2 Fleur
Average check per person $15-$25
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Sesame Inn

Mandeville: 408 N Causeway Blvd. 985-951-8888. Map.
Casual
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Operating in the long shadow of Trey Yuen, this pleasant, small restaurant puts forth an earnest and successful effort to be a good alternative, both in style of cooking and environment. The small number of Chinese restaurants on the North Shore makes it even more welcome. The kitchen reaches across most popular Chinese styles. They’re open all the time.

WHAT’S GOOD
Steve, (the owner) and his staff are among the friendliest and most accommodating people working in any restaurant in the area. With a menu that spans a wider range of styles than it first appears, the kitchen is full of surprises. Good specials are clipped to the menu at every meal. I’ve never seen the same one twice. The cooking is deft and the dishes well presented. They’re entirely amenable to special orders.

BACKSTORY
The building started as a doughnut shop, in the middle 1980s. After several French bistros came and went, the owner performed a handsome renovation in 2002, and the resulting Sesame Inn became the most successful restaurant ever in that spot.

DINING ROOM
One large square room with full-wall windows on three sides manages to get some texture through the use of both booths and standard tables, as well as plants and dividers. No tablecloths, but the prices reflect that lack. The main investment is in the food.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Spring rolls.
Crab Rangoon.
Cold noodles with chicken or shrimp.
Lettuce wraps.
Hot and sour soup.
Seafood soup.
Moo shu pork or chicken.
Lemon chicken.
Chicken with walnuts.
Spicy sesame chicken.
Tong-cho chicken.
Shrimp with garlic sauce.
Tong cho shrimp.
Sizzling scallops with shrimp.
Double sauteed pork.
Shredded beef or pork with garlic.
Orange-flavor beef.
Dry-sauteed green beans.
Mango ice cream.

FOR BEST RESULTS
The inside cover of the menu always has a scrap of paper with a couple of featured dishes. Some of these are offbeat; all are good. At Chinese New Year, they roll out a fascinating special menu of rarely-encountered dishes.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
I’d love to see what these folks could do if they constructed a grand Chinese feast. The pasta for the dumplings is indelicate.

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

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Good for business meetings
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open most holidays
  • Open all afternoon
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations accepted

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