Try one of 5 new restaurants in 5 different neighborhoods representing 5 styles of cuisine.
Uptown + Caribbean
The newly opened restaurant Rum House (3128 Magazine St., 302-9674; www.rumhousenola.com) is a self-styled Caribbean taqueria, with a menu blending island staples with Latin American fare. Look for jerk chicken, jerk fish tacos and a bar specializing in rum cocktails. First-time restaurateurs Michael Bouchert and Kelly Ponder opened Rum House in late June with help from celebrity chef David Adjey for an episode for his upcoming Food Network series, Restaurant 101.
French Quarter + Barbecue
An eclectic late-night tavern called the Sugar Shack (808 Iberville St., 565-5520) has opened at the French Quarter address that was previously home to the restaurant Zydecue. The menu covers ground ranging from barbecue (ribs, brisket, etc.) to Cajun (po-boys made with sausage from Poche's Market in Breaux Bridge) to burgers, sandwiches and pasta dishes. The restaurant also sports a pair of coin-operated mini bowling lanes that run the length of the dining room and use melon-sized balls.
Mid-City + Latin America
Fiesta Latina (133 N. Carrollton Ave., 484-0590) is the latest Latin American eatery to open along a Mid-City restaurant row with plenty of tortilla-based competition. The restaurant is an expansion of the original Fiesta Latina in Kenner (1924 Airline Hwy., 468-2384), and has a wide-ranging menu of Latin American dishes, including breakfast. It also serves raw and grilled oysters, a holdover from the building's previous life as an oyster bar.
Gentilly + Japanese
A new Japanese restaurant has opened near the Gentilly crossroads of Elysian Fields and Filmore avenues. Good Time Sushi (5315 Elysian Fields Ave., 265-0721) is in a small, low building, but behind its doors sits a full sushi bar and a kitchen serving teriyaki and hibachi-grilled meats and seafood. The sushi list is short but offers the expected array of rolls and sashimi, plus a few house specials like the Good Time roll layered with tuna, avocado and alternating dollops of orange and black roe.
New Orleans East+ Soul Food
Big Momma's Chicken and Waffles (5741 Crowder Blvd., 241-2548; www.bigmommaschickenandwaffles.com) is a new, locally developed restaurant concept with big ambitions. The quick-serve eatery offers the classic soul combo of fried chicken and waffles, plus breakfast, salads and chicken wings. It's the first restaurant venture for co-owners Larry Lee, Henry Holden and Earl Mackie, and they hope to develop the concept into a chain.