Namese, New Orleans, LA Report #132

********** PERMANENTLY CLOSED**********

This is a Vietnamese restaurant.  They describe themselves as bridging the gap between the markets of Vietnam and the streets of New Orleans.  I don’t really care about the markets of Vietnam.  I just want good food, so let’s get right to that!

We started out with the Five Spice Pork Belly Vietnamese Tacos / Bahn Bao.  Listen to me carefully.  COME HERE AND GET THESE!  And come alone so you don’t have to share them like I did!  These are delicious!  The pork belly, which is basically bacon, was cut in perfect size matchstick like pieces and had that great five spice flavor to them.  Very tender.  Perfect with the slawed veggies.  Don’t even think about coming here and not trying these.  I want to try the duck next time.

The menu described the Crab Rangoon as having a “twist”.   I’m not big on Crab Rangoon but my dining partner is, so we asked what the twist was.  The waiter wasn’t sure but he surmised it was that it’s served with an herbed Balsamic vinegar sauce.  The sauce was great, and they were pretty good.  Fried real crisp and shaped like empanadas, but full of mostly cream cheese, just like you’d get at any Chinese restaurant.

I ordered the Pho Dac Biet, or Combination Pho.  They told me they were out of meatballs, which is the thing I like the least anyway, and suggested I get more brisket.  But I told them instead I wanted more beef tendon, and they didn’t disappoint me.  It was loaded with tendon and very good.  The broth was very flavorful.

I also like the way they serve the Pho with the raw beef on a separate plate.  The Pho is so hot, and the beef is sliced so thin, if you want it cooked, just stir it all in and it cooks instantly, which is what my dining partner did.  But if you prefer keeping it rare throughout the entire meal, just add a piece at a time.  Great idea.

We saw a side called “Crabby Rice” and asked about it.  The waiter said it was their regular Jasmine rice with crabmeat and sauce on it.  We ordered that and a grilled pork and rice platter.  We thought we’d get the pork platter with Jasmine rice and the side of crab rice.  Instead for a slight upcharge they put the Crabby Rice on the platter, which was fine.

The pork was different than what I’m used to.  Instead of having that chargrilled taste, it was sliced into small pieces and more like stewed instead of grilled.  It also had a sweet taste to it.  It was good, just not what I expected and different.

Now again, listen carefully.  COME HERE AND GET THE CRABBY RICE!  It was a mound of Jasmine rice, with some kind of brown sauce on top that was utterly delicious!  Even without the crabmeat it would have been great, but they added a generous portion of what tasted and looked like claw, blue crab meat, which I think has more crab flavor than the white, body meat.  I could make a meal out of the tacos and this crab rice.  It would be carb heavy but it’d be worth getting fat for!

The only thing that wasn’t good about this meal was that clear, chicken broth soup they give you on the rice platters.  I took a sip and it was cold, and had a funny flavor like something had gone bad in it.  But it’s not like anyone comes to a place like this for that.

Great place.  I highly recommend it.

4077 Tulane Ave., New Orleans, LA  70119  Ph: 504-483-8899

Blaine 8-27-2018

SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT:

 

Back to Namese already!  I forgot to include a pic of the outside dining area in my earlier report.  I had to get back and try that Peking Duck Taco.  We also got a Grilled Shrimp.  The bitten on pic shows the amount of meat in the duck taco, and I opened one so you could see the amount of shrimp.  Both were delicious.  It’s almost a toss up with me between the duck and the five spice pork belly, but I think the pork belly is my favorite.

We had to get another order of that Crabby Rice.  I had to ask the waiter this time what that brown sauce was made of.  He said bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic and tomatoes.  I said if that was it what makes it brown?  He said they just cook it down so long it turns brown (caramelizes I guess).  I know there’s more in it.  It tastes too good to be that simple.

I had the fried shrimp Po-Boy sandwich / Banh Mi.  This was truly a fusion between New Orleans and Vietnamese food.  The shrimp were fried deliciously, like you’d find on a regular New Orleans fried shrimp po-boy, with all the regular Vietnamese fixings.  And the French bread was about the best I ever had.  Very crisp and fresh.

You’ll NEVER catch me ordering tofu, but my dining partner is a vegetarian so she ordered the Five Spice Fried Tofu.  She said she’s had tofu messed up in many different ways in restaurants, but this was one of the best she ever had.  I tried it.  The outside was nice and crisp and it had a great flavor.  I’d order it often if it was meat.  In other words, you’ll still never catch me ordering tofu.

Oh, also, my dining partner ordered hot Jasmine tea, and our waiter told her they didn’t have tea bags.  Only loose tea, so she would get some leaves in her tea.  Keep that in mind if you order it and they don’t warn you.

Finally, we ordered the Coconut Banana Bread Pudding for dessert.  Our waiter came back and told us they were out of it.  He also told us it’s great, and don’t even think about ordering the chocolate cake.  He said the bread pudding is made in house, the cake isn’t, and its nothing special.  Great waiter.  One that cares more about the customers dining experience instead of making money for the restaurant.

Again, a great dining experience. I highly recommend this place.

4077 Tulane Ave., New Orleans, LA  70119  Ph: 504-483-8899

Blaine 8-29-2018

SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT:

Sadly, this place has become a COVID-19 casualty and is permanently closed.

Blaine 7-24-2020

4 thoughts on “Namese, New Orleans, LA Report #132

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