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New on the Menu

New on the menu: Asian-Cajun seafood and a cocktail called Barbenheimer

Plus kaiseki vegetables, a French-Asian savory custard, and a dessert interpretation of a Vietnamese fish curry

For decades, East Asians and Southeast Asians have had a growing impact on the culinary culture of southern Louisiana, where the marshy weather, seafood-based cuisine, and penchant for robust flavors are welcome draws for the relative newcomers. It’s that happy confluence that has given rise to restaurant concepts like Gao’s BBQ, which actually was founded in Dallas and now also has locations in New York, Illinois, and California. One of its specialties is snow crab served in a numbing and spicy sauce.

A couple of weeks ago we saw Angelo Sosa offer a savory dish inspired by a Thai dessert. This week we have a similar tactic at the recently reopened Moon Rabbit in Washington, D.C., where pastry chef Susan Bae takes the flavors of a Vietnamese fish curry and turns it into a fancy and sweet sponge cake.

Speaking of new openings, Hakubai, which had long been a popular kaiseki restaurant in New York City’s Kitano Hotel, closed several years ago and has reopened under new management with new chefs who are offering seasonal Japanese vegetables as part of their current tasting menu.

In West Hollywood, Calif., at the new French restaurant Amour executive chef Dani Chavez Bello makes use of Japanese flavors and techniques for dishes such as his chawanmushi, an egg custard that he augments with sea urchin, trout roe, and truffles.

That approach makes even more sense given the fact that Bello worked under David Bouley.

And at Mora Italian in Phoenix, the Barbenheimer phenomenon lives on with a cocktail meant to evoke both films.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

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