A staple in the Dallas eating scene since before the first location in Oak Cliff was cool, La Calle Doce opened in 1981, just ten minutes from downtown. Set inside a renovated former home, the original location on 12th Street is near to bursting with relaxed charm. Each cozy, wood-floored room offers up a couple of white tablecloth spots for simple dining, while sunlight pours in and homey touches – think hutches filled with china, decorative wallpaper – round out the experience. Offering some of the best Tex¬-Mex food in town, La Calle Doce pushes plates of saucy seafood and fresh ingredients, served in tacos, sopas, cocteles or as standalone plates.
Though its name and logo imply a particularity for oysters, Aw Shucks’ menu goes beyond that to feature a diverse range of seafood options. Patrons can order anything from tilapia tacos to the house-specialty fresh shrimp cocktail with avocado and serrano peppers, and distinctly Cajun options include po’ boys, whole catfish, and boiled shrimp. Oysters are of course available, and arrive iced on the half shell or served fried with french fries. Meals are complemented by pitchers of beer, wine coolers, and blended margaritas.
Friendly faces line the walls at Palm Restaurant, where caricatures of loyal customers and celebrities have replaced traditional décor. Under their watch, the steakhouse serves cuts of USDA Prime beef that have aged at least 35 days, which pair well with the other house specialty: impressively-sized lobsters from Nova Scotia.
An upscale crowd matches the upscale menu at this contemporary steak house—but that’s doesn’t mean you’ll feel like a nobody. Owner Al Biernat makes it a mission to learn every customer’s name, whether they came for the swordfish kebabs or filet mignon or simply popped in for a coconut cream pie.
The sharp click of heels on marble floors probably sounds commonplace to any regular Café Pacific diner. Because as rich as the food is—three-onion-crusted sea bass ranks high among eaters—the decor is just as refined. Earthy mahogany, etched glass, and shiny brass exude subtle, not stuffy, elegance.