Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is observed annually during the month of May, celebrating the contributions that generations of the AAPI community have made to American history and the cultural landscape of the United States. Dallas, being the culinary destination that it is, has plentiful options when it comes to Asian cuisine as well as several museums with exhibitions that highlight the rich culture of Asian heritage.
ARTS & CULTURE
The Samurai Collection
Selectively curated by Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, The Samurai Collection contains a wealth of artifacts such as suits of armor, helmets, horse armor and weaponry that are dated between the 7th and 19th centuries. Discover the art and armor of the samurai warriors with the museum’s latest exhibition, Iron Men. Located in the Harwood District above Saint Ann’s Restaurant + Bar, this collection is the only one of its kind in the United States and one of the largest in the world. Open each Saturday and Sunday from 11-5 p.m., and free to the public. Reservations for viewing the Samurai Collection can be booked at samuraiironmen.com.
The Crow Museum of Asian Art
Seeking to inspire and promote learning and dialogue about the arts and cultures of Asia through selective exhibitions, research and curation, artistic and educational programming and guest experience, a visit to the Crow Museum of Asian Art is a wonderful way to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month. Current exhibitions include, “Divine Spark: Kana Harada,” featuring work from the Dallas-based artist created during the pandemic to inspire a peaceful and bright future for all, and “Vishnu: Across Time and Space,” focusing on one of the most popular and power gods of the Hindu pantheon, celebrating him as the Preserver and for his ability to restore balance to the universe. Located in the Dallas Arts District, the Crow Museum of Asian Art is open from Tuesday – Sunday, 11-5 p.m., and free to the public.
The perfect date night spot to enjoy an intimate but lively evening of great music, delicious drinks and a pan-Asian dinner menu that will not disappoint. This boutique hotspot near Bryan Place serves up killer cocktails like the espresso martini or the clementine old fashioned, as well as an array of small plates, like duck pot stickers or edamame and blistered shishitos. The sushi menu is a solid option as well with popular rolls like the Alice or Mama Bear roll to indulge in on your next visit.
Khao Noodle Shop
One of Dallas’ most highly touted restaurants, Khao Noodle Shop in Old East Dallas, offers an exciting menu of Lao inspired and chef-driven cuisine. Experience a nuanced and unique culinary journey with a rotating menu of delicious and inspiring fare. Voted as one of Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants of 2019, the pandemic created a difficult environment for Khao, but they have continued to rise to the occasion and are delivering beyond expectation. Enjoy an assortment of Asian cuisine at its finest and dine al fresco on a beautiful Dallas evening to get the best of what Khao Noodle Shop has to offer.
Located on Lowest Greenville and serving up ridiculously good ramen and izakaya-style Japanese fare in approachably cozy digs, Wabi House is a staple in the Asian dining experience in Dallas. Always busy, you’ll want to make a reservation to experience all Wabi has to offer. Warm up with a bowl of Tonkotsu or Spicy Miso ramen or munch on a handful of appetizers like the crispy pork ears or sweet corn fritters while sipping some sake or indulging in a Berry Blossom cocktail.
For even more places to eat, check out our curated list of some of our other favorite Asian eateries in Dallas here!
EVENTS AND VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING
While the city is working to bring back in-person events, there are plenty of ways to celebrate and educate ourselves on the Asian community with a variety of virtual programming. The Crow Museum is hosting a Shared Virtual Space for Conversation about anti-AAPI racism and discrimination, happening every Wednesday in May from 6-8 p.m., online.
The Dallas Holocaust Museum and Human Rights Museum will present a virtual discussion in response to the recent rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans. Racism in America: Voices of Asian Americans, will take place on May 20, 7-8 p.m.
Check out our Asian heritage hub for even more events and updates on how we’re celebrating AAPI Month all month long!
By TAYLOR VOTH