Wednesday, March 28, 2018

First Look: Loro -- The Offspring of Two Austin Legends

What happens when Tyson Cole of Uchi and Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue (both James Beard award-winning chefs) come together? Loro, the Asian/smoked meats eatery that is currently in soft opening stages. Trust me, it's going to be HUUUGE!

Located at 2115 South Lamar Boulevard at Oltorf Street, Loro is a new build-out, just south of the Office Depot. Plenty of parking onsite, and with a huge covered outdoor area, the Michael Hsu designed building is gorgeous inside and out. Starting April 4th, they will operate seven days a week for lunch and dinner. No reservations taken.

I got to attend a soft opening last Friday. You go inside and order at the counter and they bring the food out to you. Local beers on tap, a few cocktails and wines offered too. Here's the rundown of what we sampled (food was 50% off, so we figured we should try a lot!).
Loro Austin -- corn fritters
Corn fritters

Loro Austin -- garlic rice noodle salad
Garlic rice noodles with pineapple, currants + cashews

Loro Austin -- chicken karaage
Chicken karaage with jalapeno aioli *
Loro Austin -- green papaya salad
Green papaya salad

Loro Austin -- oak smoked salmon
Oak smoked salmon in a cucumber yuzu broth
Loro Austin -- smoked brisket with Asian flavors
Smoked brisket with sweet chili sauce and Thai herbs *
Loro Austin -- char siew pork shoulder bowl
Char siew pork shoulder bowl

Loro Austin -- Aaron + Tyson
Aaron + Tyson 
 * = favorites on the evening. We also had the wonton chips with Thai green salsa and a sambal peanut dip that were also outstanding.

Throughout the evening, we saw both Aaron and Tyson running food, chatting with people, and in general looking relaxed. You would have thought they were just regular guys working a shift, as any "big chef egos" were clearly checked at the door. This unique mashup of food styles is sure to be a hit, and I believe Loro will be popular for a very long time.