Fiesta Latina in Mid-City

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A Mid-City restaurant space that has seen an awful lot of turn-over lately is back open once again, this time as a Mexican and Central American restaurant.

Fiesta Latina (133 N. Carrollton Ave., 484-0590) lit the grills for the first time last week, serving a large, wide-ranging menu of Latin American fare, including breakfast.

Don't go running over today, though. The restaurant is closed on Mondays, but otherwise open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Fiesta Latina is the expansion of a successful restaurant of the same name in Kenner, owned by Michael and Velmy Moguel. They have been quite busy lately, having also opened the Latin-style rotisserie chicken shop Pollos a la Brasas in October a few miles from their first restaurant.

Michael is from Mexico and was raised in Mid-City while Velmy is from El Salvador. Those ethnic backgrounds play out on Fiesta Latina's wide-ranging menu, with Central American pupusas and fried green plantains dueling with Mexican tacos and baleadas.

The North Carrollton Avenue spot was most recently called Sailors Seafood, where the casual New Orleansy menu never seemed to offer enough to lure customers away from nearby neighborhood standbys like Mandina's and Liuzza's. Two other restaurants have operated at the same address since Katrina alone.

This new Fiesta Latina has opened in the midst of a cluster of post-Katrina Latin American restaurants. There are two others, Taqueria Guerrero and El Rinconcito, just a block away. The massively popular Juan's Flying Burrito serves an Americanized take on the same tortilla-heavy cooking two blocks away, and you can still usually find a taco truck parked near the Home Depot down the street. It will be interesting to see how the competition shakes out here.

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