GOING SOLO

The Lymbar, Chef David Cordúa’s Solo Restaurant, Is Finally Open

The highly anticipated all-day Latin-Mediterranean concept is an homage to the chef’s famous family. 

By Daniel Renfrow December 19, 2022

The Lymbar is chef David Cordúa’s debut solo restaurant.

Image: Dylan McEwan

The Lymbar, chef David Cordúa’s all-day restaurant, bar, and lounge, has finally opened at the Ion. The Latin-Mediterranean concept, which will offer a rotating daily menu through the end of the year, is Cordúa’s debut solo restaurant. But while the Lymbar marks his first solo venture, everything about the restaurant is an homage to his family, which famously, through his father, chef Michael Cordúa, introduced Houstonians to a new world of Latin flavors through acclaimed restaurants Churrascos and Américas. The restaurant is named after Lymbar Drive, the Meyerland street Cordúa’s grandparents called home after moving to Houston from Nicaragua and where Cordúa was also raised.

“The Lymbar is my grandmother’s house,” Cordúa said in a statement. “It’s a tribute to all grandmothers. Mine liked well-worn paperbacks, crossword puzzles, rich food and whiskey. Copies of Where the Wild Things Are were always around. The house stayed in our family, and it’s where we perfected our family’s hospitality. The Lymbar is the distillation of our heritage.”

The Lymbar's interiors were designed by Gin Braverman of Gin Design Group, who was Cordúa’s childhood babysitter.

Image: Dylan McEwan

But that’s not the only childhood connection happening at the restaurant. The interiors of the 4,000-square-foot space, which has seating for 120 guests, were designed by Gin Braverman, of Gin Design Group, who was Cordúa’s childhood babysitter on Lymbar Drive. For her design, Braverman took inspiration from Cordúa’s upbringing, creating a warm space that fuses futurism with touches of familiarity. 

"We wanted to capture the bustle of a hotel lobby, the polish of a private club, and the hospitality of the Cordúa family in the design," Braverman said in a statement. "Mixed with a confluence of Latin American, Lebanese, and Mediterranean textures and art layered over a backdrop of classic midcentury materials such as warm woods, earthy colors, and lush greenery."

The truffle "Twinkies" at the Lymbar feature fried brioche stuffed with egg yolk custard and truffles. 

Image: Dylan McEwan

The Lymbar’s lush interior design will provide the perfect backdrop for its unique brand of Latin-Mediterranean fare, which will all be overseen by executive chef Adolfo Lopez, Jr., who will be helming the restaurant’s kitchen. The restaurant's inaugural menu includes interesting starters like truffle “Twinkies” and popcorn-style chicken chicharrones, as well as sweet potatoes and beets with labneh. Main entrée options include corn-smoked lamb chops on a bed of couscous tabbouleh, pan-seared snapper with saffron arroz a la tumbada with a chorizo emulsion, build-your-own beef tenderloin tacos árabes with tahini and chili bomba, and a ground beef kofta burger with tzatziki. For dessert, the Lymbar is offering a playful selection of empanadas as well as a sweet corn flan and foie gras donut holes—oh, and also vanilla-laced tres leches, which has become somewhat of a Cordúa family signature.

The Lymbar opens at 11 a.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It will be closed on Sundays during its initial opening phase.

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