News From The Kitchens
The Standard, NOLA Brewing Tap Room and Ichi Japanese Ramen House
Sara Essex Bradley Photographs
The Standard opened in July at 4206 Magazine St. A complete renovation by owners Ali Wild and Lana Banks left the dining room brightly-decorated and comfortable. Wild told me that the only thing they kept was the granite bar.
The Standard is a neighborhood restaurant; Ward described their approach as “restoration meets repast.”
The menus are a work in progress, and certain items, like the arugula and watermelon salad with orange segments, feta cheese and toasted greens in a Dijon vinaigrette, won’t be around when the weather cools.
The Standard branches out at dinner, with dishes such as a fried grit cake topped with spicy sautéed spinach, mirliton stuffed with crab and shrimp that’s served with olive oil and parsley angel hair pasta; and a hand-cut New York strip with blanched asparagus and bearnaise sauce over mashed potatoes.
So far their most popular meal has been brunch, which has an even more extensive menu. In addition to standards, there are sweet potato pancakes with brown sugar butter and the Benicio – jalapeño cornbread topped with Puebla-style pulled pork, two poached eggs, deep-fried hot pepper and a side of grits or roasted potatoes.
The Standard is open for lunch Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., for dinner Tuesday-Friday, 5:30-9:30 p.m., and until 10:30 on Saturday. Brunch is served Saturday 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 509-7306 to learn more.
NOLA Brewing Tap Room
NOLA Brewing kegged its first beer on Feb. 27, 2009, and in that short time, NOLA’s beers have gone from being available only on tap at a select number of bars to near-ubiquity in local groceries. Owner and CEO Kirk Coco recently opened NOLA Brewing Tap Room in a space adjacent to the brewery, at 3000 Tchoupitoulas St.
It is a beautiful space, with room for around 300, counting the front bar, a rooftop beer garden with an open air deck and a warehouse-sized event space that has three table tennis tables when there’s no live music.
There are 19 beers and a kombucha tea on tap in the main bar. In addition to the standards, there’s also a changing selection of beers that are only available on tap, like 7th Street Wheat (made with fresh lemon basil), Pineapple Habanero IPA, Jasmine Blonde (made with Jasmine tea) and Girl Stout Cookie (made with cocoa nibs and mint).
All of which would be nice, of course, even without food, but NOLA Brewing decided to bring in McClure’s Barbecue, which offers darn near their full menu, including ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken with the standard sides, as well as hamburgers, tacos, nachos, chicken wings (smoked, then fried) and BBQ poutine, which are waffle-cut fries topped with pulled pork or brisket, cheddar cheese curds and green onions. This is not just bar food, kids.
NOLA Brewing Tap Room is open 11 a.m.-11 p.m., daily. Call 301-0117 to find out what’s on tap today.
Ichi Japanese Ramen House
Add Ichi Japanese Ramen House to the list of restaurants serving excellent ramen noodles in New Orleans. Ichi is owned by the folks who run the Little Tokyo family of restaurants, and opened in late June at 1913 Royal St., the former location of Sukho Thai (which has moved to 2200 Royal St..)
A few of the Little Tokyo locations have offered ramen, but at Ichi it’s the star. There are around 10 versions on offer, all versions on Tonkotsu, which starts with a rich, almost creamy broth, garnished in the standard form with pork, soft-boiled egg, onion, greens, bean sprouts and seaweed. There are shoyu and miso broth varieties at Ichi as well, but the most interesting variations include corn and butter, curry sauce or melted cheese (the latter of which I have not yet been able to make myself order).
There are other items on the menu – a hibachi grill turns out rice and vegetables and there are dumplings and both tako yaki and ebi yaki, which are a sort of golf-ball-sized, fried treat stuffed with octopus and shrimp, respectively.
By the time you read this, the Little Tokyo at 7537 Maple St. should have become the second location of Ichi; manager Indra Seno told me they had no plans to dramatically expand the menu at either location, with one exception: the Marigny location does not, as I write, have a liquor license. They should have it at this point, but you should call 958-6670 to confirm.
Ichi is open 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. for lunch, and 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner, daily.