Not Your Lola’s has been popping up with events bringing us desirable Filipino food for a while now.
But now, key member Randall Braud is moving on, making plans for his own brick-and-mortar restaurant.
“I’m going to go ahead and separate myself from the rest of the pack and not in any way of turning my nose to other of the Filipino pop-ups. [It's] a modern, elevated Filipino concept,” he says. “I don’t believe it’s necessarily a bad term when it comes to elevated cuisine.”
This cuisine will be in a Filipino bar setting, he says, with the name Tagay, which means “cheers” in Tagalog. (Not unlike the great Mot Hai Ba in town: In Vietnam, when you clink glasses, you’d say, "Mot, hai, ba, vô!" Vô is pronounced "yo.")
The timeline for Braud’s restaurant is loose and long — Braud is currently acquiring and looking to add investors to his business plan, and he’s still nailing down where the restaurant will be. On his list are spots near the Dallas Farmers Market and Lower Greenville.
He’s looking to have a spot by the end of the year, and he’s still a bit evasive on what exactly the menu will look like. But he does say that you’ll find Filipino plates and flavors with different techniques applied.
“I’m just going to take from what I've learned over the years. I wouldn't say that I have a lot of French technique in how I cooked, but there are some techniques I’ve picked up that are French-inspired,” he says. “We’ll sous-vide some things, some things we’re going to butter-poach, confit, but you’re definitely going to see elevated food … You won’t see your typical Filipino [food].”
Filipino-inspired cocktails will be part of the concept, and we’ll see Filipino beers such as San Miguel (San Mig or San Mig Light, if you’re in the Philippines). Braud’s even looking into bringing Red Horse in, if he can find it. (That’s a stronger beer you can find in large glass bottles, but not everywhere — and that’s in the Philippines. I’ve yet to find it in Dallas.)
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“Everything is going to be a rotating menu, seasonal as Filipino food can get in Texas,” he says. “This is a whole new ballpark for me and the Dallas food scene in general. There are really not any rules in what we can and cannot do.
“This is going to be something that no one has seen before in Texas. Maybe they've seen something like this in D.C. or in LA or San Francisco, or something like that, but Texas doesn’t have a concept like this,” Braud says. “I’m not going to put out a dish and say, ‘Hey, this is Filipino.’ Everything’s going to be tested … following the general guidelines of what Filipino food is.”
Meanwhile, Not Your Lola’s runs on. And if you caught the Dallas Filipino Food Festival on Sunday, you can see Filipino food is wonderfully on the rise.
“I’m excited in general," Braud says. "I’m excited about the Filipino food movement altogether.”