Mardi Gras 2019: Where to Laissez Lais Bon Temps Rouler

Onstage revelry at the LB Bayou Fest. Photo by Elise Thompson.

Mardi Gras is a Catholic tradition, a last chance to enjoy all of the foods that are forbidden during four-week ritual fasting of Lent. It is also your last chance to really kick up your heels before the somber Lenten season. We may not have an official holiday on March 5, 2019, like New Orleans and some of its neighbors in the South, but we can party down the weekend before. Here’s where to get your yayas out.

SHORELINE VILLAGE IN LONG BEACH

Saturday, March 2, 2019 – 12 NOON – 5 P.M.   FREE

The annual Mardi Gras at Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor is probably the most authentic New Orleans-style celebration you are going to find in the Los Angeles area. Thousands of revelers will join in the celebration, which includes live music, bead throws, food, and a second line parade. Party with stilt walkers, live Zydeco from Crawdaddio, and samba dancers. Kids can have fun with face painting and crafts like mask-making. Feel free to dress up in your Mardi Gras finery and join in the dancing. Keep your strength up with live crawfish, jumbo shrimp, crab legs, alligator, and jambalaya at Louisiana Charlie’s. The Funnel House will be serving Beignets and cafe au lait if you are homesick for the Café du Monde.

The parade begins at 2 p.m. in Rainbow Harbor at the Nautilus Shell, continuing on to Shoreline Village. If your group would like to dress up and participate in the parade please register on the website. There is no charge to enter in the parade. This event will benefit the Long Beach Boy Scouts. They will have a fundraising booth selling beads, hats, and masks.

THE ORIGINAL FARMERS MARKET

Saturday, March 2, 2019 – Fat Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – 12 NOON – 8 P.M. FREE

Meet me at 3rd and Fairfax Saturday for a full line-up of Cajun and Zydeco bands, like Lisa Haley and the Zydekats and the Mudbug Brass Band. Sunday the bill features bands like the High Life Cajun Band and Crawdaddio. On Fat Tuesday, the Nervis Brothers will be playing from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the West Patio. You can also enjoy King Cake, bead throws, beignets, and delicious Cajun food from the Gumbo Pot like their creamy, meaty red beans and rice. Order the side salad with candied pecans and homemade pickles in a buttermilk dressing, split a catfish po’boy with a friend and prepare to be transported down to the Crescent City. We may have to head down there on Saturday just for the adorable “Mutti Gras Pet Parade” hosted by The Dog Bakery. See the complete schedule here.

AMOEBA MUSIC

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – 2 P.M.   FREE

Amoeba Music in Hollywood will be hosting their annual Mardi Gras celebration Tuesday afternoon, featuring live DJs from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., when the festivities spill out onto the streets. You can bring your own horns and percussion instruments to join in the second line parade, which will be complete with masks, beads, and a float or two. Amoeba will once again donate a portion of the day’s proceeds to Tipitina’s Foundation and the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, so buy a Professor Longhair CD and get in the spirit!

BOOTLEG THEATER

Saturday, March 2, 2019 – 6 P.M.   $75

OK, this one is a little unusual, but they have a really cool poster. Join emcee John C. Reilly for a night of revelry to celebrate the 13th anniversary of the Bootleg Theater. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with music and special eats from Mick’s BBQ Rescue and Coffee + Food, followed by performances from the Top Shelf Brass Band–the Mardi Grasi-est, but not necessarily the most interesting–act on the bill. There will also be an aerialist, a contortionist, LA LAW (LA Ladies Arm Wrestling), a marionettist, and…oh never mind, where do I get a ticket? After the stage show, dance the night away with “Mardi Gras DJ” Patrick Belton of Dubgypsy.

Tickets are $75 and are currently sold out online, but there may be a limited amount of tickets at the door.

SANTA ANITA PARK

Saturday, March 2, 2019 – 12 NOON – 4:30 P.M.   $33

It might not be the French Quarter, but The Great Race Place promises a good old-fashioned Mardi Gras celebration. Join the festivities with live music from “a Cajun Band” and feast on Cajun food during an exciting day of Thoroughbred racing. I wasn’t sure if I would include this event since it’s basically horseracing with a Mardi Gras vibe. But then I saw that my South Bay favorite, Rajin’ Cajun is providing the food with choices like Cochon de Lait Po-Boys (Pulled Pork), Debris Po-Boys (Roast beef and drippings), and Gumbolaya (Gumbo over Jambalaya). I personally recommend the Bayou Bisque, a hearty chicken and sausage corn bisque. The Mardi Gras package gets you one meal, one beer, clubhouse admission, a $5 betting voucher, racing program, tip sheet, and trackside seating. Must be 21+ (Get $10 off by joining SA’s Text Loyalty program. Text beads to 48421 to receive your promo code for $10 off! (Text message rates apply. Opt out anytime.) Getcher tickets.

RAJIN CAJUN CAFE IN REDONDO BEACH

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – 6 P.M. – 10 P.M.   $(Price of Food and Drinks)

Speaking of Rajin Cajun, one of our regular Redondo Beach haunts, they’ve already kicked off the festivities yesterday with their first seafood boil of the year. The feasting continues through Tuesday with live crawfish, snow crab king crab and shrimp boils, along with Hurricanes, moonshine, beads and live bands. On the bill for Friday night is the Alligator Beach Trio, followed by the High Life Cajun Band on Saturday night (5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.), Alligator Beach Trio on Sunday, and Chuck Mathieu on Monday. All set times are 7 p.m. except for Saturday night. There will be a Crawfish Eating Contest on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at noon. On Fat Tuesday the restaurant will be having a funky good time with a  “Bands, Beads and Bugs” party. Besides live music from the Alligator Trio, the seafood boil and drink specials, you can enjoy N’Awlins delicacies like po’boys, boudin, gumbo, and some of the best fried catfish around.  Great meal, NOLA tunes and a funky good time. No Cover, all ages.

PREUX & PROPER IN DTLA

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – 4 P.M. – 10 P.M.   $(Price of food and drinks)

Celebrate Fat Tuesday at downtown’s coolest Crescent City-style bar while supporting a good cause. In addition to the regular menu of Seafood Gumbo and po’boys, Executive Chef Sammy Monsour will be preparing modern Creole and Cajun specialties, including a Debris Po Boy, a Dungeness Crab & Bacon Stuffed Mirliton (Chayote Squash), Red Beans & Rice, Duck Breast and Tiger Shrimp Jambalaya, and a full-on crawfish boil. Get in the mood with a traditional Crescent City cocktail like a Sazerac or a French 75 as interpreted by Beverage Director Kassady Wiggins. If you want the real Bourbon Street experience, enjoy churned, frozen slushy cocktails like the Tropical Isle straight out of a machine. You can also go nuts with a Hurricane Punch Bowl comprised of rum, passionfruit, lemon, lime and house-made grenadine, which will be available for groups of four or eight. Preux & Proper will be donating 100% of the Mardi Gras proceeds to the Team Gleason Foundation, which assists people with neuromuscular diseases like ALS. For more information or to make reservations, check the link above or call Preux & Proper directly at 213-896-0090 to make a reservation.

BOUZY GASTROPUB IN REDONDO BEACH

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – 6 P.M.   $(price of food and drinks)

The cozy bar attached to Chez Melange in Riviera Village will be letting the good times roll with jazz from “The N’awlins Fare With ‘The Gang,” Mardi Gras beads, cocktail specials, beer specials and Cajun dishes like Blackened Fish, Fried Chicken Salad, Oysters, Shrimp and Grits, Etoufee, Po’Boys, and the always popular Muffuletta. We like the convivial atmosphere at Bouzy, and you are only a block away from the beach so you can watch the sunset over the water. Seating is limited, so don’t forget to make a reservation.

LITTLE DOM’S IN LOS FELIZ

Saturday, March 2, 2019 – Tuesday March 5, 2019  – All Day   $(price of food and drinks)

New Orleans-born chef Brandon Boudet has been creating annual Mardi Gras menus at Little Dom’s for several years running. From Saturday, March 2, 2019, through Tuesday, March 5, 2019, you can enjoy soft-shell crab po’ boys, shrimp gumbo, beignets, crunchy pork belly cracklins, and drink specials like $5 Abita beers (Do they have Abita Amber? That’s what we want to know). This is also where you can order your traditional king cakes for $25 by calling 323-661-0055 (48 hours’ notice is required) or grab a slice or two at the deli for $5 each.

IMPERIAL WESTERN BEER CO. AT UNION STATION

Sunday, March 3, 2019 – NOON – 5 PM   $40

213 Hospitality’s newest project, Imperial Western Beer Co., a brewery and oyster bar in LA’s historic Union Station will be hosting a crawfish boil on Sunday. Admission gets you a plate of crawfish along with the usual potatoes, corn and andouille sausage, a beer flight or cocktail, and live music from the Richárd Bernard Band. You can also enjoy the party while ordering off of the regular brunch menu if you choose. Bananas Foster French Toast and Smoked Brisket Hash look good to us.

SASSAFRAS SALOON IN HOLLYWOOD

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 –  5 P.M. until closing   $(Price of food and drinks)

Come celebrate at Sassafras‘ Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Big Ass Party. This Southern-themed bar on Vine will get you in a Louisiana mood with its wrought iron, aged wood, and Spanish moss salvaged from a dismantled Georgia Mansion. Enjoy drink specials, live music on the balcony stage high above the room, prizes and New Orleans dishes. The standard cocktail menu lists traditional cocktails like the Hurricane and Sazerac, although they put their own spin on them. The menu features bar fare like Cajun Smoked Chicken Wings, Mardi Gras Eggs (Deviled eggs stuffed with Muffaletta fillings), po’boy sliders and beignet.

Previously on The LA Beat:

A Taste of Louisiana

I know, it’s not the traditional Muffalatta bread, but this sandwich looks SO good. Photo courtesy of Chez Melange.

 

 

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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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