NOLA blonde and bacon, cheddar, ranch fries at Dat Dog. Great combo. Plus they were celebrating national drink a beer day and ran happy hour all day. Yum.

NOLA blonde and bacon, cheddar, ranch fries at Dat Dog. Great combo. Plus they were celebrating national drink a beer day and ran happy hour all day. Yum.

NOLA blonde and bacon, cheddar, ranch fries. Dat dog was celebrating national drink a beer day and has happy hour all day.

NOLA blonde and bacon, cheddar, ranch fries. Dat dog was celebrating national drink a beer day and has happy hour all day.

Amazing homemade gumbo by Chef Vi! Sausage, chicken, shrimp, crawfish, okra, mushrooms. Thanks so much for bringing a piece of home in my life.

Amazing homemade gumbo by Chef Vi! Sausage, chicken, shrimp, crawfish, okra, mushrooms. Thanks so much for bringing a piece of home in my life.

Drago’s in the Hilton in downtown NOLA specializes in charbroiled oysters and other seafood. Were these dishes hits?

Good to try, but not going to return. In my slow, slow journey through New Orleans’ many, many restaurants I won’t be venturing back here. The crab au gratin was creamy and crabby tasting, but any lumps of crab meat that may have been in there were disintegrated. The crust on top was easily broken by the provided tortilla chips. They chips were thicker than what I’m used to, which is restaurant style tortilla chips and… Doritos chips. 

The Charbroiled Oysters, which are highly recommended by many, were quite good. But the taste of the oyster was really covered up by the toppings. I’m not sure what all was on there, but I feel that it was predominantly cheese and herb butter.  The flavor of being charred was there, and the shells show it too. That was a nice touch. I guess I’m just a purist, or a minimalist. Whatever the word is, when I’m going to eat oysters I want to taste oyster. Instead, I got a mouthful of cheese and butter. 

On that note, the butter herb was amazing. That french bread served on top? It’s made to absorb all of butter that’s sitting at the bottom of the plate. It’s the vector that the butter will use to wind up in your stomach. The star of the show: Bread and butter!

Drago's Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Yet another San Dong dish, but in HQ this time. Instead of the noodles I got the rice dish this time. Steamed white rice, fried chicken, braised egg, steamed broccoli, and a meat sauce (rou zhao that happens to have a lot of do ban jian and/or zhajiang… hard to describe, but very delicious). I think the fried chicken uses a sweet potato flour, which gives it a unique flavor. I also believe it’s a deboned thigh in there, marinated, giving it a slightly sweet taste. If you don’t like sweet meat… what a shame. This is a very filling dish. So full after eating this. If you know anything about the way I eat, that’s quite a statement. If I lived near this place I’d go everyday.

San Dong Noodle House on Urbanspoon

The second picture is shaved ice from a place called Juice Box. In the complex that Juice Box is in, there are actually a number of shaved ice spots. We just went with the one that was recommended. For around 7 dollars you get a shaved ice dessert that any normal person will need to share. A scoop of strawberry ice cream, balls of melon, pineapple, strawberry, mango, and a generous squirt of condensed milk covers the shaved ice on this one. I think it’s called the “mixed fruit” or something like that. Honestly, I couldn’t tell if these fruits were sweet or not. But the flavor of them came through the condensed milk. I have a feeling that the milk just made the flavors a lot stronger than they were. Condensed milk to the rescue! 

Juice Box on Urbanspoon

Just hitting these two places up in Chinatown was worth it.

Not as good as Lay’s. Pretty disappointing. Has the crunch but lacks the flavor.

Not as good as Lay’s. Pretty disappointing. Has the crunch but lacks the flavor.

Hole in the wall style places win my heart. In this case, it was with a half of a chicken, 4 slices of white bread, and a lot of sweet, sticky BBQ sauce. Taking a bite of this seasoned and smoky chicken was a bit underwhelming at first, but the more I ate the more I enjoyed it. Moist white meat, smoky leg, great sauce, great portions! I think the part I enjoyed most was using the bread to sop up the sauce. Next time, I’ll definitely be trying the pulled pork sandwich. They don’t sell it by meat only. The only thing I wish they had was beef brisket. I’m sure they would do it seriously right.
When you walk in, it feels like a New Orleans house. And even though they don’t seem to have a liquor license, the bar takes up most of the front. But if you walk in the back, there are a few large tables set up. We chose to sit at the tables in the back, where we enjoyed a bit more privacy since we were the only ones there. Because this place closes at 7, it feels more like a lunch sort of place. And you can put in your order if you want. I hope to be returning to this restaurant to try their other food! 

Hole in the wall style places win my heart. In this case, it was with a half of a chicken, 4 slices of white bread, and a lot of sweet, sticky BBQ sauce. Taking a bite of this seasoned and smoky chicken was a bit underwhelming at first, but the more I ate the more I enjoyed it. Moist white meat, smoky leg, great sauce, great portions! I think the part I enjoyed most was using the bread to sop up the sauce. Next time, I’ll definitely be trying the pulled pork sandwich. They don’t sell it by meat only. The only thing I wish they had was beef brisket. I’m sure they would do it seriously right.

When you walk in, it feels like a New Orleans house. And even though they don’t seem to have a liquor license, the bar takes up most of the front. But if you walk in the back, there are a few large tables set up. We chose to sit at the tables in the back, where we enjoyed a bit more privacy since we were the only ones there. Because this place closes at 7, it feels more like a lunch sort of place. And you can put in your order if you want. I hope to be returning to this restaurant to try their other food! 

Bar-B-Q Kings on Urbanspoon

Firecracker quesadillas from Casa Mañana. It is a chicken, cheese, and special spicy stuffing. Sorta too salty. has a kick but not blisteringly so. Strong cumin flavor. Good to try, but we will get the regular chicken quesadillas next time.

Firecracker quesadillas from Casa Mañana. It is a chicken, cheese, and special spicy stuffing. Sorta too salty. has a kick but not blisteringly so. Strong cumin flavor. Good to try, but we will get the regular chicken quesadillas next time.

Cantina Bowl. Taco Bell. You’re guaranteed to like it or they’ll replace it with something you will like. At ~5 bucks I’d say that this is one of those premium items on a Taco Bell menu that you might not always order. I dunno about you, but I usually get the things that cost around a dollar, and I order a ton of those things. 
As advertised, it’s got meat, pico, black beans, guac, corn and pepper salsa, romaine,  creamy cilantro dressing, and it’s all sitting on a bed of fluffy rice. Underneath all of those veggies, there’s some steak product in there. 
As a rule, I usually don’t get salads are restaurants. But the commercials got to me and I felt like the next time I went to TB I had to get it. I don’t regret it, but I think I’ll get my usual burrito and 2 tacos instead of this. 
I have to say the best part of this was that green dressing and that rice. Which i believe are both infused with cilantro. And I also think that the veggies are on top to cover up how much meat is in the Bowl. The guac was better than I expected, but also disappointingly too creamy. Does that make sense? I usually cut an avocado in half, minimally mash it with a fork, and consume. Fast food guac is so dissatisfying. Why do people eat it?

Cantina Bowl. Taco Bell. You’re guaranteed to like it or they’ll replace it with something you will like. At ~5 bucks I’d say that this is one of those premium items on a Taco Bell menu that you might not always order. I dunno about you, but I usually get the things that cost around a dollar, and I order a ton of those things. 

As advertised, it’s got meat, pico, black beans, guac, corn and pepper salsa, romaine,  creamy cilantro dressing, and it’s all sitting on a bed of fluffy rice. Underneath all of those veggies, there’s some steak product in there. 

As a rule, I usually don’t get salads are restaurants. But the commercials got to me and I felt like the next time I went to TB I had to get it. I don’t regret it, but I think I’ll get my usual burrito and 2 tacos instead of this. 

I have to say the best part of this was that green dressing and that rice. Which i believe are both infused with cilantro. And I also think that the veggies are on top to cover up how much meat is in the Bowl. The guac was better than I expected, but also disappointingly too creamy. Does that make sense? I usually cut an avocado in half, minimally mash it with a fork, and consume. Fast food guac is so dissatisfying. Why do people eat it?

A geometric meal.At the intersection S. Claiborne and Louisiana Ave sits Little Korea, a Korean restaurant built into the skeleton of a former Taco Bell. It opened up pretty recently, and it’s one of the few places in Louisiana that serves Korean cuisine. The interior is nicely decorated. Wood tables, booths, a nice painting of a tree on the wall. It looks nice inside. 
I got the Bibimbap ($10.99) that came with ‘banchan’ or sides that consisted of miso soup, japchae, kimchi, and this marinated/braised potato thing. I liked the kimchi because it tasted fresh and spicy. This is in contrast with the more sour stuff that I’m used to, which I also really enjoy. The soup and the potato were normal tasting. The japchae however was kinda bland. It had a hint of sesame oil in it. And the texture was great. I hope that if you order japchae as an entree that it has more taste.
I was pretty satisfied with the beef Bibimbap. I added all of that spicy, fermented soybean paste stuff that they gave me and then asked for some more. I wish it had a bit of a stronger flavor. The beef was well marinated but the portion was small. The veggies were great, but it was kinda hard to break up with shredded carrots.. I wound up eating it in one or two large chunks. The biggest disappointment was that the egg wasn’t raw. It was sunny side up..! It was served in a hot stone bowl too! Oh well. I’d like to go back and try the other stuff, like the table grill/Korean bbq! 

A geometric meal.

At the intersection S. Claiborne and Louisiana Ave sits Little Korea, a Korean restaurant built into the skeleton of a former Taco Bell. It opened up pretty recently, and it’s one of the few places in Louisiana that serves Korean cuisine. The interior is nicely decorated. Wood tables, booths, a nice painting of a tree on the wall. It looks nice inside. 

I got the Bibimbap ($10.99) that came with ‘banchan’ or sides that consisted of miso soup, japchae, kimchi, and this marinated/braised potato thing. I liked the kimchi because it tasted fresh and spicy. This is in contrast with the more sour stuff that I’m used to, which I also really enjoy. The soup and the potato were normal tasting. The japchae however was kinda bland. It had a hint of sesame oil in it. And the texture was great. I hope that if you order japchae as an entree that it has more taste.

I was pretty satisfied with the beef Bibimbap. I added all of that spicy, fermented soybean paste stuff that they gave me and then asked for some more. I wish it had a bit of a stronger flavor. The beef was well marinated but the portion was small. The veggies were great, but it was kinda hard to break up with shredded carrots.. I wound up eating it in one or two large chunks. The biggest disappointment was that the egg wasn’t raw. It was sunny side up..! It was served in a hot stone bowl too! Oh well. 

I’d like to go back and try the other stuff, like the table grill/Korean bbq!