Mister Mao is a roadhouse in the tropics. They serve up globally inspired small meals using ingredients acquired locally. Since a husband-and-wife partnership launched their restaurant there, the modest space on the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Jena Streets in Uptown, New Orleans, has experienced a number of alterations. Although most people won’t recognize it as the cozy, wood-paneled cafe that entertained Uptown couples on date evenings for 20 years, the space’s upbeat, cosmopolitan atmosphere and similarly eclectic cuisine herald an exciting new chapter.
Mister Mao is eccentric, eclectic, and shamelessly authentic. The bar area, which is located before a little hallway that leads to the main dining room, is intended to symbolize the owners’ love of Miami. A jungle palm motif has been carved into the bar and features a collection of various art and mirrors, primarily from thrift shops. The bar serves up a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The N/A options present what is called ‘Booze-Free Boat Drinks,’ including the Mandani Highway, made with Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic London Dry, juniper, lime, and hibiscus. Canned and housemade N/A drinks are also available, such as Lyre’s Amalfi Spritz, House Hibiscus Masala Limeade, and Bruce Cost Unfiltered Ginger Ale. The bar also offers hot teas with flavors like China Green and Masala Chai.
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