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Checking in on New Orleans’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings

An update on Budsi’s Authentic Thai, El Cucuy, and more

Dishes from Budsi’s Authentic Thai
Budsi’s Authentic Thai/Facebook

Since Eater last checked in on some of New Orleans’s most anticipated restaurants, how —and if — to open and operate a restaurant has changed entirely. Still there were a number of exciting debuts in June and July, like Union Ramen, the long-awaited restaurant from a pop-up ramen chef with a loyal following. Yo Nashi in the CBD is now serving eight-to-ten course Japanese-style tasting menus, and the family behind the delicious “Stuph’D” beignets moved into a new location on St. Claude Avenue, among others.

Eater checked in with several highly anticipated restaurants set to open this year, to see how plans are progressing during the current COVID-19 crisis. Have an update on a forthcoming restaurant opening? Send an email. Here’s the latest:

Budsi’s Authentic Thai: Budsaba Mason, the chef behind popular Thai pop-up Budsi’s, planned to open a Marigny restaurant by the same name this spring. While the opening is delayed, the restaurant is indeed proceeding. In the meantime, she and her husband and business partner Jared Mason are still running their pop-up business, but now strictly via delivery. A recent menu included pad see ew, som tam (papaya salad) with grilled pork and sticky rice, waterfall pork, mushroom and tofu larb, and mango sticky rice. Follow Budsi’s Facebook page for updated hours, menus, and delivery windows.

Bywater Brew Pub: New Orleans native Anh Luu will lead the kitchen at this forthcoming Bywater restaurant and microbrewery, serving a menu of Vietnamese-Cajun mashups that gained her viral phorrito fame and earned rave reviews at her former Portland restaurant Tapalaya. The warehouse building at the corner of Royal and Montegut Streets will also house five beer brewing tanks and serve five to eight original beers. Though owner Nahum Laventhal hoped to open in April, Luu says the restaurant’s development is moving along, slowly but surely. There’s no solid opening date yet, but expect a gradual, “out of the box” opening soon.

El Cucuy: In the never-ending wave of taco joints to hit New Orleans the last few years, one that’s heavy metal and South American folklore-themed admittedly stuck out. In the works for nearly a year, plans for the trompo-style taqueria luckily always revolved around a large, shaded dining deck adjacent to the restaurant. Owner Austin Lane says the opening of El Cucuy is imminent, expected this month.

The Chloe: Local restaurant group LeBlanc + Smith, which operates Sylvain, Longway Tavern, Meauxbar, and Cavan, recruited chef Todd Pulsinelli for their upcoming boutique hotel’s restaurant. Pulsinelli most recently worked for BRG Hospitality (formerly Besh Restaurant Group) at the Magazine Street restaurant Warbucks, which closed after eight months. The 120-seat hotel restaurant will serve “21st century New Orleans” cuisine with global influences; items like rabbit and dumplings; pork cheeks with Coca-Cola fish sauce; and rice porridge and cured egg yolk. The hotel and restaurant are expected to open late summer. Update: August 7, 2020: Updated to reflect the restaurant’s new name, “The Chloe.”

Do you have a hot restaurant tip? Noticed a spot in your neighborhood opening or closing? Leave a comment or send an email.

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El Cucuy

3507 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70115 Visit Website

Union Ramen

1837 Magazine St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 Visit Website

Budsi’s Authentic Thai

1760 North Rampart Street, , LA 70116 (504) 381-4636 Visit Website