3 Fleur
Average check per person $15-$25
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Namese

Mid-City: 4077 Tulane Ave. 504-483-8899. Map.
Casual.
AE DS MC V
Website

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Your parents wear clothes you find ridiculous, and your kids listen to music you can’t stand. It is ever thus: tastes change with each new generation. The sons and daughters of New Orleans’s original influx of Vietnamese have grown up. The popularity of their parents’ food hit it big with the local Millennials. So imagine the possibilities of VietGen2 as they move into the restaurant business. Especially when the food is hybridized with the flavors and ingredients of this part of the world.

Names

Namese, a former Shell.

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Owner Hieu Doan explains the essence of Namese this way: “We cook in the traditional Vietnamese style, but we also cook the new dishes we have fun creating in our kitchen.” If you always eat pho with brisket when you dine on the food of Vietnam, you will find it done well here. But if you are up for something a little different (or even a lot), that is here too. All credible, delicious and very fresh.

Bun with everything at Namese.

Bun noodles with everything at Namese.

WHAT’S GOOD The menu is one-fourth the length of those in the old Vietnamese places. But Namese probably winds up with more range. Ask for something offbeat using the standard local ingredients, and you get it. One night the chef prepared a rice-noodle dish loaded with lobster and shrimp and a sauce he described accurately as having a certain spaghetti carbonara quality. But the Vietnamese flavors were in full expression, too. One thing that didn’t change: massive amounts of food for low prices.

BACKSTORY
Hieu Doan’s parents were refugees from Vietnam to New Orleans in the 1970s. (So was Hieu, but he was only four months old at the time.) In the industrious way the Vietnamese people live, Hieu’s parents opened a seafood market and deli in an former gas station at the busy corner of Carrollton and Tulane. When they retired, Hieu and his sister Denise took over the business with the idea of transforming it into a restaurant. The mission was accomplished late in 2013.

DINING ROOM
The building was originally a sleek, modern Shell gas station–the last of the kind that could do mechanical work for you. Renovated with a wood deck in front and a spacious line of three dining rooms inside, the adaptation goes almost unnoticed. Walls are covered with thin, long, horizontal sticks of ceramic tile that suggest bamboo. The service staff is mostly Asian, but they show little sign of accents, and are a cheery, well-informed bunch.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
Izzy’s shrimp mousseline balls
Sautéed calamari, sauce with onions, bell peppers, and garlic
Fried calamari, wasabi cream, sriracha aiòli
»Namese shrimp, onions, bell peppers, garlic, special sauce
Crab rangoon
»Namese chimichurri cubed beef filet, greens
Phú quõc wings
Fried pork & vegetable dumplings
Vietnamese eggrolls, lettuce wrap
»Classic spring rolls, poached shrimp and pork.
House cured bacon & shrimp
~
Bao (Steamed rice-flour buns, choice of meat)
»Grilled shrimp, chimichurri sauce
»Vietnamese BBQ shrimp
»Peking duck, cured and braised, pan seared, shredded, hoisin BBQ sauce
Braised beef debris, Vietnamese gravy
Five-spice roasted and seared pork belly, caramel sauce
Grilled marinated shrimp
Grilled steak, chicken, or pork
Tofu, mixed mushrooms, teriyaki sauce
~
Entrees
Soft shell crab, crabby rice
Pan seared catfish, traditional Vietnamese caramelized pepper sauce
Chicken, meatball, or brisket phó & roast pork bánh mì combination
»Vietnamese crepe with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts
Ducky Cuban (pressed sandwich, braised duck, bacon, hoisin aioli, pickled green beans
Hué style spicy beef noodle soup
Namese beef stew, baguette
Sticky sweet pork ribs, Asian spices, caramelized sauce
Sautéed eggplant, Vietnamese-style tomato sauce, fresh herbs
Namese surf and turf (steak, garlic shrimp; rice or vermicelli)
~
Salads
»Asian slaw, freshly-picked herbs, pork belly, grilled shrimp, house dressing
»Papaya salad, pork belly, grilled shrimp, house dressing
Vietnamese steak salad, greens, fresh herbs, house veggie, house vinaigrette
~
Phó (Noodle Soup)
»Flat rice noodle in pho broth, cilantro, onions, basil, bean sprouts, limes; add chicken, beef brisket, beef meatballs, filet for surcharge
Chicken broth, shrimps, squid, crabmeat, mussels
Vegan phó broth, fresh mixed vegetables
~
Com (Rice Entrees)
Jasmine rice, freshly-picked veggies, nuóc châm, house special soup; add crabby rice, pork & egg terrine, or fried egg for surcharge
»Shaken steak or filet mignon, marinated and pan seared
Shrimp sautéed in garlic sauce
»Fried Cornish hen, dijon ginger sauce
Grilled steak, chicken, or pork
Sauteed tofu & mixed mushrooms
~
Bún (Cool Vermicelli)
Rice noodles topped with choice of meat; lettuce, basil, mint leaves, limes, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts
»Bún vermicelli combination (Izzy’s shrimp balls, grilled pork, & grilled marinated chicken; topped with an eggroll)
Traditional Vietnamese eggrolls, lettuce and herbs on vermicelli
Sautéed tofu & mixed mushrooms
~
Bánh Mì (Vietnamese Poor Boys)
»Baguette filled with choice of meat; aioli, julienne veggie, cilantro, jalapenos
Fried shrimp bánh mì
»Three-way pork (house-cured bacon, pork meatballs, roast pork, paté)
Vietnamese pork meatballs stewed in a tomato sauce, paté
Marinated grilled pork or bbq pork, paté
»Five spice pork belly
Sautéed tofu & mixed mushrooms.
Phó-boy (all pho fixings in a banh mi, served au jus)
~
Desserts
Daily specials

FOR BEST RESULTS
Forget the pho and check out the more original variants on Vietnamese cooking. They don’t stray too far. The specials are particularly good.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The gray-on-black design of the menu makes it difficult to read. They need to shift to a different species of squid; these are very tough.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service+2
  • Value +2
  • Attitude +2
  • Wine & Bar +1
  • Hipness +3
  • Local Color +1

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Courtyard or deck dining
  • Romantic
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations accepted

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