Thursday, May 26, 2011

Short Order Reviews

Rene - Going to Banana Blossom for Thai before my nephew's kindergarten graduation proved to be a good decision. Also, led me to conclusion that car only knows how to get to Asian restaurants on the West Bank. Anyway, started off with an ice cold Singha beer, an order of roti with a creamy and spicy dip, and some dumplings that could have been just a touch thinner and better crafted. Then some green curry with shrimp for Linsay and Chang Mai noodles for me. My noodles had too much sauce and not enough heat to satisfy my desire to cry and break into a sweat. But Lindsay's curry was very good with the shrimp still plump and the fragrant broth making each bite interesting.

Banana Blossom - Par/Birdie. 2112 Belle Chase Hwy 392-7530

Peter - Geisha Sushi Bistro. Decided to take a leap of faith with this new sushi spot across the street from Pinkberry on Tchoup. The high energy music gives the feel of a low rent Rock-n-Sake. The $15 [insert special roll whose name I don't recall] topped with salmon and spicy mayo was the smallest high dollar sushi roll I have ever seen, completely lacking in both length and girth. (That’s what she said.) The standard rolls were cheap but equally lacking in size. The fish was of average quality. Service was slow (only one sushi chef on duty), and all of the staff had a general attitude of not wanting to be there.

Geisha Sushi Bistro - Bogey. 111 Tchoupitoulas. 522-8850.

Rene - We all know how much I love wine bars, so imagine my surprise when I did not hate Oak. Headed there last Thursday to meet up with Villain. Lindsay and I got their first and settled into a bottle of Scholium Project Naucratis with its petrol (in a good way) and flower grip. A few small plates here and there. A dense gnocchi with grapes and crisp sliver of Serrano ham cuddled next to a quenelle of mascarpone. The de rigeour charcuterie plate was done fairly well with a spicy chorizo, creamy duck rillette and paper thin capicola. Also good were the gulf shrimp tacos and a pork papusa dish. Another bottle of Naucratis and then a bottle of Pinot from Moises. And what is this? A bill over $ a bar...without shots? Just call yourself a restaurant already. But the girls really liked the interior and it was a nice evening. It is a good spot for the Brooks Brothers set who aren't quite ready to go home from work or are just starting their night out.

Oak - Par. On Oak Street (it will look closed whenever you walk by it.)

Peter - Sandro's Trattoria. The restaurant just screams Metry to me. The strip mall locale, deli display case acting as a waiter's station, and the hard tile floor that you would find in most homes built in the 1980s on the north side of Vets. But the people are as nice as can be in that "welcome to my home in the suburbs" kind of way.

Meals begin with a complimentary soft Italian bread served with warm olive oil drizzled above and pooled below, plus a generous shower of parmesan on top. Long wedges of fried eggplant are served with a smooth but not to sweet tomato sauce. Oysters are baked in a bath of garlic, cheese, and artichoke hearts; these were delicious. Veal parmesan is a respectable homemade version, but the veal picatta was an all around failure with a rubbery texture and lemon caper butter lacking that citrusy-salty pop. Avoid the fettucini alfredo drowning in an overly rich sauce and opt instead for angel hair tossed in salsa rosa (fancy way of saying red gravy). Pork osso buco is the best dish on the menu - the shank served falling-off-the-bone tender in a sauce of white wine, onion, mushroom, and a just a touch of tomato for color. Flan (that's what the waiter called it) was a huge serving with an ideal creamy texture and rich caramel exterior.

Sandro's Trattoria - Par. 6601 Veterans. 888-7784.

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