Lines out the door, down the street, and around the block lasting 4 hours and more. For decades that was the scene at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen. We never made it to the front of the line—until Isaac. With crowds sparse in the days after Isaac we gambled and walked-over for a late lunch no reservations. Voila. Je suis chez mois. Home at last.
There are restaurants where you sense upon entry you’re in the hands of a master. For one thing it’s shockingly quiet. Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse in Berkeley is like that. Stand at the front of Waters’ homey fine diner and you see the kitchen designed right into the center of the restaurant and you could hear a pin drop if one had the audacity. The entire kitchen crew from servers-to-chefs move in concert like a silent ballet where everyone knows each other’s next move. Even the clanking pans are silent. All well-run restaurants are like that. K-Paul’s is like that in its own way.
Right when you walk-in the hostess moves you deftly to the bar where you order drinks and then on to your table. The kitchen is a masterpiece of order where every single item is in its place pans-to-prep. 3 cooks move constantly, quietly about the insanely small area preparing diabolical cuisine. Your meal appears in front of you with the dimmest awareness of the waiter who brought it. As you leave through the ancient door and onto Chartres you’re primed to browse the olde shoppes in The Quarter. It’s perfect.