An authentic Mexican restaurant located in between Uptown Dallas and Knox Henderson has closed: Casa Komali, the upscale Mexican eatery at 4152 Cole Ave., shut its doors on January 17.
Co-owner Emanuel Salinas was unavailable for comment, but a number of chefs who’d worked there at present and in the past confirmed that the restaurant had closed last week.
The restaurant started out as Komali, founded in 2011 by chef Abraham Salum as a sibling to his restaurant Salum, which resides in the same small center at the southwest corner of Cole and Fitzhugh.
At its peak, it was an incredible restaurant which helped pave the way for Mexican food in Dallas to become established as a serious and upscale cuisine, a tradition carried on by restaurants such as Jalisco Norte, Jose, and Tulum. Its menu featured amazing mole and dishes such as snapper, crab crepes, and salmon in adobo, grilled in a banana leaf.
The restaurant served as a platform for many gifted chefs such as Julio Peraza, Anastacia “AQ” Quinones, Geovanny Arredondo, Hugo Galvan, and Adrian Alba. It was also home to acclaimed bartenders such as LeAnn Berry, and was thus an early player in Dallas’ craft cocktail scene.
In 2016, Salum sold the restaurant to Emanuel Salinas and John Broady, who loved Mexican food and always wanted to open their own restaurant.
Broady covered the business marketing side, while Salinas oversaw dining, operations, and a menu with executive chef Geovanny Arredondo.
They initially kept some of the restaurant’s staple dishes, while adding coastal dishes from Salinas’ hometown of Acapulco. Shortly thereafter, they changed the name to Casa Komali.
The restaurant had a great cocktail program and a popular brunch, which helped keep the business rolling. In May, it even hosted a roundtable between then-Senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke and local immigration leaders.
However, chef Hugo Galvan left in the fall to join Reach Restaurant Group, owner of Taco Lingo, and Broady relocated to Houston for a job in September.