It sounds like The Odd Couple crossed with Chef’s Table: Aaron Franklin is famous for stupendous slabs of smoked fatty brisket at Franklin Barbecue. Tyson Cole is famous for exquisite sushi, sashimi, and Japanese snacks at Uchi and Uchiko (the former has locations in Austin, Houston, and Dallas). Far from being at odds, though, the two Austin chefs—both James Beard Award winners—are fast friends. And now they have joined forces to create the newest restaurant from Hai Hospitality, Loro, a sprawling indoor-outdoor Asian-inspired smokehouse and bar at 2115 South Lamar Boulevard. Loro’s long-awaited opening date—April 4—was announced today.
With its array of casual seating in a long building that looks a little like a Texas dance hall under massive live oak trees, Loro (which means “two” in Javanese) was designed by Austin’s Michael Hsu Office of Architecture in partnership with highly regarded interior designer Craig Stanghetta of Ste. Marie in Vancouver. What’s on the menu? On the food side, you can count on smoked and grilled meats, fish, and sausages as well as a lineup of light, bright sides and salady things. On the drink side, there will be craft beer, sake, and Asian-influenced cocktails on draft, plus sake slushies and frozen gin-and-tonics created in two ever-swirling slushy machines at the bar.
The plan is for Loro to hit the ground running, serving lunch and dinner all day, seven days a week. If you want to get a sneak peek before the hordes descend, Loro is hosting a party on March 29 to benefit No Kid Hungry. Tickets are $100.