Dallas has a new stunning restaurant on Haskell Avenue that is deliciously blending flavors from Texas cookouts and Japanese cuisine. Loro, co-owned by pitmaster Aaron Franklin and chef Tyson Cole, is a carnivore’s slow-cooked dream and the design in this interior is a masterclass in using natural wood to create depth and detail. If you live in the Dallas area and haven’t been to Loro yet, you’re going to want to go ASAP!
The co-owners are both impeccable cooks. Aaron Franklin also co-owns Franklin Barbecue which started as backyard cookouts in Texas and grew into a wildly popular restaurant that even former president Barack Obama has raved about. He’s written a full manifesto on smoking meats which became a New York Times bestseller. Tyson Cole of Hai Hospitality trained for over 10 years in Tokyo, New York, and Austin under sushi masters. He opened an acclaimed restaurant called Uchi in 2003 as co-owner and executive chef. Combining their expertise, Franklin and Cole came together to create Loro’s Austin location, an Asian smokehouse, in 2018.
Their first location was in Austin, but the restaurant was such a success they opened a second location in Dallas and are currently working on a third in Houston, set to open in 2022.
Loro’s menu is a meat lovers dream, full of grilled and smoked meats sourced from single-family farms that are committed to natural processes. The cuts are of the highest quality and start slow cooking at midnight in preparation for lunch. The cures and marinades are produced in-house and most meets are finished over a post oak wood on an open fire grill, packing the food with flavor while still keeping it moist. Add in some of their Southeast Asian and Japanese inspired sauces and sides and you have a plate that is sure to delight your tastebuds. There is also a wide selection of cocktails, including a sake or gin and tonic slushee!
Loro’s vibe is “casual and communal” so there are lots of long communal tables and a long line of booths against the windows. There’s ample modern bar seating, and thinner bar height tabletops nearby perfect for standing and enjoying a drink. The space is warm and open, inspired by Texas dance halls, but with a modern minimal touch.
The interior was expertly designed by the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, who like to emphasize connection with nature and a sense of wellbeing. Organic materials shine in this space. Light natural wood beams, tables, chairs, and benches give that raw natural feeling, with dark wood walls and bar fronts that give it a closer cozier feeling. We love the way this design plays with tones in a single material while still maintaining depth and contrast. Looking at the pictures you can almost smell the fresh lumber and mouth-watering smoking meats.
Loro doesn’t take reservations, so when you arrive you put your name on a waitlist until a table is ready for you. Then you can order at the counter, take a number, and set it on your table. The food is elevated, but the atmosphere is casual. There’s outdoor an indoor seating, but you can also order online for pick up or delivery.
Love Loro? Check out this other gorgeous restaurant designed by the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture: Da Gama Canteen.
Photography by Chase Daniel