ORIENT EXCESS What a piece of work: towering walls draped in burgundy velvet, colossal silver candelabra, track lighting worthy of The Phantom of the Opera—I fully expected the servers to burst into song. Its name an amalgam of “dragon” and “lion,” The Drálion is exploiting Dallas’ culinary trend du jour, Asian-American fusion. Some dishes at this offshoot of hot spot Steel succeed admirably: fantastically tender elk filet in a honey-juniper berry marinade, garlic-spiked sugar snap peas sautéed in sesame oil to a perfect crispness, golden fries with a dusting of tamarind and paprika. Others, however, need help: Turmeric-and-coriander-seasoned butterflied prawns proved utterly bland, while “jumbo” scallops were hardly that and unevenly cooked to boot, though they did come in a yummy coconut-milk Thai curry. The best thing so far? A poached pear filled with crème anglaise on a luscious, clove-scented reduction of mandarin-orange liqueur, a dessert special. Given that former pastry chef Brad Garsee is now overseeing the entire kitchen, the sweet triumph is no surprise. So take plenty of American dollars and enjoy the show.
From the May 2003 Issue Subscribe