Johnny Sánchez New Orleans
A Mexican taqueria from John Besh and Aaron Sanchez, Johnny Sánchez New Orleans is a riot of colour and flavour. Bulbs descend from the high ceiling, bright and bold murals adorn the walls, and the chairs are a kaleidoscope of colours. The floor to ceiling windows, meanwhile, flood the space with light during the day and offer a glimpse of the bustle of the CBD beyond.
The menu mixes Mexican influences and Louisiana ingredients to great effect. Think: crispy Louisiana shrimp served with chipotle aioli, jicama slaw, tomatillo avocado salsa, and house-made tortillas. Or the fire-roasted Gulf fish of the day, which comes with charred avocado, crispy sweet potatoes, and jalapeño vinaigrette. There are classic dishes like albondigas (meatballs) and lashings of bright, verdant guacamole. And plenty of creative and unexpected items as well, which are sure to tempt even the most uninitiated diner, from local squash blossom tacos (served with queso fresco, roasted corn salsa, chimichurri) to crispy pig ear chilaquiles that come with salsa macha, queso fresco and a fried egg.
The drinks menu, meanwhile, is rich with house-twists on classic cocktails, not to mention an arresting array of tequilas and mezcals. Take the Mango Vanilla Margarita, a concoction of fresh mango, vanilla, lime and agavales, with a habanero lava salt rim. Or the Johnny Sanchez Michelada, which is made with house-made sangrita, agavales blanco, dos equis XX lager and chili salt. The Mexican Killer Bee (vida mezcal, lavender honey lime juice and mint) is another popular choice. But should spirits not tempt, there’s also a comprehensive selection of wine and beer; the latter both bottled and draft.