First Look at Lucky Rooster

The Curry Noodle Salad at Lucky Rooster

Lucky Rooster opened not long ago at 515 Baronne St., and this week they added lunch service. On Tuesday I managed to sit down with my wife and local bon vivant Aaron Weidenhaft for a quick meal. I've been anticipating a meal at this joint for quite a while. I know Joe Briand, who manages it, from his time at Herbsaint and later at Hopper's Carte des Vins. He's a sharp dude, and knows his wine.

When he told me he was involved in a new place, not far from my office, that was going to serve a panoply of Asian street food, I was interested. That seems like a long time ago; I know they had some issues with the build-out, and probably with permits – this being New Orleans and all – but it seems to have been worth the struggle based on the crowd this past Tuesday.

It was the restaurant's first lunch service, and every seat was taken when I got there around 12:30. Aaron had gotten there a few minutes before, and we were seated after a short wait. We had a chance to look at the menu while we waited for Eve, who per her usual practice parked quite a ways away from the restaurant. Kenner, I believe.

You can find the menu here. I don't think there's anything on that menu that I wouldn't order. That thing hits me right in the sweet spot, and that's not a euphemism. OR IS IT?

We started with the dumplings, spring rolls and lacquered pork ribs, all of which were excellent. I thought the dipping sauce with the rolls was a little sweet, but the ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender, and the dumplings were clearly made in-house.   

For entrées, Eve got the curry noodle salad, Aaron got the Barbe et Queue banh mi sandwich and I ordered the Wise Boar soup. Eve's noodles were well-flavored with curry, and the beef skewers were, if a bit overcooked, still tasty. The pork in Aaron's sandwich was tender, and the pickled vegetables accompanying both dishes were well-executed.

My soup wasn't as successful. The ramen noodles were overcooked and the broth was unsalted. The Szechuan sausage patties were excellent, as were the ribs, and adding salt made the broth a lot better, but there wasn't anything to be done about the noodles.

Now this was the first day they'd done lunch, and the place was absolutely slammed when I was served. I want to be clear that the one dish out of seven I got to taste that wasn't up to snuff does not convince me that I shouldn't go back early and often. Indeed, everything else I tasted was outstanding, and that includes the huge fortune cookie Lucky Rooster has on the dessert menu.

Lucky Rooster is owned by the same folks who run Juan's Flying Burrito and Slice. They do a better job of making authentic food at Lucky Rooster than they have elsewhere, and that's a good thing. You can call Lucky Rooster at 529-5825 to find out more. Lucky Rooster is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Friday/Saturday.

Categories: Haute Plates, Restaurants