Cajun/Creole Menu with an Asian Influence, Concept and Culture to Remain as is Under Chef/Owner Anh Luu*
*Editor’s Note: On Tuesday, March 14th, Chef/Owner Anh Luu’s mother passed away in a tragic car accident. This heartbreaking and shocking loss of her beloved mother, especially during the time that the change of ownership was being finalized, has been incredibly traumatizing and emotionally crushing for Anh. But, Anh chose to continue to pursue the change of ownership at this time in honor of her mother.
PORTLAND, Ore. (March 21, 2017) – Known for its New Orleans cuisine served on small plates, tapas-style, and its Asian/Cajun menu created by New Orleans-born, Vietnamese Chef Anh Luu, Tapalaya today announced that owner Chantal Angot has sold the restaurant to Luu. The restaurant’s Cajun/Creole menu with an Asian influence, its concept and culture will remain exactly as is moving forward with Luu serving as the Chef/Owner.
Located on Portland’s NE 28th restaurant row, Tapalaya is the city’s first-and-only restaurant to serve New Orleans cuisine as small plates. Tapalaya, which is a combination of the words tapas and Jambalaya, offers its contemporary Cajun/Creole tapas and its Vietnamese-inspired special menu at Happy Hour, dinner and weekend Brunch.
Angot opened Tapalaya in 2008. Tapalaya introduced the new Asian/Cajun menu, created by Luu, in October 2014. 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. Luu was hired at Tapalaya in 2009. Subsequently, she was hired as Second in Charge at Tanuki, Chef/Owner Janis Martin’s izakaya. Following Tanuki, Luu was hired back as Head Chef at Tapalaya in May 2013.
“Owning Tapalaya for more than eight years in such a forward-thinking culinary city like Portland has been a professional highlight for me,” said Tapalaya Owner Chantal Angot. “Anh has brought new options to serve our customers in innovative ways. Supporting her energy and passion for creating dishes that are truly from the heart has been important to me all along the way. I am thrilled to pass the baton to her, allowing her and Tapalaya to continue to thrive and feed the body, heart and soul of our customers and community with high-quality food. It means a tremendous amount to me to see Anh, Tapalaya and its unique concept live on – bringing joy and fun, mixed with funky beats and a cool, Big Easy vibe to the restaurant’s beloved customers.”
“I’m honored and incredibly excited to now own Tapalaya, a restaurant where I’ve worked for eight years,” said Chef/Owner Anh Luu. “Taking the reigns over from Chantal, and owning the restaurant where I designed one-of-a-kind cuisine based on memories from my childhood means the world to me. Chantal has been such an amazing and supportive owner all these years, giving me the platform to create dishes so personal to me and for that I’m very grateful. It’s an honor to carry this concept forward as both chef and owner.”
Located at 28 NE 28th Avenue in Northeast Portland and serving dinner and Happy Hour daily with live New Orleans music on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, 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 Etouffée, Barbeque Jumbo Gulf Prawns, Blackened Catfish and Beignets. Tapalaya offers a full bar, wine and beer. Signature cocktails include the Hurricane, Uptown NOLA and Sazerac.
Tapalaya is a contemporary New Orleans tapas restaurant located in Portland, Oregon’s NE 28th Restaurant Row. Inventive Cajun/Creole tapas 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, Chef Anh Luu has introduced new menu items that are infused with the Southeast Asian flavors and ingredients from her culture, heritage and childhood. Portland’s first-and-only restaurant to serve New Orleans cuisine as small plates, Tapalaya offers contemporary Cajun/Creole tapas along with a Vietnamese-inspired special menu. Small plates are perfect for sharing and pairing in a fun and relaxed atmosphere with cheery, New Orleans décor, set to a funky beat. The restaurant offers live music every Tuesday and Thursday and Happy Hour every day. Owner Chantal Angot has been proprietor of Tapalaya since its opening in November 2008. 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.