Keepin' it real … New Orleanians seeking authentic Chinese cuisine can now lift their chopsticks at Dian Xin, which just opened in the French Quarter. Located near the French Market on Decatur Street, this cozy restaurant was launched by Judy Ceng, who previously launched Little Chinatown in Kenner. Dian Xin offers an extensive menu of dim sum (something local denizens have been clamoring for), Szechuan beef, sizzling garlic shrimp, pepper steak, General Tso's chicken, and more. The restaurant is open daily from 3-10 p.m.
1218 Decatur St., (504) 266-2828, facebook.com/dianxinnola
Bella donna … Partners Billy Blatty, chef Max Mackissock, and Juan Padro of the Culinary Creative Group out of Denver have launched Sofia, a new Italian-inspired restaurant in the Warehouse District. Executive Chef Talia Diele is currently offering a dinner menu with dishes like Gulf Squid with cannellini beans and soffritto, bucatini with guanciale and fennel sausage, Pork Milanase, and spicy clam pizza with chili oil and grana padano. Sofia is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, with lunch and brunch coming soon.
516 Julia St., (504) 322-3216, sofianola.com
Burger money … When the Bud's Broiler closed down on City Park Avenue after a legal dispute, many mourned the city's loss. But burgers will be made there again! According to NOLA.com, New Orleans-born rapper Curren$y has purchased the building and has plans to open a new burger joint in the iconic location under a new name: Life Burger. We'll be keeping an eye out for its opening.
500 City Park Ave.
It's not a playhouse! ... Charles "Pee-Wee" Armstrong, an entreprenurial soul who has been selling his excellent crabcakes and other Creole-style seafood platters out of his brother's On Faith Donut Shop in Central City, has found new digs. Pee Wee's Crabcakes is now open inside CBD Social in the Warehouse District. Dishes include red beans and rice, crabcake balls, seafood jambalaya, yaka mein, seafood-stuffed potatoes, and more. Pee-Wee's is open daily for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to midnight.
709 St. Charles Ave., (504) 358-7986, facebook.com/peeweecrabcakes
Poke across the lake ... Poke Loa, New Orleans's first poke restaurant, which opened on Magazine Street just over two years ago, has been taking the city by storm with new locations in Elmwood, Old Metairie, the Central Business District, and even Baton Rouge. Now they've taken poke to the Northshore, with their sixth installment in Mandeville. The same fresh, build-your-own-bowl menu is available at the new locale and is open daily for lunch and dinner.
1810 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 778-0444, eatpokeloa.com
New to the market ... Thai street food pop-up Long Chim is now a vendor at Auction House Market in the Warehouse District. Transplants May Mananya and Kirk Cohen from Los Angeles have been offering their interpretations of Thai street-food dishes in spots like the Catahoula Hotel and Courtyard Brewery over the past months. The menu features dishes like jackfruit dumplings, roasted cauliflower larb, Khao Soi Mushroom Noodle Soup, and green curry with chicken and eggplant.
801 Magazine St., (504) 372-4321, auctionhousemarket.com/long-chim
Talk about fusion ... Another pop-up has found a home inside the popular Mid-City bar Twelve Mile Limit. Amanda Alard and Zahara Dimassi have launched Que Pasta, a combination of Cuban cuisine and fresh handmade pasta. Dishes include smoked chicken empanadas, stewed oxtail with yucca puree, crispy spiced chick peas, and Cuban-braised pork shoulder with cotija served atop cilantro pasta. Que Pasta is serving dinner daily, as well as brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
500 S. Telemachus St., facebook.com/quepastanola
Three Dats! ... We Dat's Chicken & Shrimp has launched its third location, in Marrero. New Orleans Seventh Ward-born-and-bred Gregoire Tillery has been growing his business by leaps and bounds, from starting a food truck in 2013 to launching three restaurants, the latest located on the Westbank Expressway. Like the other locations in Gentilly and Downtown on Canal Street, We Dat's offers chicken wings, shrimp and catfish platters, loaded fries, and more. The new Westbank location is open daily.
4905 Westbank Expwy., wedatschickenandshrimp.com
Two is better than one ... Beloved local restaurant Li'l Dizzy's in the Treme has just launched a second location, inside the Rendon Inn in Gert Town. Owner and longtime local restauteur Wayne Baquet Sr. is offering a menu featuring his famous fried chicken, potato salad, po-boys, and more, "always hot and straight from the pot." Li'l Dizzy's at the Rendon is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
4501 Eve St., (504) 218-7106, lildizzyscafe.net
We'd eat that! ... Houston native Will Edwards has expanded his Baton Rouge business to New Orleans with the opening of Kolache Kitchen on Freret Street. Located inside the building that formerly housed the Freret St. Po-Boy & Donut Shop, the new restaurant offers both sweet and savory versions of this Eastern European treat—pastries filled with everything from bacon and cheese to boudin to fruit. The menu also features breakfast and lunch items, like tacos and rancheros, empanadas, sandwiches from BBQ brisket and pulled pork to grilled cheese, and quite a few tacos filled with everything from pork to shrimp. Kolache Kitchen is open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
4701 Freret St., (504) 218-5341, kolachekitchenbr.com