It had been a whole two months since a new restaurant opened along the Freret Street commercial corridor. But for anyone who was getting antsy over the lull in the fast-growing restaurant row, relief came just last week.
Veteran local sushi chef Mitsuko Tanner and her business partners opened the Japanese restaurant and sushi bar Origami (5130 Freret St., 899-6532).
Tanner has owned or been a partner in Japanese restaurants around New Orleans for years, starting with Shigure on Jeanette Street back in the 1990s. She was co-owner of Kyoto (4920 Prytania St., 891-3644; www.kyotonola.com) for a time and was most recently sushi chef at the Mid-City location of Little Tokyo (310 N. Carrollton Ave., 485-5658; www.littletokyonola.com).
"This will be my fourth restaurant, and hopefully my retirement," Tanner says with a laugh.
Her partners in the new venture include sushi chefs Masayuki Tsukikawa and Thaun Vu, who formerly was at Little Tokyo as well.
The restaurant took over the address that had long been home to Friar Tuck's, a college bar that closed earlier this year after a string of run-ins with city officials and a murder just outside its doors in January. The transformation from college dive bar to contemporary Japanese restaurant required a thorough renovation, and for this work Tanner turned to a Freret Street neighbor Matthew Kohnke, a partner in the upscale cocktail lounge Cure (4905 Freret St., 302-2357; www.curenola.com) who also runs the design/build firm MNK Construction.
Origami has a full bar and features a large selection of cold sakes. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily.