I work as a cashier in the French Quarter, and I never really know what to say when customers come in and ask me “Where do the locals eat?” The truth is, I think that not a lot of locals eat in the Quarter unless they have to. Most of the food there is sub-par, overpriced, and only really appeals to the uninitiated. But there are a few secret gems that attract hungry service industry workers. We’ve reviewed The Orange Store which is great and close to the Quarter, and Smallmart which is yummy and affordable and right on Decatur. Now for another good cheap Quarter spot – Jazz Sushi!
I remember a time when sushi was only for rich and adventurous people. In the 90’s there’d be jokes on sitcoms where some wholesome American would be grossed out by eating raw fish and the laugh track would go wild. Now even a lot of small towns have a place where you can get some sushi. Sushi from the grocery store used to be my favorite way to pamper myself back when I had food-stamps. It’s everywhere! But the popularization of sushi has resulted in lots of really bad sushi being made, and also a lot of fake fish being passed off as other, yummier species so it pays to be picky about where you go and what you order. Even with sushi being much more widely accessible, but it’s not always affordable at all. Jazz Sushi has the deals!
Jazz Sushi is conveniently located by Jackson Square in the old Jax Brewery building, which they’ve turned into a gross mall. But I’ll admit it doesn’t have a ton of atmosphere, unless you are into mall food courts (which do have their own strange all-American charm). But the folks working there are sweet, and their sushi is much much better than what you’d expect from a food court restaurant. The lunch specials are the best deal – it’s $8.50 but starts with a cute lil noodle salad, then miso soup, and then 2 rolls! That’s a good three course meal for $8.50, which you cant really beat.
They give you a bunch of rolls to choose from. My friend got salmon with avocado and tuna with avocado. I don’t usually get raw fish at sushi restaurants, not because I think it’s gross but because of the mislabeling issue that plagues the whole industry (even very high-end sushi spots!). I did try his salmon with avocado roll and it was really good. I got the snow crab roll and a classic california roll. They weren’t an incredible gourmet experience, but they were all multiple steps above most sushi you get in the grocery store which usually costs at least $6 per roll. Here you get two rolls, soup and a salad for $8.50! Even though New Orleans cuisine is the best, it does get old if that’s all you go out to eat, so I’m really excited to add Jazz Sushi to my repertoire of affordable good New Orleans restaurants.If you like this article, please share it!