Having celebrity parents can be a challenge. Sure, your birthday parties are the things of legend at your elementary school, but you end up with a name like Apple or North too. You’re also never expected to escape your family’s shadow. As the child of Uchi and Franklin Barbecue, Loro does have two famous parents. And while it takes things from each of them, this Asian-influenced smokehouse turned out really great, unlike a lot of celebrity kids.
Loro is an indoor/outdoor restaurant on South Lamar that looks a bit like a camp dining hall - minus the hairnetted cook and plus a large, partially covered patio. You don’t need to make a reservation or spend hours in line to eat here. However, there’s still usually a 20-30 minute wait to order food, which is the perfect amount of time to drink a frozen cocktail while you look over the menu. With lots of large tables, both inside and out, Loro is a great choice for a low-key office Happy Hour or your skeeball team’s end of season party, but you could just as easily come here on a date too.
The food here consists mostly of barbecued and grilled meats, which are served on small metal trays and designed to be shared. Start with the Thai green curry sausage with papaya salad and Malaysian chicken bo ssam, but make sure to get the smoked bavette too. It’s sliced hanger steak topped with shishito salsa and pickled onions, and might be the secret best dish on the menu.
You may hear that they also serve the same brisket as Franklin, but at Loro it’s topped with Thai herbs and chili gastrique. It’s still delicious - and you don’t have to spend the whole day waiting for it - but it’s just not as interesting as some of the other things on the menu. There are a lot of really good things to try here, and portions are on the smaller side, so don’t be afraid to get one of almost everything.
Loro is the rare celebrity kid that turned out fine. It’s a reliably good restaurant with creative food that works for a low-key date or an afternoon of snacking and day drinking with your friends. There’s no hiding where Loro came from, but it’s made a name for itself that’s entirely its own. We’re just happy that name isn’t Suri or Blue.
Even if you’re here for just a drink on the patio, this sweet and savory bag of kettle corn and brisket should be on your table.
These peas are covered in sriracha powder and served with a spicy kimchi dip. They’re also a great way to eat some vegetables before starting your multiple courses of meat.
Bavette is a type of flank steak and here it’s cooked in brisket drippings before being seared and sliced to order. At $18, it’s one of the more expensive things on the menu, but get it even if you have to sacrifice some of the other dishes.
The brisket here is only served here after 5pm (but available on a sandwich before then) and while we like the shishito relish on top, don’t make this your top priority.
The cheeseburger is only available during Happy Hour, but it’s reason enough to skip out from work early or add a last minute “dentist appointment” to your calendar. The patty is a mix of brisket and bavette, and it’s topped with a brisket jam, red onion and muenster cheese.
Fried chicken is always good, but there are way more interesting things to try here instead. Unless your group is ordering the whole menu, you can skip this.
You have two options with the pork belly: rice bowl or meat only. If you stop by Loro for a solo weeknight dinner, go with the rice bowl. It comes with veggies and will feel more like a full meal. But when you’re with a group, the meat only version is easier to share.