The Holy Grail of Sandwiches


You can find perfectly good fried seafood po’boys at Rajun Cajun or The Gumbo Pot. The elusive po’boy thus far has been roast beef made with debris. When you cook a roast, there are bits of meat left in the bottom of the pan with the drippings. That is debris. In New Orleans restaurants like Mother’s, you can order a roast beef po’boy topped with debris.

Thanks to Marcus Christiana-Beniger and Eunah Kang, debris has finally come to Los Angeles. Their little market and restaurant in Chinatown, The Little Jewel of New Orleans, opened last summer to rave reviews. You order at the store’s cashier and pick up your food at a deli counter in the back, just like in the Crescent City.

The Irish Channel Roast Beef Po’ boy that arrived wrapped in butcher paper was humongous. It was a monster. Unlike the sliced roast beef topped with a little debris I expected, the bread was stuffed to bursting with shredded beef drowned in au jus. It was like an entire sandwich comprised of debris. The shredded meat is rich and flavorful with just a hint of heat. I must warn you, if you order it to go, the juices will seep into the bread and make it soggy (as in the picture above). The 10″ po’boy could easily feed two growing boys, and a couple of old ladies could probably live on one for a week.

The authentic bread is from the Leidenheimer Bakery in New Orleans, and all po’boys come “dressed” with mayonnaise, cabbage, pickles and tomato. There are daily specials like duck and andouille gumbo served over jambalaya, fried okra, and sweet potato pie. Other hard-to-find specialties you can score at Little Jewel are the muffaletta and cochon de lait (pork), They also make and sell their own boudin, chaurice and the seriously hard-to-find tasso. The Little Jewel market stocks Louisiana staples like Blue Plate Mayonnaise, Community Coffee, and Camellia Beans. So grab an Abita Root Beer and Zapp’s chips, and head to the cashier for your debris fix.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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