Tapalaya Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary; Chef Anh Luu Introduces New Menu
PORTLAND, Ore. (January 28, 2019) – Known for its New Orleans cuisine served on small plates, tapas-style, and its Asian/Cajun menu created by the restaurant’s New Orleans-born, Vietnamese Executive Chef and Owner Anh Luu, Tapalaya is celebrating its 10-year Anniversary. Opened in November 2008, Tapalaya has been a pillar along Portland’s NE 28th restaurant row.
To celebrate this milestone, Tapalaya Owner and Executive Chef Anh Luu has introduced a new menu. Luu’s signature Cajun/Creole menu with a Vietnamese influence remains the same. However, instead of being served on small plates tapas-style, meals are now served entrée style, with one main item plus two hearty sides. Tapalaya, which is a combination of the words tapas and Jambalaya, retains its name, menu items and Viet-Cajun cuisine, but will now offer its dishes as much larger portions.
“It’s an honor to own a restaurant that has been operating in Portland’s innovative food scene for a decade. Our customers are our family and they have carried us to this incredible milestone,” said Tapalaya Owner and Executive Chef Anh Luu. “And now, with the reformatting of our menu, we’re pleased to continue to give our customers what they love – just more of it.”
As part of the anniversary celebration, Luu has given the restaurant a light refresh which includes new paint in the City of New Orleans’ colors of black, gold and gray, with a light blue accent. She also recently made Tapalaya the home of the New Orleans Saints in Portland. Guests can join ex-New Orleanians and NFL fans to watch the Saints during football season on the restaurant’s brand new 55” TV.
“Supporting the Black & Gold, the City of New Orleans and the #WhoDatNation here at Tapalaya means so much to me. It’s a perfect fit,” said Luu.
The new menu includes items such as:
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken – Mary’s free-range chicken with bourbon syrup served with braised greens and turmeric red beans & rice;
- Crawfish Anh Luu – Inspired by a New Orleans Jazz Fest favorite, crawfish in a Cajun cream sauce, Bob’s Red Mill grits served with roasted veggies and a toasted Vietnamese baguette;
- Jambalaya – Andouille, chicken & shrimp served with charred Brussel sprouts & a toasted Vietnamese baguette; and
- Seafood Platter – Fried catfish, fried oysters, popcorn shrimp served with braised greens and a toasted Vietnamese baguette.
The traditional sides will still be available and can be interchanged with the sides listed with the entrées above. Some of the sides include Edamame Caviar, a Cornbread Muffin and Creamy Grits. Appetizers include Turmeric Red Beans & Rice, Crawfish Étouffée Nachos, Anh Luu Gives You Wings and Seafood & Andouille Gumbo with Rice.
Served on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Brunch menu still includes Fried Chicken & Beignets, Eggs Sardou, a Grilled Pork Rice Bowl, and Shrimp & Grits, but these now come with a choice of Creamy Grits, Fried Potatoes or a grilled Vietnamese Baguette. The menu also features various Eggs Benedict or Hash entrées, numerous sides and a boozy Brunch Cocktail list which includes the Beericane, which contains passion fruit, orange juice, grenadine and Old German Beer; Uncle Ho’s Spiked Iced Coffee with bourbon, Stone Barn Coffee Liqueur, chicory coffee and condensed milk over ice and a Bloody Mary. Live music is offered during Brunch on Saturdays during football season.
Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the restaurant at (503) 232-NOLA (6652) or online at the restaurant’s website or via Open Table.
Born to Vietnam War refugees in New Orleans, Luu and her family evacuated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. With their home under 15 feet of water, Luu’s family moved to Portland, Oregon but Luu remained in Louisiana to attend school and work in several top New Orleans restaurants. She later moved to Portland to join her family and attend the Western Culinary Institute. Subsequently, Luu was hired as Second in Charge at Tanuki, Chef/Owner Janis Martin’s izakaya. Following Tanuki, Luu was hired as Executive Chef at Tapalaya in May 2013. In March 2017, Luu purchased Tapalaya from previous owner, Chantal Angot.
Located at 28 NE 28th Avenue in Northeast Portland and serving dinner and Happy Hour, which is offered daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, with live New Orleans music on Tuesday evenings and during Brunch on Saturdays during football season. Tapalaya serves contemporary Cajun/Creole cuisine sourcing many fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood from local farms and farmer’s markets in Portland, the Willamette Valley and Vancouver, Washington. Gluten-friendly, vegetarian and vegan options are offered and classic menu items include Red Beans & Rice, Jambalaya, Po’ Boy Sandwiches, Crawfish Étouffée, Blackened Catfish and Beignets. Tapalaya offers a full bar, wine and beer. Signature cocktails include the Hurricane, the Chartreuse Swizzle and Sazerac.
Tapalaya is a contemporary New Orleans restaurant located in Portland, Oregon’s NE 28th Restaurant Row. Inventive Cajun/Creole dishes prepared with locally-sourced ingredients from the Pacific Northwest are made from scratch with love. Born in New Orleans, and raised by her Vietnamese parents, Owner and Executive Chef Anh Luu offers menu items that are infused with the Southeast Asian flavors and ingredients from her culture, heritage and childhood. Tapalaya offers a contemporary Cajun/Creole menu with a Vietnamese influence. The restaurant setting is a fun and relaxed atmosphere with cheery, New Orleans décor, set to a funky beat. It offers live music every Tuesday evening and during Brunch on Saturdays. It also offers Happy Hour every day. Owner Chantal Angot owned Tapalaya from its inception in November 2008 to March 2017, when she sold the restaurant to Anh Luu. A combination of the words tapas and Jambalaya, Tapalaya is located at 28 NE 28th Avenue in Portland. Dinner and Happy Hour are offered daily and Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays. For reservations or for more information, please call (503) 232-NOLA (6652) or visit www.tapalaya.com or www.opentable.com. Find Tapalaya on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Tapalaya and follow Tapalaya on Twitter @tapalaya and on Instagram @tapalayapdx.