UnaVida, a modern Mexican concept created by Dallas-based Local Favorite Restaurants specialty division is now open in Dallas’ original walkable mixed-use development, West Village.
Opened to the public on November 27 and located at 3699 McKinney Avenue, Suite 307 in the former Taco Diner space, Una Vida’s menu was created by Executive Chef of New Concept Development, Chef Matt McCallister.
Chef McCallister created a menu that offers dishes inspired by traditional Mexican flavors but are intentionally innovative as well as made with the freshest, cleanest and highest quality ingredients.
UnaVida (One Life in Spanish) – is committed to celebrating reimagined yet familiar, fresh flavors and recipes that are also “good-for-you-food” rooted in responsible sourcing and recipes that meet a variety of potential dietary desires. Karns says in a statement, “ We only have One Life, and we’re meant to enjoy it fully. That means to us – eat the best foods made from the highest quality ingredients to fuel you to live your best life. We believe in eating all of the good things – and drinking tequila too – because most good stories don’t start with ‘that one time I ordered a salad.”
McCallister adds, “We believe in letting the ingredients take center stage, telling their own story on the plate. It’s not just about serving great food. It’s about how food can bring people together, creating lasting memories around the table.”
Sourcing the best and highest quality ingredients possible is of the utmost importance to the culinary team and ownership for both the food and beverage menus.
For the all-day lunch and dinner options include starters such as Street Corn Fritters, Casa Guacamole, Heartcakes – hearts of palm cakes, avocado, salsa veracruz, cabbage slaw, lime aiol
or Crudo de Atun – ahi tuna, mancha verde, jugo verde aguachile and more.
“Platos de la Casa” include the likes of the Smothered Burrito – Tri-color quinoa, refried lentils, black beans, melted peppers & onion, criminis, zucchini, cashew queso, pico de gallo, guacamole; La Hamburgesa – Signature blend of grass-fed ground beef & heirloom mushrooms, rajas con crema, romaine, lime aioli, queso Oaxaca crusted Brioche Bun; or an Open Faced Enchilada Verde – Choice of steak or chicken, chihuahua cheese, zucchini, peppers & onion hash, marinated mushrooms, salsa verde.
Bowls with your choice of Mexican cauliflower rice, cilantro rice or quinoa base include options such as: Enchilada Verde refried lentils, crispy yukons, zucchini, lacinato kale, avocado, peas, whipped queso fresco, cashew crema, roasted salsa verde, crispy corn tortilla; Sedona black beans, sweet potato, pickled golden beets, roasted corn, purple cabbage slaw, jicama, jalapeno ranch, queso crema, chili-dusted tortilla strips, ginger pepita; Fajita melted onions & poblano peppers, grilled broccoli, guacamole, romaine, pickled jalapeno, poblano and cashew queso, chili-dusted tortilla strips, cashew sour cream – all with choice of protein. Salads, soups, vegetable sides and an array of creative tacos are also available.
The weekend brunch menu delights with Heartcake Benedict made with masa sope, veracruzana sauce, cashew crema, smashed avocado, cabbage slaw, two eggs cooked your way; Chilaquiles – sweet potatoes, corn tortilla chips, asadero and cotija cheese, salsa verde, two eggs cooked your way; Hotcakes two pancakes, banana, creme fraiche, candied peanuts, dulce de coco caramel; or Veggie Hash with crispy yukons, seasonal vegetables, creamy ranchero sauce, two eggs cooked your way, cotija cheese, pico de gallo and more.
McCallister says, “From the onset, the strategy was to create a culinary focused brand and that did not exclude the bar. A mixologist can mix drinks and pair spirits. We took this a step further and started in the kitchen.”
The Culinary team spent months pairing ingredients, creating bases that their bartenders could then use to layer. McCallister adds, “We boil, extract, and dehydrate ingredients to maximize and concentrate the flavor from ingredients. We found no need for showmanship but instead we focused on the flavors.”
Guests can choose specially-created cocktails, including a signature Toreados Margarita with grilled serrano, tequila, gran gala, lime; Cantarito with tequila blanco, grapefruit, Jarritos, lime, orange; Guava Cooler made with vodka, lime, grapefruit, pineapple guava; Cactus Caipirinha with cachaca, kiwi, jugo verde, lime, agave; the Caramelized Pineapple Margarita Tequila reposado, agave, lime and more. A full selection of wine and ice-cold Mexican craft or domestic beers are also available.
Inspired by travels to Oaxaca, Mexico, UnaVida is an authentic setting through the use of natural products that help convey the casual feel and handcrafted lightness inspired by what was sourced.
The use of woods, colorful fabrics, hand brushed murals, authentic crafted art, pops of vibrant colors and the use of repurposed materials speaks to their commitment and belief in repurposing as much as possible.
UnaVida offers a unique dining experience with a generous 3,266-square-foot space that can comfortably seat 74 guests including a U-shaped, full-service bar seating 15. The restaurant also features a large covered patio that can accommodate 64 guests for those who prefer to dine al fresco and a semi-private room for intimate dinner parties of 12.
Founder and owner of Local Favorite Restaurants, Mike Karns says, “ The development of this concept embodies our passion and commitment for culinary creativity while lending itself to the continuous evolution and expansion of Local Favorite Restaurants.”