La Lucha is Fry’s tribute to his family’s visits to the San Jacinto Inn for Gulf seafood extravaganzas and fried-chicken feasts. Dressy servers, he recalls, tended to patrons who came spilling in after church on Sunday for epic, family-style, all-you-can eat dinners.
“We come from a fine dining background so we focus on buying quality stuff.” At the time, La Lucha, the fried chicken and oyster spot drawing attention next door didn’t even have a name. But Fry was eager to share his take on the Tex-Mex dishes of his Houston youth for the first time in his hometown.
[La Lucha] takes its inspiration from the San Jacinto Inn, the legendary Houston restaurant known for its endless platters of fried seafood and raw oysters. Think of it as a more casual, slightly less expensive take on State of Grace’s Gulf coast cuisine that’s as well suited to the Heights as SOG is to River Oaks.
It’s hard enough opening one restaurant, let alone a highly-anticipated venue from a culinary mover and shaker. But that’s what chef Ford Fry, the former Houstonian and current Atlanta-based restaurant powerhouse, is doing in Houston.