Tender and juicy, Noosh Nosh's hearty chicken plate, made with halal poultry, boasts a lemony scent and aromatic hints of Southwest Asia.

Anoosh has left the building, but Noosh Nosh keeps up the pace

By Robin Garr

One of the many memorable immigrant stories in Louisville culinary history wrapped up last month when Chef Anoosh Shariat concluded a 30-year career in local kitchens, retiring from his namesake Anoosh Bistro. Over a year earlier, Shariat had trimmed his workload by selling his other popular East End eatery, Noosh Nosh.

New management at both establishments was quick to assure a wary public that no major changes would be forthcoming at either of the restaurants, which are situated just across a parking lot from each other at Brownsboro Center.

Over at Noosh Nosh, another coincidence makes the transition an even more touching story: Shariat, who emigrated from Iran as a refugee from the Ayatollah’s revolution in the late ‘70s, has turned over the reins of this casual spot to recent immigrants from India, who say they want to carry on the dream that Shariat has set in place.

Noosh Nosh General Manager Akshay Kadam (left) and Chef Arthikselvan Rajaiah at the popular East End restaurant.
Noosh Nosh General Manager Akshay Kadam (left) and Chef Arthikselvan Rajaiah at the popular East End restaurant.

“Anoosh is a legend, and I was fortunate enough to work with him,” said Akshay (“Ak”) Kadam, Noosh Nosh’s new general manager, who came on when Shariat sold the restaurant in the autumn of 2022 and brought in his friend Arthikselvan (“Art”) Rajaiah as chef a couple of months later.

“That was a real challenge for me, as I was the face of Noosh Nosh, and working without Chef Anoosh was not easy,” he said. “But I quickly realized the core of Noosh Nosh is about hospitality and caring for people. I had faith in me and my team.”

Born in Mumbai, India, Kadam earned a degree in hospitality and catering technology at Mumbai University. then came to America in 2013 to earn his MBA in marketing and finance in California. He came to Louisville on vacation and, he says, fell in love with the vibe of the city. He got a job as a banquet bar manager at the Galt House, then managed Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot (FABD) and Hooked on Frankfort, where he met Chef Art.

After a spell at an Indian restaurant in Florida, he met Chef Anoosh through a friend. Finding much in common, he says, they connected right away. He returned to Louisville, came to work for Shariat, and eventually stepped into the management post.

Noosh Nosh’s 10-page menu offers a wide variety of choices to please just about anyone. It hasn’t changed much, and Kadam says that’s intentional, as they’ve sought to refresh the menu, incorporating seasonal ingredients and innovative dishes – a chicken tikka menu turns up as a frequent special – while maintaining the restaurant’s signature flavors.

As in the past, Noosh Nosh’s breakfast menu is served until 3 p.m. daily, and its regular menu available all day. Pricing across the menu is affordable, with most breakfast and all-day dishes in the $12 to $20 range.

Our party of three, with my sister Amy, visiting from Florida, joining us, shared three dishes and enjoyed them all.

Crunchy on the surface, creamy within, Noosh Nosh's Black bean cakes topped with cashew aioli make an elevated - and tasty - vegan entree.
Crunchy on the surface, creamy within, Noosh Nosh’s Black bean cakes topped with cashew aioli make an elevated – and tasty – vegan entree.

Black bean cakes ($11) made an appetizing and healthy plant-based and vegan course. Two hefty protein-rich spheres were fashioned from black beans and spices, pleasingly crisp skin surrounding a creamy interior. They were plated on a creamy pool of rich aioli fashioned from pureed cashews and topped with spicy pink salsa roja, and a fresh, tangy pico de gallo.

A roasted half chicken ($22, pictured at the top of this page) from the “hearty plates” menu started with a halal chicken breast, boneless save for the attached wing – what used to be called an airline breast back when airlines served meals. The chicken was tender and juicy from the roasting oven, perched on a sturdy mound of veggies that had joined it in the roast: cauliflower florets, carrots sliced lengthwise, and brussels sprouts. The chicken was drizzled with a tangy citrus glaze, sprinkled with parsley and sumac to provide a scent of Southwest Asia, and garnished with lemon slices.

I’ve been somewhat obsessed with pizza lately, so it probably won’t surprise you to see me add a margherita pizza ($16) to the table. It was a pretty good pizza, too, and I’m happy to report that I could see Noosh Nosh’s trademark red-tiled gas- and wood-fired stone oven at the back of the room. ??The margherita pizza, as I’ve probably said before, is no kin to the Mexican margarita cocktail but a classic tradition of Neapolitan pizza. Purportedly created in 1889, when Italy first united as a single nation, it’s named ofter Queen Margarita and designed in the red, white, and green colors of the then-new Italian flag.

Noosh Nosh’s version tweaked that concept just slightly, with tomato slices hidden under a warm blanket of cheese, sliced basil leaves scattered on top, and a thin, tasty spread of pesto coating the thin crust beneath. The cheese was fully melted but the pale crust could have used a bit more time to brown in the oven.

A satisfying brunch for three came to $51.94, plus a $10 tip.

Noosh Nosh
4816 Brownsboro Center

Noise Level: Every table in the small front room was occupied during a busy Sunday lunch, and there was at least one active toddler. Nevertheless, conversation was never difficult.

Accessibility: The restaurant and restrooms appear to be accessible to wheelchair users, although it might be difficult to maneuver between some closely spaced tables.