Ava Street Cafe 2

Chicken Pho at Ava Street Cafe.

Ava Street Café gets new owners

Ava Street Café, a Vietnamese restaurant located across the street from Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, is now under new ownership.

Dung Le said he took over ownership of the Essen Lane eatery on Feb. 1 from Chef Ethan Huynh. But fans of the restaurant shouldn’t expect any changes.

“Everything will be kept the same,” Le said. “The recipes were left by the former owner, so we will be using those.”

Ava Street Café has been open since 2016 and is located at 5207 Essen Lane.

MJ's Cafe to open location inside Yoga Rouge

MJ’s Cafe, the popular vegetarian-minded restaurant at Mid City’s White Star Market, plans to open a “satellite” location inside Yoga Rouge near LSU. 

Mary-Brennan Faucheux, owner of MJ’s Cafe, said she hopes to begin selling a wide range of items, including soups, salads, wraps, quiches and more, sometime in the coming two weeks at the studio, following health inspection approvals. Yoga Rouge is located at 3347 Nicholson Drive, up the street from Tiger Stadium. 

Faucheux said she will serve grab-and-go items brought to the yoga studio from an offsite kitchen, and the studio's lobby will feature an eight-person bar and some other seating for customers. “Hopefully we’ll bring in a crowd from downtown and the LSU campus,” she said. 

MJ's Cafe links up with Yoga Rouge for satellite location at the yoga studio

New music and food festival heading downtown

A new food and music festival with a distinct alt-country flavor is coming to downtown Baton Rouge this summer. Son Volt, Old 97's, Shooter Jennings and The Bottle Rockets will perform at the inaugural Bandito Food and Music Festival, taking place 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Galvez Plaza.

Along with the music, local food vendors will be slinging tacos and barbecue. The food lineup, the festival announced Tuesday, currently includes Gov't Taco, Jay D's Barbecue, Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine and BRQ Seafood and Barbeque. More chefs and restaurants will be announced in the coming weeks, said Eric Carnegie, who is co-producing it with Chris Brooks, chairman of the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. 

Baton Rouge bands The Grinders and The Hitchhiker will also perform at Bandito, which will host several events leading up to and after the festival itself. A "Road to Bandito" concert series will kick off on Wednesday, April 10, at Happy's Irish Pub, with a show by self-proclaimed "Texas Piano Man" Robert Ellis and Deer Tick's Ian O'Neil. Dash Rip Rock will play a Bandito post-party at Happy's on June 22.

Entry to Bandito Food and Music Festival is free, and food and drink will be available for purchase. VIP tickets, which include an exclusive view of the stage, private bathroom, cash bar and drink and food tickets are on sale for $100. More information can be found at banditofestival.com.

Bandito Festival to bring Old 97's, Shooter Jennings and plenty of tacos and BBQ to downtown Baton Rouge

NOLA Brewing celebrates 10 years

New Orleans brewing company NOLA will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Friday, Feb. 15, with music by the George Porter Trio and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe and, of course, some beer. The brewery will release two new beers on Friday: a double dry-hopped "Moon Shoes" IPA made with Galaxy hops and a "Sucré Blackberry Cobbler" stout, the second of four releases made in partnership with pastry boutique Sucré.

The beers will be released at 11 a.m., music starts at 7 p.m. NOLA Brewing Co. is located at 3001 Tchoupitoulas St. in New Orleans. nolabrewing.com.

Mansur's hosts cocktail pairing dinner

Mansur's on the Boulevard, with chefs Chris Motto and Barrett Meeks, will host a cocktail pairing dinner featuring J.T. Meleck vodka, made by Acadia Parish's Frugé Spirits. The dinner will feature seven courses. The gathering begins at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. $100 per person. (225) 923-3366 to reserve a seat.

Recent openings

Restaurant 1796, the Myrtles Plantation's new establishment, held its soft opening on Monday, Feb. 11. The restaurant only has dinner service, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., during the first week, (225) 635-6277; myrtlesplantation.com.


Tim Boone contributed to this report.


Leftovers is a food and restaurant news column. Have a tip? Sent it to jclapp@theadvocate.com.


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