Restaurants / Bars

Dallas’ Newest Happy Hour Hotspot is the Perfect Place for an Unfussy Foodie

Your First Taste Review

BY // 08.04.17
photography Courtesy of District 30

Oak Lawn Avenue’s newest happy hour spot, District 30 Craft Bar & Kitchen is officially open. The laid-back gastropub serves specialty cocktails, craft beer, and unique cuisine at lunch and dinner. With a modern but comfortable atmosphere and a menu that offers modern twists on classic comfort food, District 30 is emerging as a great place for the unfussy foodie.

The kitchen is led by Chef Mike Smith, who is also behind the health-driven menu at Utopia Food & Fitness. Smith broke into the Dallas culinary scene as sous chef of The Green Room, and later went on to work in the kitchens of Arcodoro/Pomodoro, Thomas Avenue Beverage Company, Restaurant 2900, and The Common Table.

The menu at District 30 has the same vibe as that at The Common Table. It doesn’t really fit into any category of cuisine other than “gastropub” – that undefinable genre of food that includes everything from wings to deviled eggs to lamb lollipops, and then some.

There are some healthy options, like salads, chilled shrimp on cucumber rounds, and hummus. And then there are some items that would never make it into Utopia, such as the lemony tempura fried asparagus and the short rib grilled cheese.

Best bets on the restaurant’s diverse menu?

As far as appetizers, the ahi tuna mini crisps might be the most delicious. Tender pieces of ponzu marinated ahi tuna are served with wasabi spiced avocado, sesame seeds, and pickled ginger on a mini fried wonton skin.

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For the main course, the braised beef short rib with mashed potatoes is incredibly flavorful and rich. The short rib is slow cooked in red wine and demi glace until it’s perfectly shreddable and saucy, and then served over a buttery cloud of potatoes.

The jalapeño chicken and dumplings is another standout on the menu. A spicy kick of jalapeño makes the classic dish interesting and cuts through the richness of the dumplings.

If gastropub fare isn’t your thing, District 30 is also a good place to just grab a drink. The cocktails are sweet and inventive, there are plenty of beers on tap, lots of wines — and the patio is sure to be a hit when the weather cools down.

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