4 Fleur
EntreePrice-31
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
DinnerNo Dinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

La Boca

Warehouse District & Center City: 870 Tchoupitoulas. 504-525-8205. Map.
Casual.
AE DC DS MC V
Website

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Steakhouses have a culture all their own, different from those of other kinds of restaurants. A masculinity, of course. An excitement generated by the long-running American imperative that one not only eats beef, but plenty of it, at prices one wouldn’t accent from any other kind of restaurant. What you don’t find: anything challenging. Steakhouses are the most elementary of upscale restaurants.

La Boca had the guts to break away from that last rule. Although one can get a filet or a ribeye, fries or mashed potatoes, such an order misses the point of the place. This is genuinely different steak house, and not just for the sake of being different. Inspired by the steakhouses of Argentina–where they eat more beef than we do–the style of the place is unique.

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Unusual cuts of excellent beef coax real fire out of the grill, searing the outside and making the inside near to bursting with juices. The sauces are not what you’re used to, either, with many references to the Hispanic world. Chimichurri, for example, was made to detonate beef flavors. (It’s a slurry of chopped herbs in olive oil, a sort of South American pesto.)

WHAT’S GOOD
If the steak you’re looking at doesn’t grade out as USDA Prime, it’s probably because it’s from a boutique cattleman who takes extra care in breeding and slaughtering. Each cut of beef receives a different kind of grilling, bringing forth unknown goodness from things like flank and chuck mock tenders. The starters (grilled sweetbreads, morcilla blood sausage, and the like) and sides (fresh-cut fries, grilled gigantic asparagus) add further differences.

BACKSTORY
Chef Adolfo Garcia and Nick Bazan, after they had the now-extinct seafood restaurant RioMar going, turned to the beef cookery of the Spanish-speakign world. Nick is himself from Argentina, and installed Argentine steakhouse culture. The restaurant opened in 2006, taking over the space formerly that of Taqueria Corona. In 2014, it moved to the former A Mano, another Adolfo property.

DINING ROOM
A large bar grabs the visual focus, but doesn’t take over. The tall ceilings and many windows lend expansiveness, even though the restaurant seats only about 100. The servers are well versed in the food and wine–notably Orestes Rodriguez, one of the best service guys in town. (He was the long-time maitre d’ at La Riviera.). Speaking of. . .the cellar here boasts the most extensive collection of Argentine and Spanish wines around. Lots of Malbec.

FULL ONLINE MENU

BEST DISHES
Starters
Empanadas criollas (meat pies)
Morcillas (blood sausage)
Grilled chorizo
Grilled veal sweetbreads
Gaucho plate (chorizo, beef skewers, sweetbreads, and empanadas)
Hearts of palm salad

Entrees
Skirt steak
Bistro tenderloin (chuck filet)
Flank steak
New York strip
French fries
Grilled asparagus
Desserts
Dulce de leche crepes
Flourless chocolate cake
Coconut-amaretto ice cream cake

FOR BEST RESULTS
Make a reservation. The restaurant books out almost every day. Try a cut of beef you’ve never had before. Get the “gaucho plate” as an appetizer for the table.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Parking is a little sketchy, what with all the restaurants in that area. May as well go with the valet.

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

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Open Monday dinner
  • Open till midnight TH FR SA
  • Unusually large servings
  • Pay valet parking
  • Reservations recommended

2 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Ginger Gaubert on December 26, 2013

    We are coming into the city Saturday and are thinking about having dinner at La Boca. We are steak lovers, so we are looking to have some excellent beef and a great meal. Any recommendations besides what is in your review? I’ll let you know the verdict! I always read your reviews before I choose a restaurant. You’ve never disappointed me. 🙂

  2. Diane on October 17, 2015

    The best steak ever. Fries and Brussels sprouts great also. Valet worked well

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