This weekend, a friend of mine was boarding next to a flight to New Orleans and she sent me a text reminiscing about our trip to Mardi Gras back in the day. It got me thinking of my most recent trip to New Orleans and a place I fell in love with, Yuki Izakaya. Happy Fat Tuesday, Laissez le Bon temp rouler!
I had been to Frenchman street early in the trip for dinner and drinks at the gastro pub, The Three Muses. Very good food (fried pickle chips, Moroccan Lamb Shank Pizza, Fish Tacos), even better drinks, friendly atmosphere and great live music. So on the last night there we decided to take a break from the French Quarter and go back to Frenchman street. Wandering down the street trying to figure out where to go I heard some faint music that caught my ear. Getting closer I could tell it was an accordion and pictured a Frenchman in 1950 playing “La Vie en rose.” The sounds were coming out of a bar that looked to be Japanese…I was intrigued.
You could describe Yuki Izakaya as a dive bar I suppose. It’s got all the good characteristics of dive bar (immediate comfort, strong drinks, cool crowd, kitschy decor, dark, atmosphere of being content where you are) without the bad (dirty, greasy and beyond scary smells — although the bathrooms here need to be brighter). Technically an Izakaya is a Japanese pub that is a casual, after work type place that also serves small plates.
Listening to the accordion, drinking one of the best lychee martinis I have had in my life and watching the Japanese animated movie flicker on the brick wall I thought, this is one of those bars you see in movies that looks impossibly cool and you just know doesn’t exist. I was in love.
I can be a sucker for some kitsch too.
Yuki Izakaya is a nice break from the New Orleans/French Quarter/Mardi Gras madness. Go for the live music and drinks but based on reviews the food is also worth it. Stuff your face; it is Fat Tuesday after all.525 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116