where you need to eat right now

Michael Gulotta is the brains and taste buds behind two restaurants that merge the flavors of Southeast Louisiana and Southeast Asia. MoPho is the more casual of the two (the other is Maypop in the C.B.D.) and it sits in a strip shopping mall in Mid-City. On Saturdays, he roasts a whole suckling pig (cochon de lait) and the tender, smoky meat finds its way into the rich pho, the spring rolls, the glazed pork belly bowl, the pulled pork po-boy. The menu’s a happy marriage of two cultures: lemongrass chicken wings, crispy fried P&J oysters with blue cheese, spicy sesame cucumbers, pepper jelly braised Cedar Key clams, slow roast lamb in green curry. The décor is casual, cool. It’s fun - on day that isn’t in July or August - to sit outside at picnic tables, under a canopy, and swap bites while you sip on a bubble tea cocktail or an Abita long neck beer.