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Friday, June 2, 2017

Five new internationally inspired pop-ups and where to find them

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 11:18 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY SOUTH OF EDEN

New Orleans has an active pop-up game. At last count, there were more than 50 restaurant popups in the city, and they were the highlight of a Gambit cover story last year.

Since then, the city has welcomed a host of newcomers, including several pop-ups  experimenting with new twists on globally inspired menus and ingredients. Here are five new internationally inspired pop-ups and where to find them.
Lucille’s Roti Shop

Local couple Brent Tranchina and Angelique Theriot launched their Trinidadian-themed pop-up in April, after spending a few years living in the Bay Area, where Tranchina worked as a chef at Coi, the esteemed tasting menu-only restaurant in San Francisco.

Tranchina’s mother hails from Trinidad, and the Caribbean country emerged as the inspiration for the menu.

“The concept is an homage to my mom and her sisters, who basically taught me how to cook everything,” Tranchina says.

Diners will find aloo pie, a fried dough pocket similar to an empanada, filled with cumin-spiced mashed potatoes and served with tamarind and habanero sauces ($6). The team prepares a different mix of curries with meats and vegetables, including a spicy chicken curry served with daal, curried potatoes, chaana (chick peas), rice and a rotating selection of chutneys ($10).

Where to find them:
Parleaux Beer Lab (634 Lesseps St.) every Monday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Midnight Noodle

Melvin Stovall III was born and raised in New Orleans, but while living in Los Angeles, he developed a love for the city's authentic Thai restaurants.

After moving back to New Orleans, Stovall launched his Thai-themed pop-up Midnight Noodle, experimenting along the way as New Orleanians responded to his all-vegan menu.

“I would do New Orleans-style cuisine, at first, but instead of jambalaya, I’d serve it with quinoa and some other form of protein,” Stovall says.

These days, his menus are more Thai-focused and include vegan dumplings filled with soy protein, ginger and chives served with a spicy chili oil ($7). He usually serves some type of noodle dish such as phat si ew, made with Chinese broccoli, carrots, bean sprouts, fried tofu and garlic with a sweet soy sauce and chili-garlic sauce ($10). For the sweet tooth, there also are vegan sweet matcha powder donuts and chocolate-glazed with a peanut butter and raspberry jam filling ($3-3.50).

Where to find them:
June 3, Sidney’s Saloon (1200 St. Bernard Ave.)
June 10, 40 Arpent Brewing Company (6809 N. Peters St., Arabi)
Tuesdays and Thursdays at Arrow Cafe for lunch (628 N. Rampart St.)

La Monita

Tracey Armitage spent several years in Colombia and fell in love with the South American country’s fresh and versatile cuisine. In fall of 2016, Armitage moved to New Orleans and launched her Colombian-themed pop-up, where she serves dishes inspired by classic Latin dishes with local ingredients.

Dishes include a chipotle and poblano pepper-spiced chicken arepas with sweet plantains ($10); spicy pineapple and basil ceviche over fried green plantains ($8); and crispy yuca fries with chimichurri dipping sauce ($6).

Where to find them:
June 6, Parleaux Beer Lab (634 Lesseps St.)
June 10, Grow On Urban Farms (2358 Urquhart St.)
June 11, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Urban South Brewery (1645 Tchoupitoulas St.)

click to enlarge COURTESY SOUTH OF EDEN
South of Eden

Growing up in Mexico City, culinary nutritionist Liliana Ruiz-Healy learned to appreciate the country’s indigenous ingredients while finding ways to capitalize on the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.

In New Orleans, for the past year and a half, Ruiz-Healy has showcased her skills, making food inspired by her Mexican heritage using locally sourced ingredients where possible. She uses no animal proteins, gluten, soy, refined sugars or processed ingredients in her dishes.

Dishes incorporate a lot of herbs and dehydrated ingredients, including raw granolas, which she includes in her popular smoothie bowls. She also makes tamales, which she often fills with a melted cashew cheese she makes herself, and there is often a homemade mole on her menu.

Dishes range from $6 to $11.

Where to find them:
June 3, 12 & 26 at Arrow Cafe (628 N. Rampart St.)
Several Eat Local Challenge events
Every fourth Saturday of the month at Solo Espresso (1301 Poland Ave.)

click to enlarge COURTESY IZAKAYA BALL
Izakaya Ball

Part catering, part pop-up, part monthly dinner party, Izakaya Ball has garnered a healthy amount of buzz for its creative Asian-inspired menus, usually hosted at bars.

Twin brothers Michael and Chris Ball and Samantha Marcantel run the show, promoting events on their Instagram feed, sometimes just days before a dinner.

The Ball brothers lived in Austin, Texas and developed a love for ramen, which in part inspired their constantly changing menus, which usually feature some spin on the Japanese noodle dish.

“The ramen is authentic, but everything else is kind of random,” said Michael Ball, who notes that a lot of the food is inspired by travel, including past trips to Latin America and Vietnam. A trip to Indonesia next year will lead to additional ideas for dishes, Ball said.

The menu usually includes a ramen or noodle dish and a sashimi or crudo dish. The next event at Solo Espresso will feature a shrimp and grits-inspired congee bowl with pork belly, Gulf shrimp, corn, okra, Thai chilies, a soft-boiled egg, crispy shallots and freshly-foraged chanterelles. That event will feature a beet tostada with miso black bean puree, guacamole, grilled tofu, beet pico de gallo, jalapeno cashew creme and crispy shallots. Dishes fall in the $8-10 range.

Where to find them:
Sunday Brunch June 4 at Solo Espresso (1301 Poland Ave.)
TBA space for a coursed dinner in mid-June

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