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Celebrity chef Jet Tila wows diners at Pakpao Thai

Jet Tila
Jet Tila
Jet Tila Pakpao

Not only is the metroplex producing its own celebrity chefs, it's also attracting nationally acclaimed chefs from other locales to set up shop around town, including Jet Tila, the new executive chef and partner of Pakpao Thai, an ultra popular Southeastern Asian restaurant in the Dallas Design District. If you haven't caught sight of Tila on Cutthroat Kitchen, Iron Chef America or Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, then come see him in person and check out his culinary skills at Pakpao. Tila arrived at Pakpao in early May to join up with Richard Ellman, and his wife Tiffanee of Apheleia Restaurant Group— the same folks responsible for Oak and Belly & Trumpet.

Pakpao Thai's new dishes
Ilene Jacobs

Since his arrival, Tila has been busy adding an amazing line-up of food and beverages to the menu. One of his new dishes is tom kha gai, a velvety chicken coconut soup that offers layers of flavors from kaffir lime leaves, coriander and lemongrass. There's also the neau nam tok, a scrumptious steak salad with a nice texture component of ground roasted rice sprinkled throughout. However, it's the khao pad sapparod, a pineapple fried rice, that really won over the table with its aromatic mix of curried jasmine rice, prawns, Chinese sausage, roasted cashews and chunks of pineapple. And although it's not one of Tila's new menu items, be sure to save room for dessert— the black sticky rice with coconut panna cotta is to die for.

Diners can look forward to more Pakpao restaurants popping up around Texas, as well as more of Tila's signature items appearing on the menu. For now, pull up a seat on Pakpao's patio and order some of the tasty new menu items along with one of Tila's refreshing prickly pear and lemongrass margaritas—it's an ideal way to start off summer.

Pakpao Thai
1628 Oak Lawn Ave, Ste 120
Dallas, TX 75207
(214) 749-7002

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