Zhang Bistro Opens on Decatur

Over the past several years, the building on the corner of Gov. Nichols with its multi-paned windows and divey, diner-like vibe has gone through several incarnations, from the late night, pizza-slinging Angeli to hamburger joints Lee’s and Big Mouth. But now there’s something completely different. . .

Just this past week, co-owners Peter Zhang and Lily Rueangnuy hung out their shingle, softly opening a new Asian-influenced restaurant dubbed Zhang’s Bistro. Zhang – a seasoned restaurateur who co-owns Geisha Sushi, Royal Sushi and Haiku Sushi – is going in a different direction in his collaboration with Rueangnuy, offering dishes from their respective home countries, China and Thailand.

Classics from both cuisines make an appearance, walnut shrimp and Mongolian beef share menu space with dishes like pad Thai and Tom Yum Soup. A plate of buttery roti served with a spicy red curry sauce for dipping can be devoured alongside an order of pan-fried pot stickers.

Perhaps most interesting are their signature dishes, from the highly-Instagramable Peking Duck to their own New Orleans twist, a Thai-style version of BBQ shrimp with bok choy and a “special” curry sauce.

The food isn’t the only change at this familiar, corner location. The decor has changed drastically, from an uber-casual pizza or burger joint with booths and rickety tables, to a more modern feel, elevating the atmosphere considerably.

Natural wood tables and chairs are illuminated by golden drum lamps suspended from the industrial beam ceiling and an upholstered banquette lined with small tables stretches down one exposed-brick wall.

Although they’re still getting their pots dirty and working on a liquor license, Zhang Bistro is softly open daily for lunch and dinner.

@ZhangBistro Instagram

*Article originally published June 2021 in the French Quarter Journal

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