10 restaurants to indulge in lamb in the 405.
Lamb is one of the most commonly consumed proteins in the world. Its popularity around the Mediterranean is well-known and bolstered by kosher and halal restrictions on other popular meats and seafood. From New Zealand to China, and from South America to Europe, it’s a staple in multiple dishes. Lamb’s peak season is late spring to early summer, so May is the perfect time to explore the savory star in all its forms around the 405.
Birrieria Diaz, 6700 NW Expwy., Bethany
The Bethany hot spot helped put birria on the map for the uninitiated, and while goat is the traditional form, Diaz also offers beef (traditional in northern Mexico) and lamb (a contribution of Lebanese immigrants to southern Mexico, especially Puebla). The lamb birria is slightly gamey, which fans of New Zealand lamb will appreciate, and its heat level is mostly up to you.
Black Walnut, 100 NE Fourth St., OKC
Speaking of New Zealand lamb, Black Walnut has a lamb rack served with its own jus — the addition of hummus, watermelon radish and pickled red onions to the plate makes it one of the more deliciously distinctive versions in the 405.
Culprits, 100 E. Sheridan Ave., OKC
Bricktown’s upscale casual restaurant has a stunning presentation for its rack of lamb, with a green peppercorn sauce that’s one of the best accompaniments in the 405. Add to that the brown butter spinach — maybe it’s still a healthy green veggie? — and you have an indulgent take on an international staple.
La Baguette Bistro, 7408 N. May Ave., OKC
Chef Alain Buthion’s preparation is straightforward traditional French cuisine: herb-crusted half rack of lamb finished with a cabernet glaze and served with ratatouille and whipped potatoes. If you want a textbook version of French cuisine, Buthion’s is where you go.
La Tapatia Mexican Grill, 3923 N. MacArthur Blvd., Warr Acres
A relative rarity, lamb barbacoa is a weekend feature at this restaurant that deserves far more attention. The lamb is fork-tender and warmly spicy, and it’s served with fresh tortillas, so you should absolutely make tacos of it.
Mary Eddy’s, 900 W. Main St., OKC
One of the metro’s more elegant options, this West Village District dinner spot has a lovely lamb chop preparation with the welcome addition of pomegranate jus. The chops are coffee-crusted, lending them a nice smoky bitterness that contrasts beautifully with the pomegranate.
R&J Lounge and Supper Club, 320 NW 10th St., OKC
Director of Operations Brad Ackerman likes to point out that the metro’s favorite day-drinking bar is also an excellent restaurant, and rightly so. The burgers have been downtown favorites since the supper club opened; the lamb burger is especially stellar, thanks in part to the burnt scallion aioli and olive tapenade.
Simply Falafel, 343 S. Blackwelder Ave., Edmond
Chef-owner Magid Assaleh brings a Syrian twist to his restaurant, including lamb that is as delicious as the eponymous falafel. The kafta is a blend of lamb and sirloin, but if you want just the lamb, he has chops served with grilled veggies.
Social Deck and Dining, 1933 NW 23rd St., OKC
This brunch-plus destination has an eclectic menu, in keeping with owner Jordan Winteroth’s favorite things to cook. (The chicken tikka is the most pleasant surprise on NW 23rd.) The popular baked eggs dish, a variation on shakshouka, comes with lamb kafta meatballs, which are so good you’ll be tempted to ask for a side of them.
Szechuan Story, 2800 N. Classen Blvd., OKC
Owner Mandy Liu added lamb chops to the menu in March this year, and the use of Szechuan peppercorns makes this preparation a must-try in the 405: tender, perfectly cooked and slightly spicy with that signature Sichuan tingle.