Spiral Diner space in Oak Cliff Dallas nabbed by beloved brothers' Tex-Mex
A Dallas Tex-Mex restaurant that built a devoted following at its previous location has re-emerged: La Comida Mexican Kitchen and Cocktails, which drew fans during its five-year tenure at the Village on the Parkway up by Addison, has nabbed the former Spiral Diner space in Oak Cliff, where it will open in late 2022.
UPDATE 1-9-2023: La Comida is now open. They're serving a full menu of food, but no liquor license so margaritas are "coming soon." Decor incorporates a pink flamingo theme. The space by the entrance that used to be a refrigerator case filled with vegan goods is now an Instagrammable faux ivory wall with a neon sign that says "Flock Yeah!" They've kept the old Spiral Diner tables with the boomerang formica tops but covered them with tablecloths, and if you want the original Spiral Diner doors, they're for sale at Orr-Reed Architectural Co.
Spiral Diner closed in August after 15 years, opting not to renew its lease with claims that the building needed work. However, a spokesperson for the landlord said they'd fielded many applicants for the space.
La Comida founders and brothers Mario and Ivan Urtecho say they have a ways to go before gauging an opening date, but are celebrating the revival of their restaurant, which closed in 2019.
"We're just cleaning and working on the space," Mario says. "We're grateful to have so many people helping us, who want us to get back open."
The brothers attended "Mi Cocina University" — working for the chain for many years as servers, then managers, then ultimately overseeing openings in other cities. That corporate know-how served them well when it came time in 2014 to open La Comida, a restaurant they'd dreamed of launching for many years, which combined the polish of a chain and their own family recipes with great results.
Part of their success is their ambitious breadth: Open for lunch, dinner, and brunch with a wide-ranging menu that accommodates just about every Tex-Mex and Mex-Mex need.
That includes ceviche, chicken flautas, empanadas in beef or chicken & cheese, mini bite-sized brisket tacos bite, nachos, fajitas, quesadillas, tortas, combination plates (for example: brisket taco, beef enchilada, & chicken enchilada), plus tacos, Mexican rib eye, mole chicken, mahi mahi, plus eight kinds of salsas: red, green tomatillo, molcajete, garlic butter, mango/red onion serrano, BBQ (served with all pork & brisket dishes), avocado crema, and jalapeno limon.
Queso comes in four versions: yellow, white, Caso's Queso with beef and guacamole, and Queso Elegante with fajita chicken, spinach, white queso, red bell peppers. And margaritas come in a dozen varieties, plus frozen mojitos, plus plus plus.
It also boasts little touches fans appreciate the most, like the option for sides that go beyond the classic rice and beans, such as Texas caviar, papas fritas, and Mexican slaw. Their pork conchinita pibil tacos — a specialty in the Yucatan region where they grew up — are made with a family recipe from their mom, and they do empanadas, which they would sell door to door when they were young.
"We'll do the same menu, but we'll add some new items," Mario says. "Dallas is a different market. We feel like we can introduce some dishes we might not have done in Addison."
That might include a vegan dish or two, for the Spiral Diner stragglers. "We already have a lot of veggie plates on our menu, and we want to make sure we have something for everyone," he says.