A duo of experienced nightlife establishment owners are set to open a combination taco bar-lounge. Named NOLA Cantina, it will open in the former Rare Form space on Esplanade Avenue and Frenchmen Street, sometime in early November.
According to the Gambit, Chloe and Robert Watters are behind it (see also: Backspace Bar & Kitchen and “gentleman’s club” Rick’s Cabaret), and have brought on chef Octavio Ycaza of Ecuadorian street food pop-up Miti to oversee the food side of the operation.
Expect cheesy al pastor gringas on the taco side, and some other creative options such as a roasted cauliflower option and a dessert “taco” with cherry coffee ice cream, tequila, cocoa nibs, and white chocolate. A few bigger items like a stuffed whole fish and chiles rellenos will also make appearances on Ycaza’s menu; brunch will be added in December.
The Gambit’s story suggests that inside, NOLA Cantina will look more like a lounge than a restaurant — fittingly, expect a DJ booth and stage, as well as plenty of cocktails: in particular margaritas and other tequila or mezcal mixes, and sangrias too. It’ll be capped off with a large, tropical patio.
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