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1 Dinner in N.O. August, Cochon, Commander's, Jacques Imo's, Luke or Mr. B's?

Steve2 in LA Oct 8, 2008 05:19 PM

Been here several times in the past, LOVED Emeril's in the 90's but now, not so much. Looking for a similar New Orleans gastro-adventure.Thoughts?

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  1. N.O.Food RE: Steve2 in LA Oct 8, 2008 05:38 PM

    August would be my choice, no doubt. But if you want casual, Cochon's a good option.

    2 Replies
    1. re: N.O.Food
      Debbie RE: N.O.Food Oct 8, 2008 08:05 PM

      We ate at August last weekend with a party of 8 and everyone jut loved it. We also dined at Commander's and Cuvee but August topped the list by far....

      1. re: N.O.Food
        JazzyB RE: N.O.Food Oct 9, 2008 04:04 AM

        August for a more formal, upscale dinner. Cochon for all apps.. FWIW, their chairs are uncomfortable.. Commander's in the garden room is nice but a notch or two below August. I'd definitely bypass the others.

      2. z
        zin1953 RE: Steve2 in LA Oct 9, 2008 01:20 PM

        August would get my vote.

        1. c
          cheesegrater RE: Steve2 in LA Oct 9, 2008 01:26 PM

          cochon out of the list. but I had a great meal at K-Paul's the other night.

          1. h
            Hungry Celeste RE: Steve2 in LA Oct 9, 2008 01:52 PM

            Your list has quite a spread in terms of atmosphere....personally, I'd be happy with August or Commander's for a more formal dinner, with Cochon or Luke as a more casual option.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Hungry Celeste
              Steve2 in LA RE: Hungry Celeste Oct 9, 2008 03:57 PM

              Don't care at all about atmosphere. As far as I'm concerned, it's ONLY about gettin' a "kick-ass-rock-my-world-King-Hell-l'aissez-les-bon-temps-roulez" meal.

              Would have gone to Uglesich's if they were still cookin' but that's no longer an option. Pity, huh?

              1. re: Steve2 in LA
                zin1953 RE: Steve2 in LA Oct 11, 2008 12:21 PM

                Actually, this post makes me much more hesitant to suggest August. The food is outstanding, but the atmosphere certainly is NOT "kick-ass-rock-my-world-King-Hell-l'aissez-les-bon-temps-roulez" . . .

                So, do you want an outstanding meal in a more formal setting, or great food in a more relaxed "kick-ass" environment???

                1. re: zin1953
                  Steve2 in LA RE: zin1953 Oct 11, 2008 05:24 PM

                  Formality is absolutely not a necessity. I can get great, innovative food here in Los Angeles, what I CAN'T get is a quintessential New Orleans meal. At this point I'm leaning heavily towards Cochon. Appreciate the help, y'all.

                  1. re: Steve2 in LA
                    N.O.Food RE: Steve2 in LA Oct 11, 2008 06:52 PM

                    If you want a quintessential New Orleans experience, Commander's is where you want to go. Cochon is knock-off cajun food. It's pretty good, but I don't find that it's representative of nola.

                    1. re: Steve2 in LA
                      zin1953 RE: Steve2 in LA Oct 11, 2008 08:06 PM

                      Restaurant August is an excellent restaurant. Your meal will be superb, but I would never call it "a quintessential New Orleans meal." I would think that would be much more something along the lines of Commander's Palace (as N.O.Food suggested), or perhaps Jacques-Imo's, Gallatoire's, or even Upperline. I mean, a cafe au lait and an order of bengeits at Café du Monde is, in its own way, "a quintessential New Orleans meal," even though it is a far cry from fine dinning!

                      1. re: zin1953
                        Steve2 in LA RE: zin1953 Oct 12, 2008 01:43 PM

                        The Cafe Du Monde is ALWAYS a stop. I'm just looking for somewhere I haven't been with that certain je nais cest qua. (Pardon my french-ish) For instance, in Los Angeles, where we have no true "native" cuisine, it's a little different. In my opinion, though, places like Jacques Imo's and Cochon are the kind of place I'm looking for.

                        Just hoping you guys might have some inside info of the places II haven't experienced. I've been to all the "biggies", Commanders, Galatoire's, K-Paul's, Emeril's, Brennan's. I'm looking for that bitchin' place YOU go to for a killer meal. Hey, it's Hey, it's not like it's costing us anything at this point. What's replace Uglesich's in your hearts and stomachs?


                        1. re: Steve2 in LA
                          zin1953 RE: Steve2 in LA Oct 12, 2008 05:33 PM

                          Nothing replaces Uglesich's, but that's another story . . .

                          Dookie Chase? Willa Mae's Scotch House?

                          1. re: zin1953
                            Tonto RE: zin1953 Oct 12, 2008 09:41 PM

                            Nothing replaces it but is it really that important.

                          2. re: Steve2 in LA
                            Hungry Celeste RE: Steve2 in LA Oct 12, 2008 06:35 PM

                            Since you don't care about atmosphere or formality, I'd recommend the Bon Ton, Mandina's, Elizabeth's for breakfast, Minnie's Catfish Corner, and Parkway Bakery. Each of these places, in its own way, has real NOLA flavor.

                2. edible complex RE: Steve2 in LA Oct 9, 2008 06:33 PM


                  1728 Soniat St
                  New Orleans, LA 70115
                  (504) 899-7397

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: edible complex
                    gas man RE: edible complex Oct 11, 2008 03:06 PM

                    One word STELLA'S

                    1. re: gas man
                      Suzy Wong RE: gas man Oct 11, 2008 06:33 PM

                      I DO NOT like Mr B's at all, don't bother....

                      Why not Galatoire's or Bon Ton?

                      1. re: gas man
                        cheesegrater RE: gas man Oct 11, 2008 07:00 PM

                        Really????How is that New Orleans, even LA, it is more of a bastardization of french and some sort of "asian". I found Stella's to be a waste of time and a beautiful space.

                        1. re: cheesegrater
                          Steve2 in LA RE: cheesegrater Oct 14, 2008 11:22 AM

                          Very useful information, folks. Thanks for your input!

                          1. re: Steve2 in LA
                            Steve2 in LA RE: Steve2 in LA Dec 29, 2008 04:23 PM

                            Believe I owe y'all a wrap up.

                            We stole an extra day in NO at the end of our visit so we had 2 nights there. First night , had the tasting menu at Restaurant August (with wine pairings),

                            -"Shrimp remoulade" en carpaccio, artichoke, fennel and citrus
                            -Yard Egg ravioli with brown butter and chanterelle
                            -Butter poached lobster and crispy pork belly, fennel choucroute and house cured bacon
                            -slow braised kobe beef short rib, salsify, potato gnocchi and black truffle
                            -napoleon of nougatine with Valrhona chocolate bavarois, saltwater toffee ice cream and Chicory coffee sauce

                            everything was great but if pressed, my favorite dish was the lobster and pork belly and least favorite the shrimp. Not that I wouldn't eat it again . . .

                            Next day for breakfast, beignets & coffee at Cafe Du Monde and muffeletta from the Central Market. Our 2nd night, we went to Cochon. We tried to sample as much as possible . . . I think I hurt myself in the process. We ordered:

                            -Wood Fired Oyster Roast (good but technically should be called "Wood Fire Roasted Oysters")
                            -Roasted Shrimp with Ham, Chilies, Satsumas and Cornbread Bean Cake
                            -Fried Alligator with Chili Garlic Aioli
                            -Spicy Grilled Pork Ribs with Watermelon Pickle
                            -Macaroni & Cheese Casserole
                            -Creamy Grits
                            -Pork & Black Eyed Pea Gumbo with Greens (my favorite)
                            -Louisiana Cochon with Turnips, Cabbage and Cracklins
                            -Ham Hock with Sweet Potatoes, Pickled Greens & Black Eye Pea Ham Broth (least favorite)

                            Next time we'd skip the sides and entrees, stay with small plates only. We staggered away in a food induced coma.

                            Between our evenings in the Big Easy, we had a brilliant meal at The Purple Parrot in Hattiesburg so, if you ever happen to be up that way . . . check 'er out. http://www.nsrg.com/purple.asp

                            Bon jour, y'all!

                            1. re: Steve2 in LA
                              Bill Hunt RE: Steve2 in LA Dec 29, 2008 08:26 PM


                              Maybe I missed it, but how was the wine pairing at Restaurant August? That was my one complaint, going back some months. All of the food was very good to great, but the wines were horribly lacking. I'm hoping that major changes were put into place.

                              I appreciate the comment on the PP, Hattiesburg, MS. Used to live there, and the PP was going well then. Been too, too long, but glad to hear that it's still there.



                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                Steve2 in LA RE: Bill Hunt Dec 30, 2008 11:06 PM

                                The wines paired with the Restaurant August tasting menu continue to "lack".

                                4 of the 5 were unremarkable (and to my surprise, ALL from different Californian regions) while the somewhat memorable Central Coast '04 Viognier/Marsanne, paired with the raviolo, would have worked far better with the lobster/pork belly dish. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Californian wines, it just struck me odd that all 5 pairings were from there.

                                Although the food alone was $80 per person, the food with pairings was $100. My dining habits don't usually run to $100 a person meals however, I'd have willingly paid more for wines that were comparable to the food. So it goes.

                                1. re: Steve2 in LA
                                  Bill Hunt RE: Steve2 in LA Dec 31, 2008 04:58 PM

                                  Sounds like they are still doing the Treana blend. It's an OK wine, but not up to any dish that I have seen it paired with.

                                  I too am a fan of well-made CA wines. Same for FR, IT, GR and the rest. However, they have to pair with the food. Their's just did not. On our night, we kept tastes of most wines, throughout the meal. It seemed that the pairing was off by 1 - 2 wine courses. If find this to be inexcusable.

                                  I would also pay more for a better wine selection. We've done a couple of tastings/pairings, where the sommelier offered two levels of wines. In all cases, the upper were hands-down better and worth the extra $. Now, the last one, my wife and I later commented that we should have done one of each level and done a comparison. I agree, but did not think of it at the moment.

                                  I strongly believe that Restaurant August needs to do one of two things:

                                  "kick it up a notch," or offer a second level of pairings. What we encountered did not fare well with the great food - apples and oranges, IMO.

                                  Thank you for the information. Sorry that things have not changed. The food is too good to pair with lesser wines. Now, I do not mind really good inexpensive wines, but these just are not up to the task. Chef Besh's efforts are squandered with the wine pairings and it should not be so.

                                  Note to chefs: just having a wine with your dishes is not enough. As much thought needs to go into the pairings, as you put into your dishes. Please prompt your sommelier to do the homework. Two restaurants, that have greatly impressed me are Chef Mavro's, Honolulu, HI and Le Rêve, San Antonio, TX. Each restaurant gets it.

                                  OK, I'm climbing off of my soapbox now,


                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                    Steve2 in LA RE: Bill Hunt Dec 31, 2008 08:53 PM

                                    Amen to that, Mr. Hunt. If you're ever in L.A., check out AOC Wine bar http://www.aocwinebar.com/

                                    You can create your own pairings or just taste all 50 of the wines they serve by the glass. Happy New Year!

                                    1. re: Steve2 in LA
                                      Bill Hunt RE: Steve2 in LA Jan 1, 2009 02:03 PM


                                      Sounds like a good reason to stop in LA. We are usually driving through, either going north or south, and have hardly ever actually been there. A shame really, but then our meetings are down in Orange, or up towards La Jolla, etc.

                                      I'll take you up on your rec. next trip.



                                  2. re: Steve2 in LA
                                    steakrules85 RE: Steve2 in LA Sep 27, 2009 05:24 PM

                                    How are the portions at August... decent or nah?

                                    1. re: steakrules85
                                      Bill Hunt RE: steakrules85 Sep 27, 2009 08:59 PM

                                      We did the Chef's Tasting Menu (the full-boat), and the portions were perfect. Now, we were not looking for a full doggie-bag, but we left rather full and often do similar, including Chef Mavro's 13-course menu (Honolulu, HI).

                                      I'd give the sizes a "perfect." You got several tastes of each, and did not leave anything on the plate, but left full.



                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                        steakrules85 RE: Bill Hunt Sep 28, 2009 05:53 AM

                                        I see good to know. However, we would be doing the regular menu. Looking at some pics the food looks a bit on the smaller side.

                                        1. re: steakrules85
                                          Steve2 in LA RE: steakrules85 Sep 28, 2009 10:36 PM

                                          We did the Tasting Menu as well. The portions were about the same as degustations at Emeril's in NO and Spago, here in LA. Plenty of food but I couldn't speak to regular menu items either. Can't imagine missing the opportunity to try multiple dishes.but to each his own. This is a picture of the Butter poached lobster and crispy pork belly, fennel choucroute and house cured bacon, my favorite of the plates. Picture isn't stellar but it'll give you the idea.

                                          1. re: Steve2 in LA
                                            Bill Hunt RE: Steve2 in LA Sep 29, 2009 07:08 PM


                                            Unfortunately, I'm with you. I always want to turn the chef loose and let them do their thing at my table. We've done every tasting menu, that we could. We've even done Chef Mavro's 13-course tasting menu several times, just to try it all.

                                            Only time we order from the menu, is when we have guests, who just do not want to do a tasting menu. Otherwise, we're "push-overs."


                                          2. re: steakrules85
                                            Bill Hunt RE: steakrules85 Sep 29, 2009 07:05 PM

                                            As we've done the tasting menu each visit, I cannot speak of the normal portions. Each time, we did the "whole deal," even when the server mentioned the time to do it - we dine slowly and for a long period of time, so this was never an issue. Three to four hours is a normal fine-dining meal, with the wines. Even in Europe, we open some restaurants and then close them. I spell this out, when we make reservations. I love little better than a real "food orgy."

                                            Wish that I could help you on the portions from the menu, but am not qualified - sorry.



                        2. sueshop RE: Steve2 in LA Jan 1, 2009 06:56 PM

                          Just got home from NOLA.
                          WE LOVED:
                          Luke (had lunch and dinner there)
                          Dante's Kitchen
                          Cuvee for Xmas eve, felt rushed and service was lousy

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