Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 18: Local

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Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

Lady chefs are a rarity across the country, but Dallas' dining scene seems especially defined by men. We could use a few more restaurants like Local, where chef Tracy Miller's cooking speaks more softly than her masculine Dallas counterparts. Miller plates with a certain delicacy and restraint that lets the ingredients she's working with stand out on their own. It's in stark contrast to other chefs, many of which ham-handedly construct their plates like Fritos pies.

Have a seat at the bar and snack from a warm bowl of nuts and pretzels spiked with rosemary. You'll wonder why the snacks at other bars can't have a little more class. The same goes with a tiny shot glass of warm soup that begins every meal. It changes, but right now it's roasted corn, which tastes exactly like what you'd expect, and nothing more. Did that last soup really need a duo of crema drizzles and drops of chili oil?

The theme carries through the rest of the menu, where seared meats are supported by sauces instead of hidden under a blanket. Portion sizes allow you to clean your plate without feeling guilty, and you might even have some room for dessert.

The burger, however, breaks this mold, casting off all reason and embracing decadence just because. It's studded with Gruyere and way too big for its bun, and if you're not careful you'll wear some burger on your chin. Not everything needs to be delicate -- not all the time. Sometimes you have to embrace your gluttinous side, and a burger like this one is the best way to do it.

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Sara Kerens
No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's
No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co.
No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint
No. 47: Taj Chaat House
No. 46: Mot Hai Ba
No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot
No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen
No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 42: Mughlai
No. 41: Russian Banya
No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen
No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria
No. 38: Carbone's
No. 37: Babe's
No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo
No. 35: Zaguan
No. 34: Royal Sichuan
No. 33: Spoon
No. 32: Bambu
No. 31: Pecan Lodge
No. 30: FT33
No. 29: Keller's Drive-In
No. 28: La Pasadita
No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern
No. 26: El Ranchito
No. 25: Cafe Urbano
No. 24: Nova
No. 23: Jeng Chi
No. 22: Omi
No. 21: Tei-An
No. 20: Jonathon's Oak Cliff
No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku

Location Info


2936 Elm St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Conal Cronin
Conal Cronin

The description of her cooking style was right on- "tastes exactly like what you'd expect, and nothing more". I love how delicate, precise and fresh all of her flavors are.

Johnny Genevieve Aveline
Johnny Genevieve Aveline

I found the term "Lady chef" condescending to the female professionals in that field. "Female" would be a much more respectful word choice. This article was summarily ruined by heavy-handed gender stereotypes and not enough actual review of the restaurant.

mavdog topcommenter

You write "Portion sizes allow you to clean your plate without feeling guilty".

My view is Local should feel a huge amount of guilt for charging customers an arm, leg and part of one's torso for a minimal amount of food.

I've never felt as screwed by a restaurant as I did when I ate at Local. While the food was fairly good, it wasn't anywhere near as good as the bill totaled and what was good to eat was a smidgen in quantity.

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