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BLUE TOMATO RESTAURANT & CANTINA
4401 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson 734-3000
Mexican meets Mediterranean with a dash of Americana at this hopping abode. The decor and much of the menu is Mexican — including the house specialty chimichangas and quesadillas — but don't miss the pizza or gigantic burgers. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

SARA'S
724 Dublin St. 861-0565
Sara's serves a creative fusion of both the flavors and techniques from the Indian, Mediterranean, Thai and French Creole culinary traditions for an eclectic dining experience. Start with Asian crab cakes or Louisiana crawfish egg rolls, which combine local ingredients with Far East flavors. Then sample the house special lamb Oxford braised in a Korma sauce and served with basmati cumin rice or the sesame-crusted salmon over wasabi buerre blanc with jasmine rice. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SEMOLINA
100 Tyler Square, Covington (985) 898-0040; 1121 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey 361-8293; 2999 Hwy. 190, Mandeville (985) 626-8923; 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd. (Clearview Shopping Center), Metairie 454-7930; www.semolina.com
Semolina's eclectic menu presents a world tour of noodles, from the Southwestern chicken enchilada pasta to the sweet and spicy pad Thai with shrimp and fresh herbs to pasta jambalaya to Italian classics like pasta Alfredo and baked lasagna bolognese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SUN RAY GRILL
619 Pink St., Metairie 837-0055; 2600 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna 391-0053
The menu at Sun Ray Grill promises a dining journey with culinary influences from near and far. Try the Sierra Madre pork chop, a 1-lb. porterhouse caramelized with Mexican sweet pepper and Grand Marnier glaze. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

VIC'S KANGAROO CAFÉ
636 Tchoupitoulas St. 524-4329
Like a postcard from Australia — or several hundred postcards all collaged together — Vic's is a Warehouse District watering hole that serves great lunch and dinner specials alongside its menu of bar food and pub snacks. Check out the shepherd's pie, cheesy nachos, jambalaya, and spinach and artichoke dip. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $

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