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Dec 1, 2006 02:12 AM

Does NOLA serve a purpose other than for the turistas?

Some friends suggested New Year's Eve dinner at NOLA this year.

I would love you foodies opinions on this:

The last time I ate at Nola a year ago I thought the food was just very, very average. The food can't compare with the Brigtsen's / Clancy's genre. It certainly can't compare with the August / Cuvee genre. And it can't compare with restaurants in the Dick and Jenny / Gabrielle genre. So, what is it? It seems to have gotten left as sort of a relic from the Emeril "New New Orleans Cooking" days and it just goes through the motions with nothing much to excite. (I haven't been to Emeril's in a few years but assume it's on automatic pilot too.) Can anybody name a dish from NOLA that blows them away? Is there anyone who can recommend this place? Thanks.

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  1. We went here for my birthday in October and wound up canceling our entrees. The food was bad. We ordered mussels and six of the 12 didn't open and those which did were barely cooked. The manager came over once we told the waiter and he really didn't say much about it. We then had their crabcake - where was the crabmeat. I think they sprayed crabmeat juice on it. Then we had the roasted garlic parmesean soup. It tasted like burnt peanut butter. At this point, the waiter came by and I asked if the entrees were being cooked and he said yes, and then we said please cancel them and he said he couldn't. The the manager came over and we told him the above and he canceled the entrees. They charged us only for the crabcake and our 2 martinis.

    Suffice it to say, my birthday dinner was ruined.

    We walked up the block to Bacco and had a few good appetizers at the bar.

    I do not know why anyone would want to eat at NOLA. I have been to Emeril's Las Vegas restaurants and have never experienced bad food there.

    5 Replies
    1. re: dcata25

      thanks for that, dcata25 - sounds beyond meal stopped just short of that. Emeril hasn't concentrated on New Orleans for many moons. Can you believe Zagat gives Nola the same food score as Upperline, La Petite Grocery, Peristyle. Must be tourists enamoured by his stardom who voted. I hear that the food at Paula Deen's Savannah restaurant sucks too. Showbiz!!

      1. re: jnc

        Emeril is often in the kitchen at Emeril's, or at least was for a long period this spring and summer.

        1. re: jnc

          Don't go by Zagat ratings, you can search on here, but they aren't all that reliable or good- but a decent starting point.

          1. re: jpschust

            I use it mostly for a handy restaurant phone list. I have gone to some places for 20 years that still aren't even in it.

        2. re: dcata25

          They should have comped everything with a meal like that.

        3. It was pretty exciting when it first opened, pretty cool space, nice homemade breads and yummy Emeril-esque surprises. Last time there for me a while back, it had much more of a corporate feel (imagine that!) with a young hustling staff that didn't know much about food. Oh, and the fish with the scorched horseradish crust was pretty noxious. A long time ago (pre-celebrity), I remember sitting at Emeri's Restaurant's food bar with Emeril himself re-napping my plate with sauce. He had a very serious eagle eye on everything coming out of the kitchen. It was so great. Well, now we have other wonderful talents in our restaurants. And they're great.

          1. there is one thing on the NOLA menu that I truly love- Mrs. Hay's Stuffed Chicken Wings- one of the most inventive, perfectly executed, guiltiest pleasures I have ever consumed...but this appetizer is the creation of Mrs. Hay- who I have been informed comes into the kitchen 2 or 3 times a week to prepare...I am consistantly disappointed with everything else on this menu- but I go back at least once a month for those deboned wings stuffed with vietnamese spring roll filling - deep fried with hoisin dipping sauce

            I'm overdue for an right back