A pair of restaurant vets whose reign dates back to the '90s have a new place in the works. Called José, it's a Mexican restaurant going in a former dry cleaning business near Lovers Lane and Inwood Road.
The street address is 4931 W. Lovers Ln., a rare stand-alone building that was for many years Foster Cleaners. The restaurant comes from WoodHouse, founded by brothers Brady and Brandt Wood, whose current lineup of projects include the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival and the Coyote Drive-In.
José will serve contemporary Mexican-inspired cuisine with a Guadalajaran focus. The menu will feature Jalisco-inspired dishes celebrating Mexican flavors and traditions, using fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Brady Wood says that the opening is targeted for April, and the menu is still not finalized. But just about every online citation of Jalisco-style food mentions pozole, the hominy soup; goat stew; and tortas ahogadas, the "drowned" pork sandwich stuffed with pork and drenched in salsa that is the signature dish of Guadalajara.
Jalisco is also the home of tequila, so there'll be a mixology program, with artisanal spirits, highlighted by an extensive collection of tequilas and mezcals discovered during multiple trips to Tequila and Oaxaca. If you're thinking regular old frozen margaritas and swirls, think again.
The interior is going to be serious, as nearly every furnishing has been procured from Cerámica Suro, the boutique ceramics factory in Guadalajara owned by José Noe Suro. From hand-painted custom-designed plates to platters, tiles, fixtures, and furniture, all have been specially designed and produced for José in Guadalajara.
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Wynne McNabb Cunningham