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JACKSON
1910 Magazine St. 529-9599; www.jacksonnola.com
Housed in the quaint building that once featured Sugar Magnolia and then Antoinette, Jackson opened last February to bring American contemporary fare with a Louisiana influence to the foot of the hip strip of Magazine Street. Start with a paneed green tomatoes with crawfish hollandaise, then dig into the double-cut pork chop with roasted red pepper aioli and port sherry-glaze steamed chicken breast. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

JACQUES-IMO'S CAFÉ
8324 Oak St. 861-0886; www.jacquesimoscafe.com
Jacques-Imo's maintains its status as the "It" restaurant of New Orleans, after all these years. Patrons flock to the Oak Street eatery for Louisiana cooking and perhaps a fond memory of the late Austin Leslie, who once manned the kitchen. Shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake and smothered chicken are among the favorites here, but Chef Jack Leonardi offers a long menu of regular items and daily specials. Reservations accepted for parties of five or more. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JAZMINE CAFÉ
6 14 S. Carrollton Ave. 866-9301
Jazmine Cafe's focus on Vietnamese specialties can satisfy both timid and adventurous eaters. Caramelized fish and shrimp, tamarind, and noodle and rice dishes take the guesswork out of Vietnamese cuisine: The flavors are sharp and bright and should appeal to everyone. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JAZZ SEAFOOD & STEAK HOUSE
2722 Williams Blvd., Kenner 468-3237
After a long, hard day toiling over the slot machines at Treasure Chest Casino or shopping in the Esplanade Mall, kick back at Jazz Seafood on Williams Boulevard in Kenner. Here rib-eye steaks, hefty seafood platters and Italian dishes such as lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs await diners. Tourists en route to or from the airport and locals alike enjoy this restaurant. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JEAN LAFITTE BISTRO
240 Bourbon St. (above the Old Absinthe House) 523-3181 or 523-0103; www.jeanlafittesbistro.com
Catch a bird's-eye view of the party on Bourbon Street from above the historic Old Absinthe House bar as you tuck into Creole classics. Try the oysters a l'absinthe, topped with Herbsaint-infused creamed spinach, or the escargot Bourgignonne baked in garlic herb butter. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JIGGERS GRILL
1645 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 828-3555
You won't find pretension or attitude at this Metairie establishment. Burgers and chicken make up only part of the menu, but their presence is often requested. Daily specials are also available. Jiggers is a popular stop on the Metairie parade route. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THE JIMANI
141 Chartres St. 524-0493
What is it about the burger that satisfies the late-night craving? At the Jimani — one of those bars you've passed a million times already — a juicy burger is cooked to your specifications; burgers and all-beef hot dogs are prepared as you like them. And the Jimani's location on the upper end of the Quarter makes it a convenient starting or ending place. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JIMMY BUFFETT'S MARGARITAVILLE CAFÉ
1104 Decatur St. 592-2565; www.margaritaville.com
With its live-music schedule, islandy theme and colorful d — cor, Margaritaville feels like a petite vacation. Caribbean flavors jump off the menu in dishes such as jerk fish or chicken, black beans and rice, and of course, real Key lime pie. Margaritaville's loud and fun atmosphere appeals to kids. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JIPANG JAPANESE CAFÉ
814 Gravier St. 565-5322
Those in the CBD can stop by early for a large breakfast buffet. For lunch, you can choose from sushi and other Japanese favorites, or order something from the deli. No reservations. Delivery available. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

JOEY K'S
3001 Magazine St. 891-0997
When you say all-you-can-eat catfish in New Orleans, the name Joey K's is the first to come to mind. Thin strips of piping-hot, perfectly seasoned catfish are quickly deposited in front of diners — and they disappear even more quickly. Po-boys and other New Orleans specialties are available, but make sure at least one member of your party orders the popular catfish. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

THE JOINT
801 Poland Ave. 949-3232
New Orleanians love to complain that their city has no good barbecue. The Joint proves them wrong — and how! — in Bywater, with slow-smoked barbecued pulled pork, beef brisket ribs and barbecued chicken. The kitchen dry rubs the meat, smokes it slowly and serves the housemade sauces on the side. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Wed.-Sat. Call for delivery availability. Visa/MC. $

JUAN'S FLYING BURRITO
2018 Magazine St. 569-0000; www.juansflyingburrito.com
A local favorite with college students and beyond, this wallet-friendly restaurant offers some new takes on Mexican-inspired cooking. Quesadillas and tacos are on the menu, but it's the meal-and-a-half-size signature burritos that Juan's is famous for. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

JUDICE'S
421 E. Gibson St., Covington (985) 892-0708
Diners rise early for eggs Sardou, poached eggs with creamed spinach atop a toasted English muffin and embellished with a rich hollandaise sauce. Lunch is another treat when you sink your teeth into crispy fried chicken, grouper amandine or the stuffed chicken breast Romano. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Fri.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

JUKEBOX CAJUN DINER
2560 Williams Blvd., Kenner 469-1112The operating hours might not yet be back to their former, 24-hour glory, but the selections at Jukebox Cajun Diner play like tunes on a jukebox — lots of variety, and lots of fun. The extensive breakfast menu is available throughout the day, including huge portions of made-to-order omelets and pancakes. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JUNIPER
301 Lafitte St., Mandeville (985) 624-5330
Expect to find progressive Creole cuisine here, including eggplant Pirogue: fried shrimp, lump crabmeat and crawfish simmered in garlic cream and served in a flash-fried eggplant boat and topped with charone sauce. There's also a half duck smothered in demi-glace and served over Cajun orzo, with a side of sweet potato casserole. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Fri., dinner Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

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