature dishes include chilaquiles rojas with cochinita pibíl or pollo borracho, Drowned Huevos in the amarillo mole and a horchata-soaked French toast. They’re making their own chorizo in-house as well.

Tacos include cochinita pibíl, camarones de mole amarillo, pork belly al pastor, hongos and pipián and barbacoa. All the tacos, as well as the big plates, are served with their house-made tortillas using heirloom corn nixtamalized and ground in-house.
click to enlarge La Mina is located inside The Drey Hotel across from Anise. - COURTESY OF THE VILLAGE
La Mina is located inside The Drey Hotel across from Anise.
Courtesy of The Village
Nixtamilizing is a traditional process used in Mexico and Central America to make tortillas and is experiencing a movement across the U.S. Former Dallas Morning News food critic Leslie Brenner (who is currently a consultant for La Mina) wrote about nixtamilizing for Bon Appetit recently:

“We’re in the midst of a masa movement, and it’s due to two things: the availability of landrace heirloom maíz from Mexico and a gadget called the Molinito. (Landrace crops are those adapted to specific places and growing conditions over time, typically on small farms.) Their powers combined are poised to change America’s relationship with masa — and with Mexican cooking as a whole.”

Nixtamilization involves soaking the grain in an alkaline solution. The Molinito is a table-top-sized mill is to grind the nixtamilized grain.

The penchant for house-made ingredients extends to the bar too. They’re making their own sangrita, veridita and tepache.

La Mina, which is across from another new restaurant Anise, has an outdoor space with about 24 seats, as well as bar seating and the dining room.

La Mina (inside the Drey Hotel), 5630 Village Glen Dr., 4 - 10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 4 p.m. - 12 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m. - 12 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday. Happy hour is 4-6 p.m. Monday - Friday.
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.
Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.