Dining Out


Inspired Izakaya in New Orleans

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Chef Jacqueline Blanchard can trace her family’s roots in Cajun country back 10 generations—they arrived from Nova Scotia to the Lafourche Valley in the 1700s and settled there as farmers. Raised on crawfish boils and boucheries, Blanchard left New Orleans to cook in some of the country’s best restaurants, including The French Laundry, Blue Hill Stone Barn, and Benu. After her return to New Orleans in 2015, she opened the high-end cutlery store Coutelier, a shop that’s filled with specialty knives and tools, hand-forged by Japanese blacksmiths. During her many travels to Japan to source the knives, Blanchard studied the dishes, ingredients, and techniques of Japanese cooking and opened her own spot, Sukeban, in 2022. 

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Named for the women who led Tokyo’s girl gangs in the 1970s and ’80s, Sukeban is meant to showcase that fiery female rebel who likes to break societal rules. Blanchard fits the bill, being one of the only white women to be able to source those sought-after hand-forged knives to supply Coutelier. She also honors and respects Japanese food culture by bringing it to life here, thoughtfully sourcing from various producers in Japan and stateside. 

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The minimalist shotgun space offers 16 bar seats with one booth by the front window fit for a group; it can be reserved for three seatings each night. At the counter, guests dig into perfectly crafted, high-end temaki, or hand rolls, like the Hokkaido scallop rolls crested with Cajun bowfin caviar, cucumber, and chives, or the Lafitte blue crab with katsuo and furikake. To start, there might be a selection of kaizen chirashi-don, a daily catch served over sushi rice, or Japanese potato salad. Every small plate arrives precisely constructed and with minimal fuss—Blanchard lets the seafood shine here, with little more than fish roe, a spray of soy, or microherbs garnishing each perfect cut of fish. 

There’s a tightly curated sake list, as well as a few natural wines, Japanese whiskeys and beers, and highballs on the beverage menu. For dessert, a simple selection of seasonal sorbet is the perfect way to polish off a meal.

about this restaurant

  • Chef

    Jacqueline Blanchard

  • Address

    8126 Oak Street
    New Orleans, Louisiana

    • Japanese

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