Tom Douglas's Next Venture: Tortillas and a Cantina
Possible name: The Lone Stranger.
Tom Douglas just called from Scotland to talk about tortillas. Well, to be specific he was returning my calls about the lease he just signed for a new project in the Martin Apartments at Fifth and Lenora, which one might pass on the short walk from Assembly Hall to Lola and Serious Pie and the Dahlia Lounge.
Most of the space will be a new headquarters for baking bread; the Dahlia Workshop over on Westlake is apparently too crowded. But the front, sidewalk-facing area will be a 40-seat cantina and bar, a place to showcase the corn tortillas that will emanate from the new bakery quarters in back.
The prolific chef is (rightly) a fan of a good, freshly made tortilla. Douglas's team is currently tinkering with recipes, flavor, and texture, giving the humble corn tortilla the same workover that begat the memorable pizza crust at Serious Pie.
"We have this idea for a fermented corn tortilla," he says. "I've never really played with them, so I've never known how good they can be." A trip to LA yielded a corn grinding machine that promises great things.
The working name for the cantina is the Lone Stranger, though that's subject to change. At this early juncture all the other details (When will it open? What will it serve? WILL THERE BE MARGARITAS?) are still in flux, so stay tuned for answers.