Adventurous complicated Thai eatery Banana Blossom stairs adult though stays secure in Gretna

The pierce is zero really. It’s only about dual miles true down a same road. But to Jimmy Cho it’s everything.


In March, he sealed a strange plcae of his Banana Blossom Thai Restaurant on a dilemma of Gretna, and final week reopened it in a new home, during 500 Ninth St., in Old Gretna.

It’s not only a bigger space. It’s a outrageous step for an newcomer who arrived here with no grill skeleton in mind, though who finished adult formulating a singular further to a complicated New Orleans dining stage anyway.


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Banana Blossom Thai Restaurant serves normal and strange dishes in a new home in Gretna.


Advocate staff print by Ian McNulty

After opening in 2009, Banana Blossom fast became one of a area’s best restaurants for normal Thai food, a mark for cold pad Thai on a prohibited day or robust masaman curry on a cold one, for tom yum soup and stir-fried clams in a garlicky broth.

Over time, it also grew into a Thai eatery that folds in more tellurian flavors. Some of a dishes would feel during home during a Spanish tapas bar, a Creole grill or a Hawaiian beachfront shack.

“It’s all Thai ingredients,” pronounced Cho. “That’s how we prepare here, though we can move in other influences too.”

This honesty has done Banana Blossom a many brave Thai grill in a area, sensitively doing a thing Gretna. It’s about time some-more people know how Banana Blossom rolls, and a new home is set adult to deliver them.

Once a outline dilemma store, a residence has been revamped with a prolonged dining room, a dedicated bar for celebration and drop-in dishes and a semi-open kitchen.

It might be tighten to a initial Banana Blossom, though it’s been a prolonged float to get here.


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The new home of Banana Blossom in Gretna before and after renovations. 


Cho grew adult in northwest Thailand, where his family ran a multiple noodle emporium and grocery as partial of a market. He eventually done it to New Orleans, where his family had some friends. He was study to be a surgical tech during Delgado Community College and operative during a Gretna sushi bar Café Zen.

But when that grill changed to a bigger plcae a few doors down, Cho motionless to take over a franchise and try his palm cooking his internal Thai cuisine. It was a medium debut, with only a few tables underneath a dump ceiling. But it fit Cho’s start-up finances and his advantageous outlook.

“You have to start small, afterwards we can build,” he said.

As Banana Blossom’s business increased, so did Cho’s possess transport budget. Travel is a priority for him. In one year alone, he visited some-more than a dozen countries. The food he cooking along a approach infrequently becomes source element for new dishes during Banana Blossom.

For instance, a outing to Hawaii and dishes from Oahu’s swift of “shrimp truck” food vendors led to a “Hawaii 504,” a play of coconut shrimp, boiled egg and pineapple over Thai grill sauce. Ramen, a Japanese staple, assimilated a menu after a outing to Bali, where it’s a common breakfast dish.

Some ideas started closer to home. Banana Blossom’s chronicle of BBQ shrimp tastes buttery, like a New Orleans original, though uses no butter. It’s unfeeling oil and coconut divert and chile peppers around big, head-on shrimp. The same salsa surrounds BBQ oysters, boiled in airy-light beat and served in expel iron skillets.

Thai roti bread – chewy here, crinkly-crisp there – now fields many opposite roles on a menu. It becomes something like a Natchitoches beef pie, filled with Thai-style minced pig and crimped around a edges. A some-more new riff is a roti sandwich pressed with belligerent chicken, boiled egg and prohibited sauce, that is modeled after a breakfast image common around Cho’s hometown.


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BBQ oysters with roti bread is partial of a menu during a Thai grill Banana Blossom in Gretna.


But while Banana Blossom has changed on adult with a new location, a grill is also staying in a West Bank village where it initial took root.

Cho knows a New Orleans grill stage well. He knows Magazine Street or a Warehouse District would be a higher-profile perch, and that he’d get some-more traveller business there.

But with so many other restaurants now opening in a city proper, and with a possibility to indeed buy and redevelop his possess genuine estate in Gretna, he motionless to stay put.

“The business is all local, we don’t get any tourists here,” pronounced Cho. “I live nearby, we wish to prepare for people here. we feel like here we will have some-more control of where a business goes.”

Banana Blossom Thai Restaurant

500 Ninth St., Gretna, 504-392-7530

Lunch and cooking Mon.-Sat.

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