Our family recognized a lack and demand for premium, delicate home-style Central American cuisine in New Orleans. La Macarena was created to satisfy that need and was founded pre-Katrina in 2003 in a tiny storefront at the finish line of Williams Blvd. in Kenner. The 20 seat eatery was the first ever Pupuseria on the
East bank and featured a
limited number of premium
dishes from El Salvador,
including the namesake pupusas.
In the summer of 2008, our family had an opportunity to open a location in the Uptown area and we inaugurated our second store with the concept Pupuseria & Latin Café. La Macarena is honored to be the very first Latin American themed restaurant in the Riverbend.
The kitchen’s executive chef is Manny Ochoa-Galvez, son of Isabel Ochoa-Galvez, a first generation immigrant from El Salvador whose first job in the Crescent City was at K&B, St. Charles. Since childhood she showed keen interest and talent for all things culinary. She learned most of her recipes from her mother Eva, who lived in El Salvador.
Eva would shop the local markets in San Salvador to buy indigenous spices that are used in the preparation of customer favorites such as pupusas, the fabulous and velvety horchata drink – a secret family recipe passed down four generations. Isabel has traveled and incorporated various cooking techniques from Italy, Portugal & Spain.
Both the interior and exterior of the restaurant were designed by Manny Ochoa-Galvez, he used rich tropical vibrant colors typical of the “aldeas” and “cantons” of the countryside villages in El Salvador. The décor is Latin-modern; primitive yet stylish. The ambiance is informal and laid back. He selected ultra white Scandinavian designed dinner-ware that serves as a “canvas” to showcase the colorful and fragrant works of food art that emerge from the kitchen. A plethora of many music genres are played, ranging from salsa to Latin style lounge music and Spanish metro funk to name a few.