The transfer of ownership of Komali didn’t just give new life to one restaurant, but two. A big reason for the sale was so that chef Abraham Salum could concentrate his energies on his self-named Salum restaurant, which opened in 2005. Eleven years is a long run for any chef-driven concept, but a recent visit shows that the Salum still has the chops as one of the memorable French-style bistros in town.
There are, of course, the bistro classics — staples of the cuisine: A cheese board, for instance, or platter of country pate with cornichon. But Salum modifies the expected with an appetizer of warm Texas chevres, dusted in herbs and served with roasted elephant garlic. Salum humbly underplays his pastry-chef skills, but his bourbon bread pudding belies a deftness with desserts.
He’s perpetually shifting through new entrees monthly, with a few stand-bys recurring (the rack of lamb, happily), but each menu can be a new experience. Last month, the timing was perfect for the fried chicken with Texas peaches; but primetime for peaches is on the wane. And the recent pan-seared scallops in a pool of pea puree, pictured, exploded with summer freshness, but has given way to new creations for August. But don’t think of it as a disappointment it has migrated off the menu, but a chance to perpetually rediscover what one of Dallas’ best chefs is up to now.