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18322 Sonterra Pl. (Loop 1604 W.) Send to Phone
Café Paladar touts tapas with a twist and entrées with a Latin beat.

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat., Brunch Sun.

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Cafe Paladar Restaurant Review

: Brian West has turned spicy tinga tapas into a tradition in short order; his barbecued lamb and Chihuahua cheese quesadilla leaves less-inventive options in the dust; and Oysters Mary Esther, a vodka-laced shooter named after his wife, are a high-caliber hit. These and more are priced to encourage ordering several and sharing all. Soups such as the jalapeño and avocado bisque, tricked-out with crab and corn fritters, pack as much punch as the colorful and art-filled surroundings, expanded to provide more private and overflow dining. And even salads show an unusual degree of invention---the smoking quail, for example, comes nested under an inverted wine glass in the company of smoking cinnamon sticks. Entrées such as the phyllo-wrapped red snapper stuffed with Spanish ham and served with a Rioja reduction and tomato jam, can get a tad too inventive, but a pan-seared duck breast with pomegranate molasses uses sweet and tart to play against fatty and rich---and it all works. Even dyed-in-the-wool downtowners make the trek to outer loopland for the five-course brunch, where they vie for space with the affluent locals of this, one of the country’s fastest growing zip codes. Don’t let them have all the fun.


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