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

Banana Blossom

Gretna: 2112 Belle Chasse Hwy. 504-392-7530. Map.
Casual.
AE DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
This new Thai restaurant is more creative than most, and in its first year has attracted a large following, largely among young diners. Although most of the menu is made of the standard Thai dishes, it has enough original dishes to set it apart. (A few are just renamed classics, but never mind.)

WHAT’S GOOD
The restaurant buys excellent raw materials and cooks with skill and verve. The West Bank has better seafood resources than any other part of town, and that results in particularly fine seafood here. You’ll find the likes of soft-shell crabs, clams, and stuffed Gulf squid among the specials.

BACKSTORY
The Banana Blossom opened in 2009, taking over a strip mall space formerly used by Cafe Zen (which moved next door). The owner goes only by the name Jimmy; he grew up in Thailand, where his parents operated a noodle shop. After traveling for a few years, he wound up in New Orleans and opened shop. He must have passed through California, because he makes a fuss about using a minimum of disposable products–no throwaway bamboo chopsticks, for example.

DINING ROOM
It’s a small, narrow room with a handful of tables and a bright, colorful design. The atmosphere is dominated by the sound of an unusually happy, young crowd, which keeps place hopping most of the time. Sometimes a line forms to get a table.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
starters
»Avocado rolls in rice paper sheets, spicy peanut sauce
»BBQ shrimp, wok-fried, spicy coconut sauce
Crispy veggie egg rolls
Roti (Malaysian flat bread, red curry sauce)
Spicy clams wok-fried, spicy coconut sauce
»Crispy calamari, jalapeno, sweet chili sauce
Coconut shrimp
Steamed pork dumpling
Marinated baby back ribs, garlic-cilantro sauce
Crispy tofu salad
»Tom yum soup
»Tom gha soup
Entrees
Dishes below cooked with choice of chicken breast, beef, shrimp, mixed seafood, or veggie and tofu
»Spicy basil, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli
Veggie delight (napa cabbage, broccoli, carrots, mushroom, bean
sprout, tomatoes, garlic sauce)
»Ginger lover (fresh ginger, onions, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini
Spicy cashew nut (pineapple, broccoli, carrots, onions, brown sauce)
»Pad thai (wok-fried noodles, egg, peanuts, green onions, bean sprouts)
Bourbon noodle (pad kee mao–flat rice noodles)
»Pad woon sen (glass noodles)
Voodoo noodle (pad see ew)
»Tom yum noodle (rice noodles, broccoli, carrots, bean sprouts, peanuts, spicy lemongrass broth)
Basil spaghetti (angel hair pasta, vegetables, spicy basil sauce)
»Chiang mai noodle (khao soi; yellow coconut curry)
»Green curry
Masaman curry
»Pineapple curry
»Red curry
Specialties
»Garlic soft shell crab
»Soft shell crab red curry
Rainbow trout, tamarind-garlic sauce
»Red curry trout
»Coconut shrimp and ginger rice
Fried rice with crispy chicken
Thai fried rice
Spicy basil fried rice
Pineapple fried rice

FOR BEST RESULTS
The most exciting food is found in the day’s specials, particularly if you’re in the mood for seafood.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
They could use more local fish on the menu.

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

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • No reservations

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