A pioneering New Orleans food truck expands with a new Uptown restaurant

In 2011, Rachel and Benoit Angulo introduced La Cocinita, a Venezuelan street food truck, to the then-novel concept of food trucks. Now, after numerous business changes, the couple is preparing to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant at 4920 Prytania St., just blocks away from their old Uptown apartment.

A pioneering New Orleans food truck expands with a new Uptown restaurant

The new restaurant, slated to open in May, will feature an expanded menu, highlighting Benoit's Venezuelan heritage with a diverse selection of arepas, including fillings like braised chicken and roasted pork. La Cocinita, meaning "little kitchen" in Spanish, will offer counter service and a full bar in its larger space, allowing for more culinary creativity and accommodation of various diets.

Benoit's early exposure to street vendors in Caracas inspired the food truck concept, which Rachel and Benoit started after meeting while working at Commander's Palace. La Cocinita has since expanded to Chicago, and the Angulos are partnering with longtime manager Joe Sturtz for the new New Orleans restaurant.

Located near the Creole Creamery, the restaurant plans to collaborate with neighboring businesses, envisioning Latin American-inspired desserts. Despite the closure of their Pythian Market location in 2022, La Cocinita's iconic red truck continues to cater events in New Orleans.

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