LADA, a new fine-casual restaurant coming to Far North Dallas this November, is putting its focus on one of the most craveable Tex-Mex dishes: enchiladas. Don’t fret if you don’t like enchiladas for some crazy reason; the menu also offers tacos, soups, salads, and a few sides. And who’s creating this twist on a traditional favorite with iterations like orange-pepper carnitas and chipotle mahi enchiladas? Former executive chef of Mirador and The French Room, chef Michael Ehlert.
“I’ve been interested in Tex-Mex for a long time, but my career never led me in that direction,” Ehlert (owner-operator of LADA) tells PaperCity. “My wife is a Texas-native and we would always gravitate towards Tex-Mex flavors.”
The LADA menu includes six kinds of enchiladas, each created with made-from-scratch recipes using local Texas ingredients. “I think a crowd-favorite is going to be the Tipsy Chicken,” the four-star chef says. “And the one near and dear to my heart is the Orange-Pepper Carnitas. It’s the most non-traditional.” There are also cider-glazed steak, chipotle mahi, cheddar ricotta, and shiitake mushroom enchiladas.
For drinks, the restaurant is serving beer and wine, as well as non-alcoholic horchata, ginger pear fresca, and pineapple fresca, but no hard liquor for now. Of course, there will be Modelo. You’ll also be able to get Local Buzz and El Chingon on tap. Margaritas made with agave wine is something Ehlert says they are experimenting with, as well as Micheladas.
As for the location, Ehlert says that the adjacent park was a huge deciding factor. “It’s at the intersection of a couple of neighborhoods,” he says. “There is a focus on community and family.”
The 2,500 square-foot interior of LADA was designed by Austin’s Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and FÖDA. A highlight of the space is a hand-woven tapestry menu board that complements the restaurants, homey, natural vibes. There will also be a 1,000-square-foot outdoor patio.
Of course, opening during a pandemic was never the plan. “Thankfully we didn’t have to retro-fit like a lot other places are having to do,” he says. The more casual concept made it easier to make Covid-friendly adjustments, such as adding on take-out options, delivery, and online ordering.
“The thought process was to keep it simple, but it took a lot of trial and error,” says Ehlert. “I gravitate toward the craveable parts of Tex-Mex. We have the six enchiladas at the core of the brand, but I definitely want to play around.”
LADA is slated to open at 6859 Arapaho Road in mid-November.