Lettuce-wrapped fish tacos. Photo by Mark Davis

Lettuce-wrapped fish tacos. Photo by Mark Davis

Nazca Kitchen’s roasted chicken. Photo by Mark Davis

Nazca Kitchen’s roasted chicken. Photo by Mark Davis

Dec. 21, 2012 — the day the world was supposed to end. And the day Craig Collins, founder of the popular barbecue joint Red, Hot and Blue, opened his latest concept, the South American restaurant Nazca Kitchen. “What have you got to lose, right?” he jokes. As he did with his first venture, Collins brought something relatively new to the neighborhood with Nazca. “When we opened Red, Hot and Blue in 1994, no one ate pork. Now it’s a barbecue staple.” At Nazca, the focus is fresh fish and organic, sustainable, healthful ingredients. It isn’t easy, Collins says, for a North Texas restaurant to obtain fresh seafood. In fact, he’s in the process of attempting to strike a deal with an Alaskan supplier. Fingers crossed. Until then, you can bet Collins and his team will not serve anything that doesn’t look, smell and taste as fresh as anything in the DFW area; this is evidenced in menu items such as the grilled tilapia or roasted half chicken that came recommended by manager Juan Chavez. Culinary creations — a quinoa salad tossed in tahini glaze or a butternut squash and cranberry side, for example — leave a lasting, crave-inducing impression. The fish “tacos” with aioli drizzle come wrapped in butter-leaf lettuce that is grown in neat, aesthetic soil rows alongside the eatery. Collins painstakingly selected the wine list. A self-proclaimed “wine geek,” Collins says he tasted 400 wines before narrowing down the 12 available at the Nazca bar. 

Nazca Kitchen
8041 Walnut Hill #854 (at Central), 214.696.2922

Ambiance: Peaceful
Price range: $6-$16
Hours: Daily 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

More exotic eateries

Kalachandji’s Restaurant & Palace
Can’t get enough of that tranquil dining? Kalachandji’s is another local restaurant known for its peaceful vibes. Of course, its fresh and flavorful Indian food doesn’t hurt its reputation either.
5430 Gurley
214.821.1048

Szechwan Pavilion
This Chinese restaurant has made a name for itself with its unique house recipes. Patrons may either sample from the all-you-can-eat buffet or choose a dish from the menu.
1152 Buckner
214.321.7599

Alligator Café
With this little gem in Casa Linda Plaza, you don’t have to go far for a great bowl of gumbo and a noisy, New Orleans atmosphere.
9540 Garland
214.821.6900


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