Bistro Nous would seem to have decent credentials. But what looks good on paper doesn’t always play out on the plate.

Chef-owner James Rowland worked at the Dallas National Golf Club and at Beau Nash at Crescent Court. He’s personable, occasionally delivering dishes himself with puppy-dog charm. He’s done a nice job resuscitating the space that was briefly Urban Bistro and before that, Modo Mio: the room feels open, with a warm glow. Prices are affordable, and the menu descriptions sound good.

The problem is, the food at this particular visit was pretty bad. Some ingredients tasted unbearably stale, as if they’d been left out overnight. The worst was something called lobster bastard, consisting of an omelet and a chunk of lobster tail over julienned vegetables sauteed until limp. The lobster had an odd breaded crust that tasted so old, it generated an instant spit take. The omelet tasted as if it had been cooked in rancid oil. Stir-fry beef was more a stroganoff, with chunks of beef over noodles.

An okay Caesar wedge substituted a stack of whole Romaine leaves for the usual iceberg half. But the crust on the coconut Thai shrimp had the same kludginess you’d expect from a chain restaurant. Let’s go back to paper: Rowland’s doing tasting menus where customers can specify what they want. Maybe you just need to ask for something good. 18352 N. Dallas Pkwy. 972-931-7800. $$.

Update: Bistro Nous has closed.