True grits: Cajun restaurant about to debut in the Mission


Alba Ray’s, a new Cajun restaurant that’s moved into the former Hapa Ramen space near 19th and Mission streets, is scheduled to open Monday.

Workers on suspended scaffolding were busy repairing and painting the exterior of the 2993 Mission St. space over the holiday weekend, while a crew focused on the finishing touches inside.

Taking a break from work to chat outside the restaurant yesterday, owner Alvin Garcia explained how Alba Ray’s got its name and gushed about New Orleans and its food.

Ray is Garcia’s son’s middle name, while chef Adam Rosenblum’s daughter is named Alba.

“I just have this passion and love for new Orleans,” Garcia added.

Alba Ray’s will have about 100 seats with a bar. The plan is to bake all the bread and butcher the meat in house.

A sign taped to the restaurant’s window soliciting employment applications gives other specifics:

Alba Ray’s is a delicious tribute to NOLA’s culinary culture and famous spirit of hospitality. Conceived by the all-star team that brought Causwells and Popsons Burgers to life, the Cajun restaurant and bar will serve specialties like crispy boudin balls, shrimp and grits, and creole jambalaya created by Chef Adam Rosenblum, who worked for James Beard award-winning New Orleans Chef Donald Link.

Garcia summed up the restaurant in a few more words yesterday: “Good food, good drinks, good times,” he said.

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