Last night I tried the other new cajun place in Deep Ellum operated by Katrina transplants. Daza's is in a nice corner location on Commerce, so it is just a bit away from the usual Deep Ellum action. Not a bad thing.
The bottom line is that both Crustaeans ("C") and Daza ("D") are very similar and yet different. The similarities include a limited menu of almost the same items, a large open space with ample four tops, extremely nice and cordial staff, sparse crowds, very limited fish items (which is likely a result of limited turnover at the moment), and good but not great food. Both owners are generous to fault in providing free beer and wine (C) as well as samples of new or coming items (D), as they try to build a loyal following.
The differences were that D's desserts were plentiful, large and very good. They included a real bread pudding, 7-UP cake and peach cobbler, amongst others. C's desserts are basically a very poor bread pudding. Also different were the treatment of fried items. C's were crispy, crunchy and perfectly done while D's were spicy and cooked through but with a soft exterior. The group was split on which version they preferred. For me it was no contest, with C the winner. The two versions of Crawfish etoufee were different primarily in the amount and size of crawfish in the dish. C won that one easily. Also different were the extras. C will soon be featuring beignets while D will be offering a crawfish boil beginning next week. They let us sample, for free, a large platter of the boil and we enjoyed it. It contained crawfish, potatoes and sausage all boiled in a tasty cajun brew.
So,in summary, both paces are worth a visit. I think they will both make it longterm and they will both get better as time and bigger crowds enable them to really show their stuff.
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