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Reviews for Bouligny Tavern, J'Anita's, And More

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Brett Anderson at the Times-Pic gave three red beans—that paper's rather gimmicky rating system?to hip uptown bar and small plates eatery, Bouligny Tavern. Under chef-owner John Harris, also of uptown favorite, Lilette, Bouligny Tavern expands on a number of local traditions, like our general love for "raised-pinky drinking," and contemporary trends to create a rich and inviting cocktail experience.

It is, as Anderson puts it, the sort of place "where a quadruple-agent minx from a James Bond film could easily blend in with the throng sipping stemware cocktails on the davenport." The food isn't too shabby either, given Harris' reputation and skill. The menu combines Italian and French influences in small plates that are supposed to sate appetites "as they arise" during the drinking process. The only downside is Bouligny Tavern's popularity: It becomes more difficult to get great service "as the clock ticks closer to midnight and the bar is encased in two layers of customers angling for drinks." [TP]

WWL's "secret" reviewer, Napoleon, recommends making the effort to find J'Anita's at their newest bar-based location. The eatery, which was on the cutting edge of bar food in New Orleans when it was located inside the Avenue Pub, is apparently still very good in its less-accessible Broadmoor location. It's now inside the Rendon Inn. To wit: "Eating at a bar is easy, but rarely is it as good as what you get from J'Anita's. The food is solidly satisfying and more often than not it's done in unexpected and original ways." [WWL]

Tom Fitzmorris was busy, heading out to Jefferson's Dockside Seafood for ersters oysters. Dockside was bought in 2009 by former Brennan's chefs Mark Martinez and Michael Laxton and has made its mark through its oysters (raw and chargrilled) and boiled seafood. [CB]

Vegan-Korean "hotspot" and hipster hangout, The Wandering Buddha got a visit from Ian McNulty, who enjoyed himself thoroughly. Using the small kitchen at the back of the Hi-Ho Lounge, The Wandering Buddha features family recipes handed down to Colleen Cronin by her grandmother (Cronin runs the restaurant with her partner, Christion Troxell). The fully meatless menu forces diners to discover a different, non-barbecue side of Korean cooking and emphasizes "the dynamic contrasts of fresh vegetables and the intense fermented, pickled and marinated garnishes, sauces and sides that give the cuisine its punch. At the Wandering Buddha, Cronin and Troxell prepare these elements in-house, and the effort pays off." [Gambit]

And finally, Rene and Peter of the blog, Blackened Out, reviewed Terrytown's Banana Blossom, an unassuming Thai restaurant located in a West Bank strip mall. The menu there has many Thai standards, along with "a few offbeat items to differentiate from the generic." Get the roti, the baby back ribs, and the Drunken Noodles. Also: "Ice cold Singha beer helps." [Offbeat]

[Photo: GoNOLA]

Banana Blossom

Belle Chasse Highway, Terrytown, LA 70056 504-392-7530

Bouligny Tavern

3641 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA