Friday, August 16, 2013

Closed Door Restaurants in Buenos Aires - NOLA & Cocina Sunae

While in Buenos Aires, we decided to try out the "closed door" restaurant phenomena.  There are quite a few in Buenos Aires and they sell out, so we booked two before our arrival - NOLA and Cocina Sunae.

We went to NOLA to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  NOLA, yup, you guessed it, is short for New Orleans, is a restaurant run out of Liza and her husband's home in Palermo.  Liza is originally from New Orleans and her food is proof that she paid attention growing up when she ate.  It was amazing food, from the gumbo to the salad with blood sausage to the melt in your mouth pork shoulder to the delicate, delicious and fresh blueberry tartlet (blueberries picked at their aunt's farm earlier that week!).  Everything was delicious, spicy, fresh and paired perfectly with the wines picked by and presented by Liza's other half.  One of the best things about the experience?  We felt like we were at a friend's house for dinner and had amazing conversations with everyone at our communal table - a threesome of hipster guys from Melbourne traveling in South America, all super different and interesting in their own right (one works as a teacher in Japan, one is moving to Buenos Aires to open a bar and one works as an engineer at an Ideo-type human interface design firm) - a Louisiana lawyer and his college-age son traveling together for the first time after their wife/mother passed away - and a couple from England on their honeymoon who were both doctors.  Needless to say, interesting conversations were had and good food was eaten.  If I was still in Buenos Aires, I would go back again.  But since I am not, I will highly recommend it to anyone who goes to Buenos Aires!


 A few weeks later we ate at Cocina Sunae - a southeast Asian cuisine closed-door restaurant.  The owner and chef's daughter went to a toddler class with Arlo, which was a huge coincidence.  It was a completely different experience, but the food was equally as amazing.  The restaurant is in the owner's home, but is set up like a typical restaurant, so we had a private table and there was no friendly conversations with random people (bummer!  Dave and I are so good at that!).  But, we had a wonderful, romantic meal...and enjoyed the spicy, delicious Asian tastes that we have been missing so much since leaving San Francisco. Also highly recommended - especially if you need a spicy fix.  Something you can't really find in any other Buenos Aires restaurants (they rarely even have black pepper available!).


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