We have a saying in the Deep South, when food is unbelievably good, it will make you “slap your Mama!” This southern slang is rooted in the belief that if your Mama didn’t cook something this good she should be slapped. Not literally! Bottom line, when someone describes food this way, you know it’s outstanding and that’s how I would characterize the pho served at Magasin Kitchen, a fusion Vietnamese restaurant located in New Orleans’ trendy Warehouse District.
My daughter Cosima, a real estate attorney and consummate foodie, made the recommendation we have a quick light lunch here after a meeting I had with Astrid Solo Travel Advisor’s newest blogger, Darsey Walker, who will be covering traveling to New Orleans from the solo traveler’s perspective. I always follow Cosima’s lead when it comes to dining selections because she has a refined palate and consistently picks the best old and new places to eat in NOLA, the acronym for New Orleans for those of you are unfamiliar with this word.
Magasin Kitchen is not your ordinary Vietnamese restaurant. With it’s upscale, modern interiors it feels like you’re dining in a hip but relaxed place that could be in Los Angeles, Dallas or Vegas. It has an open kitchen, lots of comfortable seating for solo diners, couples or small groups, and an outdoor area that is perfect for solo when the weather is nice.
Owner Kim Nguyen, a third generation restaurateur, prides herself in preparing Magasin Kitchen’s dishes using her family’s recipes and food preparation secrets. The menu focuses on three main Vietnamese food specialties, pho, bun and banh mi. Even though I am a repeat customer, I haven’t tried anything other than the pho because the pho here is "out of this world."
In my opinion what makes Ms. Nguyen’s pho so delicious is the broth. Seasoned with a blend of spices and bone marrow plus other family cooking secrets, this tasty broth makes you want to lift the bowl sideways and drink it like tea. When you add the bean sprouts, jalapeno peppers, basil to the rice noodle and the meat selection in the broth, you have a soup dish that will make you want to “slap your Mama.” At this visit I had the delectable chicken pho-- superb!
To accompany your meal, Magasin Kitchen has a high quality selection of alcoholic and non- alcoholic drinks. Cocktails at Magasin Kitchen use fresh juices to make their drinks, which makes them a cut-above refreshing. In addition, a variety of Asian beers are offered on the menu. Late afternoon and evening bar snacks include vodka-soaked squid, pork and chicken skewers and Asian seasoned popcorn.
Located at 611 O’Keefe Street, the restaurant is opened everyday for lunch and everyday but Sunday for dinner. Whenever you’re traveling to New Orleans and are in the Warehouse District shopping or visiting the many NOLA art galleries and museums and you want something light and delicious, I highly recommend you experience the pho at Magasin Kitchen and please don’t ever “slap your Mama!”
As always, your questions and comments are welcomed whether they are about this blog post or any other luxury solo travel concerns.