The pan-Asian restaurant Lucky Rooster (515 Baronne St., 504-529-5825; www.luckyroosternola.com) opened last week in the CBD with an inexpensive menu that reads like a mix between a noodle house, a dim sum parlor and a banh mi joint combined in one modern package.
General Manager Joe Briand, who also is the wine director, describes the approach as the greatest hits of casual dishes and street food from an array of Asian cuisines, including Korean-style fried chicken, ramen noodle soups, pork and shrimp dumplings and Mandarin-style chicken salad. Chef Neal Swidler gives all of these standards his own interpretation.
One of the banh mi sandwiches is filled with goujajang chili-glazed pork, crispy shallot rings and green papaya slaw, and Sichuan steak au poivre and shiitake mushroom jam fills another. There's a list of Chinese steamed buns, or bao, with fillings such as grilled shrimp or pulled beef short rib. There's a meatless option for every category on the menu, including bao with Chinese black beans and eggplant relish and udon noodle soup with tea-smoked tofu and mushrooms. The fortune cookie description says, "House made, astrologically correct, super sized, crispy, classic, obtuse poetry included." Most menu items are less than $10.
The team behind the restaurant includes several local industry veterans. Swidler formerly was chef de cuisine at Emeril's Delmonico. Briand previously held the dual role of general manager/wine director at Herbsaint. Their partner Warren Chapoton is a co-owner of the Slice Pizzeria and Juan's Flying Burrito restaurants.
Briand's wine list focuses on white wines from Germany, Austria and France's Alsace region, and Christine Jeanine Nielsen is in charge of the cocktail list, which includes house-made sodas.
Lucky Rooster serves lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.