Tapalaya chef Anh Luu has every reason to pop the cork on a bottle of Champagne tonight. Last night the Vietnamese native of New Orleans competed on Chopped and nearly won, coming in with a strong second-place finish. And today The Oregonian and Willamette Week both released reviews of her Vietnamese-Cajun menu at Tapalaya, and both gave it glowing reviews.
Michael Russell at The Oregonian sums up his piece with a plea for Luu to add more of her Vietnamese mash-ups to the menu. And he gives the Crawfish Anh Luu a shout out as one of the best dishes. "For this dish, a play on Crawfish Monica (a signature dish of the New Orleans Jazz Festival), Luu ditches the traditional rotini in favor of pale white grits, then loads the sauce with garlic, white wine, lemon juice, shrimp stock, butter, cream and Crystal hot sauce."
Matthew Korfhage at Willamette Week praises specials like the Vietnamese chicken wings, "layered in an herbal subtlety often missing from a bar plate that's usually a sticky-sweet garlic cluster bomb. I have not seen the wings return, and I would desperately like them to." He calls the coconut pork "gorgeously tender," and proclaims she makes "some of my favorite fried chicken in town, period."