Latitude 29

Review by: Michael Stern

Polynesia in New Orleans

There are many things to eat at Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29. All of them go well with cocktails. Really, that’s the point. This bar-cum-restaurant is tipplers’ tiki heaven in New Orleans.

The theme, cuisine, and cocktail repertoire are Polynesian. In all too many instances, this kind of tiki theme means colorful but weak drinks and sticky-sweet food with a vaguely Hawaiian accent. But Latitude 29 aims higher than that.

Yes, There’s Food, Too. And It’s Good.

Admittedly, many of the drinks come festooned with so much fruit that you could, for a moment, think that ordering something else to eat would be redundant. But that would be a mistake, because in this tipplers tiki heaven, the food is better than you’d expect in a dedicated watering hole.

In keeping with the Polynesian theme, pork dominates much of the menu. It mixes with shrimp in the lumpia (Philippine egg rolls); it adds succulence to crisp-edged pan-fried dumplings, and it even kinda vaguely flavors Spam Musubi. That last one is Spam presented on rice wrapped in seaweed, just like sushi. Pork’s finest role is ribs, which are meaty, lightly glazed, and tender enough easily to separate meat from bone. They’re served separately, not as a rack.

All About The Rum

Naturally, rum stars in many of the tropical cocktails. In many cases, it’s several kinds of rum. Aged Martinique and Jamaican rums plus Curacao are the basis of a Mai Tai. The Navy Grog, which the menu says was Frank Sinatra’s favorite tiki drink, features Jamaican and Demerara rums. Described as a Pina Colada “and then some,” the Kea Colada swirls Jamaican and Virgin Island rums with coconut cream, lime, and pineapple.

As was true of the original Trader Vic’s in San Francisco, Latitude 29 makes its fancy-dress drinks with quality liquor … and plenty of it. You may be able to drive to get here (although parking is a pain), but plan on other means of transportation when you leave. A couple of “Suffering Bastards,” “Zombies,” or “Missionary’s Downfalls,” and even walking from this restaurant can be a challenge.

What To Eat

Latitude 29 Recipes


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