Let’s get the soundtrack out of the way to begin with. Of course, it’s not going to be much of a soundtrack when it’s accompanied with Fred Astaire video. Who can resist watching Fred Astaire? That’s not background music. Even today, moves like that are box-office gold. Let’s hope they translate into blog- office gold, too!
Alrighty, then, let’s get to reading:
Regular readers know that once your humble narrator gets an idea, it tends to repeat itself over the course of a couple of installments. I think that’s part of the fun of being a regular reader: you never know what facet of a post from two weeks ago is going to show up next. For irregular readers, some of the references may be befuddling. Welcome to New Orleans! Everything here is a pleasant conundrum wrapped in a sweet fortune cookie.
Where’s the best Chinese food in New Orleans? [Hint: this isn’t a topic that has been covered before on this blog, nor is it going to be covered for more than two paragraphs until I get to the real topic of today’s installment: Japanese food.]
If you ask a New Orleanian where to find the best Chinese food in the city, most of them will tell you that it’s at 5 Happiness on South Carrollton Avenue. Me? I don’t like Chinese food too much, I find it too greasy, but I’ll probably send you to 5 Happiness, too. It’s nicer inside than the ambience at Yummy Yummy:
When Frau Schmitt is out of town, which isn’t often, and I don’t feel like cooking, I go to the Ming Garden about three blocks from our house for takeout. I wouldn’t recommend that, either. No offense to the Ming Garden, but, really, are you coming to New Orleans for take-out Chinese food? I seriously doubt it.
Where’s the best sushi in New Orleans? Frau Schmitt and I eat a lot of sushi. A person can’t live on gumbo and crawfish étouffee alone, after all. There are a a couple of sushi restaurants in New Orleans, few of them great.
Lakeview Pearl, in Lakeview, a neighborhood few tourists visit, is pretty good. We go there every week or two. It’s our first choice when we venture a little further out than our immediate neighborhood.
The best sushi in New Orleans, though is at Sake Cafe on Magazine Street. Hands down. It’s a little weird in there, with a peculiar vibe—not in a bad way, just in a peculiar way—you’re eating sushi in New Orleans, after all. The sushi at Sake Cafe is the best in the city. There. Now you know.
We’ve been to Sushi Bros. on St. Charles Avenue and I remember it fondly but, for reasons I can’t recall, we don’t go there. Frau Schmitt doesn’t even remember that we’ve been there—that’s how memorable it is. Nothing against the Sushi Bros. I remember I thought it was good, but it’s been superseded by the superior and inventive sushi we always consistently get at Sake Cafe. We only go for lunch. I can’t vouch for dinner, so don’t ask me to. I don’t see why it would be bad for dinner, though. I just can’t vouch for it.
There used to be a place in the French Quarter called Sushi & Martini. They had good sushi, too, but after a certain hour it would become some kind of techno dance club and all the waitresses dressed in skimpy attire that, even to an old lothario like yours truly, was kind of embarrassing for the patrons if, seemingly, not for the waitresses. The sushi and the martinis were excellent at Sushi & Martini. You’d expect that when a place calls themselves that, but there’s a place called Tacos and Beer that I’ll never visit again. If they were still open, I’d recommend the Cowboy Roll at Sushi & Martini. Water under the bridge. Nowadays, I recommend the Marilyn Monroe Roll at Sake Cafe. Trust me.
You have plenty of options in New Orleans. We don’t just eat gumbo and fried shrimp po’ boys every meal. I don’t care what you’ve read in the guide books, whatever they say, it just ain’t true. Take it from someone who lives here. I just had a management review. It went something like this:
No. Not really. Around New Orleans, I’m known as the person most other people like to stick it to. What? Who? Around New Orleans, I’m known as The Man. I don’t know how much I believe in my reputation. You can judge for yourself. Now you know why I don’t take a lot of pleasure from sticking it to the Man. It oftentimes hurts me in a personal way.
Some people compare me to Willie Wonka. Some people compare me to the Fonz. When I answer our phone, I always say, “La Belle Esplanade, this is Matthew.” I never just say, “Whoa.” They always call back, though.
Wanna know what makes La Belle Esplanade so cool? You gotta come stay here awhile for yourself. Nobody ever says their visit to New Orleans is too long. It is always too short. If you can stay for longer—do it. Stay for as long as you can. Wishes, like dreams, come true in New Orleans. Stick it to the man in New Orleans and do it while dining on the best sushi you’ll ever have, if not the best Chinese food.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where ever morning starts with a curated breakfast salon of goodness and promises of more goodness in this wonderful city we call home.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017: New Orleans is very, very good. No matter what you choose to eat, you’ll have the best meals of your life in New Orleans. Good memories that last a lifetime are made in our city.