3 Fleur
EntreePrice-18
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayNo Lunch MondayNo Lunch TuesdayNo Lunch WednesdayNo Lunch ThursdayNo Lunch FridayNo Lunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayNo Dinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Jamila’s

Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 7806 Maple. 504-866-4366. Map.
Casual.
AE MC V
Website

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Jamila’s appears again and again in my dining history. In 1993 Jamila’s hosted the second Eat Club ever held, feeding us all night with almost everything on its menu, with wines for $15 per person. So we know they’re generous. In 2014, we held our Eat Club pre-cruise dinner in which I showed up on the wrong day–something I will never live down. That cruises included Tunisia. The weather wouldn’t let us go to that North African land, but we at least got a taste of Tunisian food at Jamila’s.

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
We don’t have many Northern African restaurants in New Orleans, and this is certainly the only one essaying Tunisian food. It’s a blend of Middle Eastern and French cooking, such as unique as it is exotic. The food, surroundings, owners, and prices come together to make first-timers rave about the place.

Brik--puff-pastry-wrapped chicken. Other fillings available.

Brik–puff-pastry-wrapped chicken. Other fillings available.

WHAT’S GOOD
Moncef and Jamila Sbaa and their sons run the restaurant in person: Moncef not only serving most of the tables but shooting the breeze with his regulars, too. In the kitchen, Jamila cooks delicious versions of the familiar Middle Eastern dishes, and adds to it many unique dishes and couscous, made from scratch in genuine couscousiers. Everything’s made from scratch, including the merguez–the classic Northern African sausage.

BACKSTORY
Jamila’s serves the food of Tunisia–an interesting cuisine that blends French and Middle Eastern flavors. Appetizers and soups tend toward the French side of the equation, with the flaky pastries of the Middle East filled with rather rich fillings.

Jamila at the Jazz Festival, where she serves many Tunisian dishes.

Jamila at the Jazz Festival, where she serves many Tunisian dishes.

The dominant entree is couscous, steamed over the boiling broth in which the meat part of the dish is cooking. The menu covers a great deal more ground, including food familiar enough for the timid eater. This is a total family operation: Mom is the chef, Dad waits on all the tables, and the two sons help out.

DINING ROOM
The main dining room is loaded with memorabilia from Tunisia. Another dining area inside an enclosed carriageway offers further seating and space for big parties.

BEST DISHES
Starters
Steamed mussels, garlic, white wine reduction, fresh herbs
Brik au thon (phyllo dough stuffed with tuna, potatoes, shrimp
Phyllo dough stuffed with shrimp, potatoes
Merguez (sautéed lamb sausage, tomatoes, bell pepper, spicy sauce
Grilled shrimp skewers, tomato, garlic basil vinaigrette
Escargots, Calvados butter, fine herbs and parsley.
Jamila’s crawfish, zucchini and spinach bisque
Lentil soup (vegan)
Salad Tunisienne (tuna, apples, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, vinaigrette.
Salad Houria (mashed carrots, caraway, spicy vinaigrette, tuna and olives.

Merguez (lamb sausage)

Merguez (lamb sausage)

Entrees
Grilled fillet of amberjack, roasted garlic, bell pepper chutney
Fillet of Atlantic salmon, Dijon mustard crust, beurre blanc
Mediterranean shrimp, garlic, white wine, sun-dried tomatoes spinach, linguine
Grilled 8-oz. filet of beef, pommes lyonnaise, sautéed vegetables, green peppercorn sauce
Mechoui en brochette (grilled marinated lamb skewers, couscous or basmati saffron rice.
Couscous with fish, vegetables au jus
Couscous with chicken
Couscous Royal (lamb, merguez sausage, chicken, vegetables
Couscous à l’Agneau (lamb, fresh vegetables au jus)
Tajine spicy chicken, potatoes, olives, marinated lemons baked in terra cotta dishes, saffron rice
Tajine of boneless braised lamb, served in terra cotta dish, marinated lemon, basmati saffron rice.
Vegetarian pasta or couscous

Desserts
Baklava
Makroud (semolina cake with pitted dates in orange blossom syrup)
Creme brulee
Tiramisu
White or dark chocolate mousse, strawberry sauce.

FOR BEST RESULTS

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
When they’re busy, things slow down. But nobody seems to mind.

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

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Courtyard or deck dining
  • Romantic
  • Open Sunday dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations accepted

 

1 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. TimP on November 16, 2015

    Jamila’s was the scene for a rather crucial moment in my life so it is impossible for me to be objective. Having noted that, Moncef is the soul of hospitality and Jamila’s cooking is superb. I treasure every chance I get to return there.

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