Opening day has arrived for El Famoso, the Southern California-Mexican inspired diner and bar coming to Gables Water Street in Las Colinas: February 16. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner.
Owner and creator Charlie Green is best known for Olivella's, his pizza chain. After traveling around Southern California exploring the origins and evolution of Mexican street food in that part of the country, he spotted a niche in the fusion of Mexican comfort food with its American counterpart.
His vision: a greasy spoon Mexican diner, like those that sprang up in and around Los Angeles in the 1930s and 1940s. They merged authentic Mexican from the streets of Mexico City, Tijuana, and Monterrey, with American food such as the burger and chili, in cool art-deco-styled surroundings.
The menus began with family recipes for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, while adding American favorites like burgers, cheese steaks, mac and cheese, and chili.
"We've replicated that same diner at El Famoso," Green says in a release. "And like those first Mexican diners that have survived, we have captured the evolution of this iconic eatery in a diverse menu that includes street and designer tacos, burritos, enchiladas, American diner fare, and of course, some Tex-Mex influences as well."
The menu is a mix of Tex-Mex elements and American comfort food, with queso flameado, nachos, elotes, and a spicy rendition of mac and cheese.
Entrees include a clever Tex-Mex version of a Philly cheesesteak with sirloin, poblanos, grilled onions, and queso on a hoagie roll. There are enchiladas, burritos, and tacos with fillings that range from picadillo and pastor to a Tex-Mexicali section that includes mahi mahi, squash, and "Mexican meatball."
Desserts include churros and house-made ice cream.
Water Street is a mixed-use development on the shores of Lake Carolyn, at the northeast corner of Las Colinas Boulevard and O’Connor Boulevard. Featuring almost 60,000 square feet of dining and retail opportunities, the project also includes 300 apartments, a park for special events, and pathways for the public to enjoy access and views of the lake.