100 Favorite Dishes, No. 63: Oak's Pork And Octopus

Thumbnail image for Oak Octopus Pork.jpg
Lori Bandi
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Plates with many components often feel noisy to a diner who just wants to enjoy his octopus, but chefs with a good sense of balance can often pull it off. At Oak, Jason Maddy's tender tentacles, braised gently in a bath acidulated with wine, take on subtle flavors of cardamom and fenugreek. And that's just the beginning.

Pork cheeks braised into a texture so tender it literally melts away in your mouth supported by crisp green apple and two sauces: one derived from a Peruvian aji panca paste and a second cilantro sauce in forest green. Paper-thin slices of watermelon radish round out what may be one of Dallas' most beautiful plates.

Hungry for more? Check back every morning for another dish, and download our Best Of App for Android and iPhone for more picks on the go.

No. 100: The Cleaver and Block Burger at NHS Tavern
No. 99: The Bone Marrow at the Meddlesome Moth
No. 98: Arepas at Zaguan Latin Cafe
No. 97: Jalapeno Poppers at City Tavern
No. 96: Elotes: Everywhere
No. 95: Dan-Dan Noodles at Royal China
No. 94: Smoked Ham Mac and Cheese at The Porch
No. 93: Chicken and Waffles at Jonathon's Oak Cliff
No. 92: Regina Margherita At Cane Rosso
No. 91: Devils On Horseback At The Chesterfield
No. 90: Ginger Soy Baby Back Ribs at Tei Tei Robata
No. 89: Croissants From Rush Patisserie
No. 88: The Reuben At The Cock & Bull
No. 87: The Brisket at Pecan Lodge
No. 86: The Roast Chicken At Bolsa
No. 85: Chicken-Fried Egg at Union Bear
No. 84: Brisket Tacos At Manny's
No. 83: The Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes at Smoke
No. 82: The Oxtail Ragout at Central 214
No. 81: The Italian Beef At Jimmy's
No. 80: Pulled Whole Hog BBQ Eggs Benedict at Smoke
No. 79: Veal Cheeks At Bijoux
No. 78: Sweet Shrimp At Yutaka
No. 77: Pho At Lemongrass
No. 76: Shanghai Buns at Jeng Chi Dumpling House
No. 75: Pepper Bomb At Goodfriend
No. 74:Veracruz Cafe's Sopa de Atlahua
No. 73: Fish and Chips at the Londoner
No. 72: Italian Combo At Carbone's
No. 71: Breakfast Schnitzel At Crossroads Diner
No. 70: Berkshire Pork Belly Buns at Howard Wang's Uptown
No. 69: Bolognese At Princi Italia
No. 68: Cabrito a la Parrilla at El Ranchito
No. 67: Kimchee French Fries At sSahm Food Truck
No. 66: Just About Any Burger At Off Site Kitchen
No. 65: St. Pete's Chili Dog
No. 64: Mesa's Enmoladas

Location Info


1628 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

THIS IS GOOD STUFF.  A Grady reference, a Freddy Lynn reference.  And hell, I know Ells is made of paper; ala JD Drew. As of this moment, I am on your team, sir.  Let's review that great 75-78 team of the past: 1B-Booooomer  2B-Denny Doyle/Doug Flynn (nearly killed by Nolan)/Remy SS-Ricky B/Dave Stapleton 3B-Hoffman/Butch and RICO! C-Fisk/Bob Montgomery LF-Yaz CF-Freddy.....Rick Miller RF-DEWEY!!!!!  With a Cannon. AND THE GREATEST RED SOX EVER....EL TIANTE'-LUIS TIANT! and jim rice. ps-Bernie Carbo. Shall we review the great Bruins of the 70's:    Orr, Espy, Hodge, Doak, Gerry.........Cashman,........


I got all of my Sox hats in Boston. That particular specimen dates back, I believe, to the Grady Little era, though it may be slightly older.  I agree with everything you said, except that I think we need to put Ellsbury in some sort of Kevlar uniform. Or a suit of armor. Or take out an insurance policy that explicitly states that, upon another injury to Ells, a game-ready Fred Lynn will descend upon center all suited up to play. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

I'm confused by the Sawx hat....are you 'frontrunning?" I remember back in the good ole days, when I'd have to GO to Boston to get a new Sox hat....now it's cool.  And yes Matt, the Sox will be better with WM on the hot corner.  He'll average .290/25-30 dongs, and atleast 100 ribbies. Now if we can just get the Buckie Buckler out of the hospital, and the great Ells back in center-World Series?!!!! ps-I've already written off Crawford as a loss. Besides, between Nava and Ross, were fine. 

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

 Can't win them all, though I think this is one of the most compelling dishes on the list.


That looks amazing. I must try that. Yes. 

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