Always on the lookout for Thai food, I ventured over to Banana Blossom (2112 Belle Chasse Hwy, Suite 10, Gretna, LA; 504.392.7530) a while back. The bare-bones, strip-mall space offers up better-than-average food, but the deliciousness was destroyed by a pack of noisy suburbanites and their raucous offspring. (Yes, I’m a suburbanite myself, but a quiet, mannerly one.) Despite not being able to hear myself think, I enjoyed the Chiang Mai curry noodles.
Cutting through the din was the kitchen’s interesting version of larb (finely minced chicken, freshly prepared and hot, served with lots of lettuce for wrapping). Often, this dish is cool or room temperature; the warm version demonstrated how dramatically temperature affects perception. A bit of cabbage, strips of red onion, carrots, cilantro, basil, and mint offered something different in each bite.
Despite the tasty food, I wasn’t in a hurry to return thanks to my auditory overload experience. Then I read Robert Peyton’s recent Haute Plates column–he mentioned Banana Blossom’s roti. Well-made, fresh roti are worth braving a potential headache and hordes of screaming children, so I hustled back over to Banana Blossom.
On this late Saturday lunch visit, the place was peaceful and orderly, and the roti were divine, served alongside a bowl of red curry for dipping. The friendly manager and cooks came out of the kitchen and sat down to eat their own lunch–stir-fried hardshell crabs, fresh from the seafood market in Westwego, originally intended for a pot of gumbo that never happened.
So go check it out, but maybe bring a set of earplugs, just in case.