After nearly four years operating one of New Orleans’s best pop-ups, the husband and wife team behind Budsi’s Authentic Thai open their much-anticipated restaurant of the same name today, December 18, bringing specialties from the Isan region of Thailand to the Marigny.
Following a soft opening Thursday night, the restaurant from Budsaba and Jared Mason officially opens today at 2 p.m., with limited indoor and outdoor seating and takeout available until 10 p.m. The couple first announced plans for the restaurant version of Budsi’s in January 2020, saying at the time they expected to open in the spring and would continue their weekly pop-up at Mid City neighborhood bar Pal’s Lounge while it was in the works. When COVID-19 and the city’s stay-at-home order hit, work on the restaurant was paused, and they shifted operations from Pal’s to offer home delivery, one of a handful of pop-ups to make such a change amid the pandemic.
Budsaba, who is the chef in the husband and wife team, gained a loyal following for the dual menus she served outside Pal’s three times a week, especially for Isan specialties like waterfall pork, mushroom and tofu larb, and mango sticky rice. The new restaurant serves most of the menu items from pop-up and expands on Isan offerings, which Mason describes as “crisp and full of funky upcountry flavors,” like fermented fish and crab som tam.
Opening hours for Budsi’s Authentic Thai, located at 1760 N. Rampart, are Tuesday through Sunday, 2 to 9 p.m. It’s currently open for dine-in, outdoor seating, and takeout, with online ordering and delivery coming soon.
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