by Kerrie Sparks
Walking into Komali is a feast for the senses, and not what you would expect for a Dallas
restaurant that dubs itself as contemporary Mexican cuisine. But contemporary it is with
sleek lines, clean delineation of spaces, and natural materials used in unexpected ways.
The layout is a shotgun style, with entry in the middle, and you’re greeted by a 1,500
pound Italian sandstone “mask” that doubles as a chair in the hostess area.
|One half of the restaurant is classically intimate, with the usual dining room comprised
of four-top tables, yet there’s an unexpected wood burning fireplace at one end. The
ornate structure, designed by Brian Scott, is unlike anything you’ve seen. Julio bought
random Italian pottery and plates from eBay and instructed Brian to go to town. Brian
also included hand worked and fired pottery into the structure in the form of skulls, a
sock monkey, even an “angry turnip” – one of the staff’s favorites. See if you can find
the naughty pottery piece that’s hidden within the mosaic!
The other half of the space is a vibrant bar with two linear expanses of counter space,
an enormous framed mirror behind the bar that’s hugged by patinated Ann Sacks tile
and sisal wall covering painted bright white, and a wall of banquet tables rest under
two huge windows which flank the opposite side.
It was among these beautiful textures I pulled up a seat next to Abraham and talked
about his traditional food and keen design eye. He told me he was pleasantly
surprised to find many people were indeed familiar with traditional Mexican food,
and they were welcoming the honesty of the ingredients and the husky tomatillos
with open arms.
|Abraham says a sprawling patio is soon to come and will begin to beckon patrons most
likely this fall. In the meantime, belly up to the CaesarStone bar and let mixologist
extraordinaire, Leann Berry, imbibe you with “The Komali”. Her recently awarded
“Best Margarita in Dallas” includes Tres Generaciones Reposado tequila, prickly pear
puree, mango and lime juices, and a splash of Cointreau.
It’s the perfect drink for washing down the queso de cabra, a morita chile goat cheese
that’s surrounded by sweet piloncillo sauce (reduced whole cane sugar), and served
with grilled bread. Challenge your taste buds with the variety of mole’s Abraham’s got
at the ready, I recommend any one alongside his tamales. The chorizo sopes with
Oaxaca cheese, topped with his fresh and tangy tomatillo salsa, are amazing! And
finish with some avocado ice cream…yes, you should. It’s surprisingly palette
cleansing and not heavy.
4152 Cole Ave
Dallas, TX 75204
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