Loro is Aaron Franklin’s first restaurant venture outside of his acclaimed, award-winning Franklin Barbecue in Austin.
Logan Crable

Loro is Aaron Franklin’s first restaurant venture outside of his acclaimed, award-winning Franklin Barbecue in Austin.

Hai Hospitality to Open Asian Smokehouse Loro on July 5

Hai Hospitality announced that Loro, the Asian Smokehouse and Bar, will open its second location, at 1812 N Haskell (corner of Haskell and Munger) in old East Dallas, to the public on Monday, July 5, 2021.  Loro, a culinary partnership between Pitmaster Aaron Franklin and Chef Tyson Cole, is part of Hai Hospitality, the restaurant group that counts Uchi and Uchiko in Austin; Uchi in Houston; Uchi and Uchibā in Dallas; Uchi in Denver; and Uchi Miami among its concepts. Loro is Aaron Franklin’s first restaurant venture outside of his acclaimed, award-winning Franklin Barbecue in Austin.

Like the original Loro, which opened in Austin in April 2018, Loro Dallas will feature a variety of dishes created by James Beard Foundation Award-winners Chef Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin that balance Southeast Asian flavors with the rich texture of traditional Texas BBQ. 

The opening of Loro Dallas launches an exciting period for the concept and its creators, as they prepare for the concept’s third location opening, slated later this year in Houston, and expect to announce plans for additional markets in the near future.

"Opening Loro in Dallas is an exciting milestone for us. It's not only the first LORO outside of our hometown, but Dallas marks the first city to be home to all four of our concepts. We're fired up to be a part of the Old East Dallas community,” says Chef and Loro partner Tyson Cole. Aaron Franklin adds, “We’ve got some new tricks up our sleeve and we hope Dallas digs it.”

The Dallas restaurant will be led by Chef de Cuisine Mike Perez, a graduate of Johnson and Wales College of Food Innovation and Technology.  Before joining Hai Hospitality to helm Loro Dallas, his culinary journey led him through a variety of styles and concepts: developing seasonal menus at the Timberline Lodge in Oregon; making pasta at Scarpetta in L.A.; serving as the Sous Chef for Portland’s Tabla Bistro; sourcing ingredients for a summer with the Deep Creek Fishing Club in Alaska; managing a tight line as Chef de Cuisine of Trattoria Lucca in Charleston; and then landing the spot he calls his turning point at Portland’s Ten01. He found a mentor there in Chef Jack Yoss, recently promoted to Hai’s Vice President of Culinary.  Perez brings both kitchen and smoker experience to his new post. 

Like the original Loro, the menu in Dallas will feature a variety of dishes that fuse Southeast Asian flavors with traditional Texas BBQ, including several Dallas-only menu items such as Loro’s take on Fish & Chips ($7), a Coney Island-meets-classic British pub Happy Hour item.  Marinated cod is fried in a golden tempura batter of curry, turmeric and Royal Scandal, an English Pale Ale from Dallas’ Peticolas Brewing Company, and served with salt & vinegar beet chips. Another exclusive to Loro Dallas’ menu: the French Onion Brisket Melt ($8), available during Happy Hour, and inspired by the brisket jam found on the popular burger on Loro’s Austin menu. 

This take on the classic patty melt served on toasted rye is topped with swiss cheese, brisket jam and sweet and sour onions caramelized with sugar and sherry vinegar.  Served with jus made from rendered brisket juice and aromatics and sauced with a yuzu thousand island, the brisket melt is meant to be eaten like a french dip. 

Additional core menu items also only available in Dallas include Brisket Coconut Rice ($6.50), Loro’s interpretation of Malaysia’s ceremonial coconut-scented rice. Chopped brisket and oil-fried roasted peanuts, currants and Thai chilis are added to rice flavored with curry oil, leading to a spicy, sweet, crunchy flavor bomb.  The hearty Snap Pea & Toasted Coconut Salad ($10.75), with protein optional, includes green beans, pea tendrils, grilled pineapple and Thai basil, topped with toasted coconut chips and a pineapple fish sauce vinaigrette.

The menu will include many dishes from the original Austin menu including Starters such as Candied Kettle Corn ($4.75) with a burnt brisket ends topping and Wonton Chips & Dip ($5.75) served with Thai green salsa, peanut sambal.  Popular Snacks & Veggies on the menu include Crunchy Sweet Corn Fritters ($7.75) with Thai herbs, celery, nam jim jaew, galangal powder, Thai chili, lime juice and fish sauce; Kale & Asian Pear Salad ($10.50) featuring hazelnut, cabbage, dashi and mint; Sesame Rice Noodles ($4.50) with chili vinaigrette, black sesame and green onion; Crispy Potatoes ($5.50) served with miso mustard, yuzu aioli, toasted white sesame; and Chicken Karaage ($9.75) accompanied by chili aioli, Szechuan salt, Thai herbs.

Some of Loro’s most popular items on the Meat Menu include Malaysian Chicken Bo Ssam ($14.50) with yellow curry-yuzu vinaigrette and Thai basil; Char Siew Pork Belly ($12.75) served with house hoisin sauce and celery; Smoked Prime Bavette ($18.75) with shishito salsa verde, cilantro and pickled onion; Oak Smoked Salmon ($18.00) with cucumber-yuzu broth, parsley and lemon; and Smoked Turkey Breast ($14.00) served with apricot chutney and crispy chicken skin.  For those who can wait, starting at 4 PM Loro will serve Smoked Beef Brisket ($16.75) with chili gastrique and Thai herbs;

The Sandwich menu at Loro Dallas includes Oak Smoked Beef Brisket ($13.00) accompanied by papaya salad, peanuts, chili aioli and Thai herbs, as well as the Slow Smoked Turkey Breast ($12.00) served on a pretzel baguette with Loro giardiniera and sharp provolone, among other items.  From 11:30 AM - 5 PM every day, the menu will include Crispy Smoked Chicken ($10.00) with citrus-cabbage slaw, pickles, honey and hot sauce, as well as the much-talked-about Loro Cheeseburger ($11.00) with house made red onion-brisket jam, muenster cheese and lettuce.

Loro will offer a variety of Rice Bowl options ($13.75), to which guests can add Crispy Szechuan Tofu ($11.75), Malaysian Curry Chicken, Char Siew Pork Belly, Smoked Prime Bavette, or Oak Smoked Salmon to their coconut rice, seasonal pickles and Thai herbs.

For sweets, Loro will serve a Chocolate Chip Cookie with salted toffee ($3.75) and Yuzu Peach Cobbler with five-spice mascarpone ($5.75).

Loro’s Happy Hour is Monday - Friday, 2 PM - 5 PM, featuring special pricing on menu items and Happy Hour-only menu items like Brisket Tostadas ($7) and the Crispy Smoked Chicken Sandwich ($8). Loro’s bar program features a menu of rotating batch cocktails; boozy slushees; wine and sake on tap; and a selection of bottle and draft beer.  Batch Cocktails ($8.50) include Ginger Old Fashioned, Mandarin Margarita, Kyuri Mule, Typhoon, Thai Watermelon Punch and Peach Palmer. The Boozy Slushees ($8.50) available at launch will be Frozen Gin & Tonic, Mango Sake Slushee, Frozen Mojito and Vietnamese Coffee. 

Loro Dallas was designed by Austin-based firm Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and like the original Loro, recalls the historic dance halls of the Texas Hill Country, where people regularly gather to eat, dance and connect, with expansive dining space inside, as well as outdoor deck and patio seating.  Upon entering Loro, guests will order food and beverages at the bar, seat themselves either indoors or outside, and have their order brought to them at their table. Guests can visit the bar to refill orders.  To-Go service will be available and encouraged, with a separate pick up area at the bar.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.