In this week's CityBusiness, Tom "The Fitz" Fitzmorris gave three stars to Five Happiness (subscription required), a Chinese restaurant on Carrollton Avenue. He extols the virtues of their extensive and "at least a little adventuresome" menu, though "they seem intentionally to stop short of seriously good food and service." Even still, the fact that it's convenient to several parts of the city and that they "embrace the full range of the major Chinese regional cuisines" makes Five Happiness a worthwhile stop. (But, for perspective, does that make it a more worthwhile stop than Scott Boswell's Stanley, to which he gave only two stars last month?)
Meanwhile, in this week's Gambit, Ian McNulty headed to Mid City to try out the food at the Cuban grocery and deli Regla, run by Carmen Garces, "with her son David Gutierrez and his wife Lisa." Garces owned a restaurant at the same location before Katrina:
After Katrina, her ex-husband opened a Garces Restaurant in Kenner (which has since closed) but Garces and her son decided a grocery would fare better in their flood-ravaged neighborhood. This tucked-away pocket of Mid-City still looks like it's in recovery mode, and from the crumbling street, Regla does not seem too inviting. Inside, however, you find a perfectly friendly New Orleans neighborhood hybrid.And how's the food in this "perfectly friendly" grocery-slash-deli? McNulty raves especially about the pork legs, which are both a traditional holiday and party dish as well as the basis for several daily menu items. And the portions are delightfully large: "Order any of the $8 daily plates, especially Wednesday's ropa vieja, and you get so much food you'll want to run out and find someone to share it."
And finally, in the blogs: Robert Peyton of the Haute Plates blog took a moment from wedding preparations to review Café Carmo, writing that he always experiences "excellent results on the table." Emily Smith at Fleurdelicious went to Origami on Freret, liking it beyond the simple fact that "
Tulane girls Freret desperately needed a sushi joint." And at Blackened Out, Peter Thriffiley Jr went out to lunch twice (because that's what lawyers do), giving a "birdie/eagle" to Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse and an eagle to Herbsaint.
Five Happiness on Carrollton. [Photo: Five Happiness]