Threw caution to the wind and had a very quick solo meal last night at Hipstix. I grilled the waitress, who said that it's owned by the same people as Rock 'n' Sake, but all of the food is made in house (and that the crusty baguette is from a Vietnamese bakery in the East).
The interior of the restaurant is very very similar to the former Tchoup 'n' Joes (also owned by the RNS people), with that same obnoxious post-rock music and big screen tvs you can see all of the way down Tchoupitoulas at Cochon. Nevertheless, it's probably not as overwhelming if the place were more filled. They've been open a week and seem to do a swift lunch business but was pretty dead on a Monday night.
Onto the food: I didn't have the luxury of going with a group so we could order a bunch of things and taste it all. On the waitress's rec, I got the grilled shrimp skewer w/ stix sauce appetizer, which I was somewhat skeptical about on the menu, but turned out to be perfectly grilled shrimp (6) and a spicy chili-yogurt sauce ($8). For dinner, I chose the thai coconut curry with marinated chicken simmered in a coconut curry broth (w/ potatoes, carrots and herbs) and served with two large hunks of baguette (HUGE, pleasantly spicy portion for $8.5). Sodas have free refills.
There are lots of delicious looking things on the menu (heavy emphasis on Vietnamese/Thai)-- if I had gone in with friends, I would have definitely gotten the korean short ribs with kimchee over jasmine or brown rice ($12) or tried the "BBQ meatball po-boy Deconstructed" (oy, is everything deconstructed now?). Their description of that dish was "soft, tender meatballs slow simmered in a chinese BBQ broth, housemade aioli, fresh herbs, and vegetables served with dipping bread" ($5!). There are lots of pleasing looking things on the menu and there was lots of flavor in both of the dishes I had. I asked whether they're going more for an authentic flavor or an Americanized one and the waitress breezily said authentic-- and that they're extremely proud of their crab rangoon which are made in-house, unlike a lot of places around town. I'll reserve judgment on authentic v. not until I've have more of their food.
Martinis, cosmos and things are around $8. The most expensive thing on the menu is $12 but most are under ten. Portions are ample and presentation is unpretentious. There is a curious note on the bottom of the menu that takeout orders are subject to "box charges," but those are unspecified.
No phone number is listed online yet, but the menu gives 504-581-2858. 870 Tchoupitoulas in the Warehouse district.
Everything was steaming hot (a rarity sometimes), and service was solid.
It's definitely worth an easy weekday meal and probably everyone in the family can find something. Also probably good for after-work meal or drinks with people you have no romantic interest in (see: giant tv screens and ugly radio noise).
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