Arts & Culture

See how Tammy Nguyen Lee spends time in the city

This Asian American producer, filmmaker, actress and philanthropist sits down for a one-on-one and tells us about her favorite things to do in Dallas.

Rosa Oh
Posted on Mar 1, 2018

A Dallas native and SMU graduate, Tammy's Dallas ties run far and deep with her work and involvement in the Asian American community. Her production company, Against The Grain Productions, based out of Dallas, promotes unity, artistry and awareness of the Asian American culture. She has produced award-winning documentaries and received a number of awards and accolades from organizations such as, NAAAP 100, Southwest Jewish Congress and SMU, just to name a few. When she's not working, she spends her downtime with her family at her favorite hot spots in Dallas.


Favorite places to eat in Dallas?

My husband and I are foodies and like to enjoy all kinds of cuisine from the high-end latest hot concept to the casual hole-in-the-wall dives. As a family of five (with three kids under the age of seven), we've had to alter how we dine out. If we let them pick, we find ourselves going to Kula Revolving Sushi. We all love to eat ramen and udon, and our favorites are Ramen Hakata or Ikigai Udon. If we're meeting up with my parents, we head to CaravelleJin BBQ or Pappadeaux.


Favorite spots for date night?

Before we had kids, we loved going to Yutaka Sushi Bistro and Fearing's at the Ritz-Carlton. We can always count on a quality meal and an intimate atmosphere. Date nights now are a rare treat for us, so when we are able to get dressed up we like to try a new restaurant. We've had great experiences at Town Hearth and Uchi.


Favorite places to take children?

Dallas has a great Arts District. Our family has memberships at Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas World Aquarium and Dallas ArboretumKlyde Warren Park is also great to run around in the green space and grab a snack from the food trucks!


What's your favorite Dallas neighborhood and what do you love about it?

I love the Bishop Arts District because it has such a cool vibe and has an offbeat quirkiness. You can stroll into one of the many eclectic shops filled with unique finds, and there are lots of great places to eat, like Oddfellows, Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.Stock & Barrel and Boulevardier. Another small area I love is Trinity Groves where you can find concept restaurants like Chino Chinatown and Kate Weiser and Cake Bar to satisfy your sweet tooth.


You're hosting a group of friends for a weekend visit to Dallas. Where do you take them?

If they have kids, then we'll go to any of the places I usually take our own kids to have an outing. Dallas also has great shopping, so we'll definitely stop at NorthPark and Galleria.


What should a first-time Dallas visitor experience?

Any of our museums and a tour of Reunion Tower for the view. Dallas has great restaurants whether you want steak, seafood, BBQ, Tex-Mex, Asian, Cajun or New American.


What's something about Dallas that would surprise a first-time visitor?

We're not just all steak-eating cowboys that ride horses! There is a lot of diversity in the people, politics, food and entertainment. There is so much that Dallas and the people have to offer.


Headshot photo credit: David Loi