Dallas’ Perfect Coffee Cafe Escape — This Casual Spot Makes Shopping Even More Fun

No Aloha Adds More Buzz to Forty Five Ten

BY // 04.11.19

I often find myself a bit peckish after some retail therapy. We all know shopping can prove exhausting. Nosing through rack after rack of Prada. Trying on endless new shoe options from Gucci. However, I generally don’t like to eat a big meal before trying on clothes — who needs the neurosis of looking at yourself in a dressing room mirror after a hefty lunch.

When in Los Angeles, I often like to pop up to Fred’s on the top floor of Barneys. It’s one of my favorite places to grab a bite in Beverly Hills. The Belgian pommes frites with a glass of rosé is often what the doctor (likely a plastic surgeon if you are in that neighborhood) ordered. I’ve always said its a smart idea to have a restaurant inside a store.

If folks get hungry, they don’t have to leave and then perhaps not come back to finish shopping. And, alcohol onsite is a great way to lubricate your customers. Smart business sense, right? I have fallen prey a few too many times to having a glass or two of chardonnay and then using the ill-fated response — “I don’t need to try this on, I’m sure it will fit.”

Thus, I so appreciate that Neiman Marcus has the beloved Zodiac and Bergdorf Goodman has its BG Restaurant.

One of my favorite easy breezy spots used to be the charming T Room at Forty Five Ten (in its original location on McKinney Avenue). Don’t get me wrong, I adore Mirador on the top floor of the Main Street store. However, it doesn’t feel like a relaxed spot where I can pop in spontaneously and perhaps grab a bite of something solo. I was thrilled when I heard the news that the store was creating a new casual option on the ground floor. The cafe, named No Aloha, has been open since last fall and I’ve already been quite a few times.

It’s now part of my rotation of coffee meeting venues. I know the valets so well that I can easily pop in for an interview with an artist or a catch-up with a girlfriend over a cappuccino and be in-and-out within a half hour. No reservations required and generally not a problem finding a seat. In the warmer months, I’m told the adjacent patio, with a great view of the giant eyeball (The Eye sculpture created by Tony Tasset), will be open for dining.

The interior of No Aloha is a perfect complement to the edgier vibe of items and the lines carried on the ground floor of Forty Five Ten. Brilliant Kristen Cole, president and chief creative officer of the store, brought many of the lines that she carried at TenOverSix to provide more options and price points for customers. Brooklyn-based artist Katherine Bernhardt was commissioned to develop and install a painting adorning the walls and ceiling of No Aloha. One feels almost a part of, or perhaps a character, within Berhhardt’s work when dining in the cafe.

The menu is perfect for my palette. Numerous shared plates are offered including chicken bites, lemon hummus and my very favorite — deviled eggs with caviar. There’s a little history on the menu, too. As I was sharing, the T Room in the original McKinney Avenue location was one of my favorite Dallas lunch spots. That said, a few of the items from that menu have made a comeback.

The much-loved tuna melt, curry chicken salad and lemon pistachio tart are all back. I need to get out of my comfort zone and try some new items, but the curry chicken salad is pretty close to heaven for me.

No Aloha cafe, Forty Five Ten, 1615 Main Street, Dallas, Mondays to Saturdays, 10 am to 5 pm; lunch served until 2:30 pm.

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