Arana's Chef Proudly Cooks Like a Grandmother

Chef Richard Papier didn’t get any breathing room when Araña opened in August. When the Mexican restaurant started serving dinner on Magazine Street, it did so in the space formerly occupied by Nacho Mama’s among a row of similarly budget-friendly restaurants. He and owner Tarek Tay, who also owns Byblos and Salu Bistro among others, didn’t plan to swap Mexican for Mexican in the space, but that was Papier’s specialty so it simply worked out.

The Better Question

Recently, C.W. Cannon wrote at The Lens:

We need to accept that the explosive downtown cultural renaissance that Frenchmen Street presides over is the result of a romantic vision of what New Orleans should be, more than a continuation of how it has been. Frenchmen Street represents a recreation of New Orleans in a particular version of its own image. Change, yes, shaped by myth. 

Just days before, a family member of a French Quarter T-shirt shop owner wrote me, saying