Akhtar Nawab Brings His Mexican-Indian Cooking to New Orleans
A quick look at the menu at Otra Vez, Akhtar Nawab’s new restaurant in New Orleans, reveals many of the same classic Mexican dishes he serves at his beloved Brooklyn spot, Alta Calidad; there are quesadillas and tacos to be had, but there’s also a lot that’s unexpected, like charred cactus, pumpkin blossoms, fluffy burrata, and roti in place of regular corn tortillas.
Nawab, who spent several years cooking at Gramercy Tavern and Craft, wants Otra Vez to echo everything Brooklynites love about Alta Calidad while still feeling true to its newfound Southern location, as well as NOLA’s rich history. Common design elements serve as one way Nawab and his team tie the two restaurants together; Marysia Schultz, who designed the mural at Alta Calidad, created a Gulf seafood-themed wall at Otra Vez. Meanwhile, in the bathroom, there’s a painting of an octopus. “It’s a much bigger space,” Nawab says.