Apr 17, 2024 - Food and Drink

What to order at James Beard-nominated Saffron NOLA

A bowl of eggplant Hyderabad is seen on a wooden table, with dinner plates next to it. In another bowl is a shrimp dish with rice.

Eggplant Hyderabad is a great vegetarian option at Saffron NOLA. Photo: Chelsea Brasted/Axios

Saffron NOLA is one of New Orleans' dependably delicious, always interesting restaurants.

Why it matters: Its chef, Arvinder Vilkhu, is nominated for Best Chef: South at the James Beard Awards this year.

Dig in: I recently stopped by to remember just why Saffron NOLA is so good, and left congratulating myself on that decision.

What I ordered: A friend and I shared plenty, like the oyster bed roast ($19 for a half-dozen) and Bombay shrimp ($18), but the eggplant Hyderabad ($12) stood out.

  • The roasted eggplant was deeply flavored and spicy with hints of tamarind and a little texture from peanuts.
  • We dragged torn bits of garlic naan through it while sipping the last of our salty raw silk cocktails, which combine tequila and mezcal.

What's next: The Vilkhu family is due to open Kingsway across the street from Saffron this year.

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