The long-awaited sibling to Southwest Detroit’s iconic Italian and Mexican restaurant El Barzon opens this week. As the more casual answer to chef/owner Norberto Garita’s beloved fine-dining restaurant, La Noria serves a mixture of tacos, sandwiches, and pizzas baked in a blazing hot Italian oven.
Norberto together with his son Bertin Garita began renovating the former Zorba’s Coney Island at 5517 Michigan Ave. next door to El Barzon in 2015. The finished product features an updated facade and a bricked indoor-outdoor dining room extension that’s outfitted with garage doors for a patio feel in warm weather.
The restaurant offers seating at a mixture of booths, two tops, and counter stools — some with views of the the pizza oven and the rotating trompo spit where cooks shave slivers of roasted meat into tortillas for tacos. There are also several flat screen TVs installed throughout the building that are tuned to various sports channels.
La Noria is slowly ramping up service with a small menu. Diners can expect options like chicken and steak tacos alongside cemita sandwiches overflowing with an almost schnitzel-like piece of chicken milanese, guacamole, poblanos, and stringy cheese on a sesame roll. For pizzas, expect options like prosciutto and arugula or margherita with mozzarella and basil. There’s also a full bar serving beer, wine, and cocktails.
The restaurant will be slowly ramping up service over the next week or so but opens to the public tonight, March 15.
La Noria is located at 5517 Michigan Ave.; open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.