Mystery Diner in DeKalb: From unique to tried-and-true, Tapa La Luna shines across the board

Kitchen produces international favorites with a twist

The sliders and waffle fries at Tapa La Luna in DeKalb.

DeKALB – By definition, tapas are of a smaller serving size.

But Tapa La Luna in DeKalb manages to pack a lot into sizes that aren’t significantly smaller than comparable items at other restaurants.

The Caprese salad at Tapa La Luna in DeKalb.

It’s one of the handful of places in town to have sushi, however, much to the momentary disappointment of one member in our party, the kitchen was out of all five sushi items on the July day we visited there.

Instead, she ordered a Caprese salad, which was a heck of a consolation prize. A lot of times, balsamic can be too sweet, but this one packed that right tang to balance the creamy mozzarella. And without being overpowering, the fresh basil made its presence known in a great way. The serving size was definitely big enough to share as an appetizer or even carry itself as a healthful meal.

Tapa La Luna also offers various sliders, and the youngest of our eaters had the bacon cheeseburger variety. Boy could you smell that bacon as they cooked it up. Served with a barbecue sauce on the side, the sliders also feature four cheeses, including blue cheese. It made for an interesting taste that even a young palate enjoyed. We suggest tossing in some of the amazing waffle fries for an up-charge. Served crispy on the outside, yet with some give on the inside, they were incredibly well prepared as a side.

The lobster pizza at Tapa La Luna in DeKalb.

We also sampled a pair of pizzas, which again were more than enough to feed a person on their own. While DeKalb – or Illinois for that matter – isn’t exactly known as a seafood capital, the lobster pizza was a bold choice that paid off. In the style of a white pizza with tomatoes in lieu of sauce, it incorporated what the restaurant called a lobster sauce. Not at all like the Asian namesake, this lobster sauce was almost sweet, almost spicy and definitely smoky. With a smattering of lobster meat, it was a unique and flavorful dish.

They also did a great job with the barbecue chicken pizza. One of the youngins in our party did not enjoy the onions, but they really did provide a nice balance to a tangy sauce, and added a fresh element to the equation. As for the chicken, it was shredded, instead of chunked or cubed, which kept it from getting too dry. It was a top-notch interpretation of a popular specialty pizza.

Tapa La Luna in DeKalb

And while we partook in more of the sharable, smaller-sized selections for our dining experience (tapas, if you will), the menu also showcases full-on meals and additional options in its array of tapas. From unique to tried-and-true, Tapa La Luna shined across the board.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Daily Chronicle. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.


WHAT: Tapa La Luna

WHERE: 226 E. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb

PHONE: 815-217-0990


Have a Question about this article?