Category Archives: LEO’s Eats

Ikebana fills long-vacant Red Pepper space

I still mourn the 2010 departure of Red Pepper, Louisville’s best Chinese restaurant ever. As good as it was, Red Pepper owner Yuan Hua told me when it closed, the combination of a $5,000 monthly lease payment and a respected Sichuan chef who required fair payment for his skills, sent it on to restaurant Nirvana after a short, bright two-year tenure.

Now, eight years later, the exotic-looking building on Lower Brownsboro is lighted up again: Ikebana Japanese Restaurant & Sushi has come to fill the space. Continue reading Ikebana fills long-vacant Red Pepper space

Get your power bowl at plant-based Inwave

I’d been meaning to make a stop at Inwave, a locally owned fast-food spot near Middletown that features power bowls, acai bowls, vegan fare, juices and smoothies. It’s a fast-casual setup in which you walk down the line choosing grains, nuts, seeds and toppings for your individualized bowl. It’s an interesting concept, with the glitzy look of a chain-in-the-making. Continue reading Get your power bowl at plant-based Inwave

Artesano bounces back from spring flood

Certainly no one expected the monsoon-like rain storm and hail that smashed across Westport Road in February, dealing Artesano Vino Tapas y Mas a damaged roof and flooded dining room. The repair job took about two months, and the occasion for a reboot prompted a new look, some new dishes, and a new executive chef, Brian Curry, who came over from Napa River Grill to tweak the menu and oversee Artesano’s April reopening.

We dropped in the other night with a group of friends, and I’m delighted to report that the new Artesano is just as good as ever, maybe even a small step up the evolutionary ladder. Continue reading Artesano bounces back from spring flood

Naïve’s sustainable ethos yields delicious fare

It is so tempting to start with a joke about a restaurant named Naïve that I’m just going to resist temptation and not even go there. Seriously, the ethos behind the name of this charming new spot on the edge of Butchertown is so sweet that it deserves to stand on its own:

“We see the world as a place of hope,” Naïve’s owners write on the restaurant website. “Maybe that’s naive. But maybe it’s one of our greatest strengths. Because we’re not afraid to think big, with no preconceived notions. With a connection to what’s real, from the food we eat to the relationships we nourish.” Continue reading Naïve’s sustainable ethos yields delicious fare