Happy Mardi Gras! Things aren’t quite back to normal yet, but the Crescent City is throwing their official Fat Tuesday bacchanal, and there are a few places you can get in the spirit locally. All events are happening Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
If Los Angeles had a Galatoire’s, it would have to be Harold and Belle’s. The Creole restaurant is still run with pride by the third generation of the Legaux family. They will be letting the good times roll with live bands, including the Grammy Award Winning Andrew Gouché, face painting, two bars, beads, and as always, N’Awlins favorites including Jambalaya, red beans and rice, and some damn fine catfish. Two bars will be offering Crowns and Hops local beer or a signature Hurricane. 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The cover charge is $20 after 2 p.m. and includes one adult beverage.
The Nervis Bros 2.0. will be bringing out the jams from From 5:30PM – 7:30PM at the OG Farmer’s Market at 3rd and Fairfax. Grab a beer and hit up The Gumbo Pot, a fantastic Cajun/Creole kitchen. I recommend the Blackened catfish Sandwich, Red Beans and Rice and the Fried Chicken Salad.
The South Bay’s own Rajin’ Cajun on Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach is offering shrimp, crab and crawfish boils in celebration of the season As always, they will have my favorite beer, the hard-to-find Abita Amber on tap, plus the famous New Orleans cocktails Hurricanes and Hand Grenades. If you don’t go for the boil, I recommend the Fried Catfish Bites, Shrimp Po’Boy, Bayou Bisque, and Pork Chops and Gravy.
Sassafras Saloon in Hollywood celebrates its grand re-opening with live music from the Top Shelf Brass Band, Tarot Card Readings by Molly Dario, and Burlesque Performances by Hells Belles Burlesque, along with food and drink specials. The no cover event starts at 5 PM and offers a menu of King Cake, Corn Fritters, Hush Puppies, and Hurricane cocktails. Proof of vaccination required.
Where to Get Your Grub On
The menu at Black Bottom offers a little bit of everything. Kitchen smoked ribs, shrimp and grits, and their own gumbo are all perfect representations of their regions. For Mardi Gras, they are offering a special menu for curbside pickup that includes a crawfish boil, jambalaya, Cajun shrimp, muffuletta sandwiches, red beans and rice, beignets, and of course their own fantastic gumbo. The prices are surprisingly reasonable, especially for seafood. You can also enjoy their nonalcoholic Hurricane Mocktails and Mardi Gras Madness Punch (I bet you could also add a little rum to their mocktails). Available through March 1. 2022.
As our own Christy Kane put it, “Georgia’s “Southern-inspired comfort food has enjoyed a loyal following in the Anaheim Packing District and Long Beach Exchange. The businesses have been “a labor of love for Gretchen “The Hugger” Shoemaker and her family, whom everyone calls Nana Gretchen. The menu is full of standard soul food fare, executed flawlessly.” Georgia’s Restaurant at the Anaheim Packing House and the Long Beach Exchange will be open on Mardi Gras, Tuesday, March 1, 2022 for dining, takeout and delivery from 11:30 am to 8:00 pm. Every day is Mardi Gras at Georgia’s two locations, so sip a Bourbon Street cocktail such as the Hurricane for Two crafted with rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and grenadine. Enjoy “Nana” Gretchen’s Jambalaya, Po” Boys, Fried Catfish or Red Beans and Rice, featured on their regular menu.
Marcus Christiana-Beniger and Eunah Kang opened this little market and restaurant in Chinatown in 2014, and it was a game-changer. You order at a little window, just like the Hurricane shops on Bourbon Street. Little Jewel offers a huge variety of po’boys and muffulettas, as well as daily specials like duck and andouille gumbo served over jambalaya (“Gumbolaya”). The real draw for us is the Irish Channel roast beef po’boy composed almost entirely of debris and served on Leidenheimer bread from New Orleans. What is 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 restaurants like Mother’s, you can order a roast beef po’boy topped with debris, but even in The Big Easy, we have never seen a po’boy like this. They also serve fries with debris and gravy, known in some places as “Boo Fries.” Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, when the special is “Chef’s Choice.” I wonder what special delicacy they will be conjuring up.
The New Kid on the block, Mardi Gras Tuesday, opened April 14th two years ago. The two brothers-in-law running it did not let Covid stop them, so they focused on takeout and delivery. Keith Adams, who hails from Dallas, runs the place with his brother-in-law Eric Laneuville from Pontchartrain, and you just can’t get more Louisiana street cred than that. They are both in the entertainment business as well. Keith, who has 30 years in the restaurant business, wears many hats, working as the General Manager, Chef, and Bartender (I did not ask about bottle washer). Keith creates the recipes and menus. And the menus are awesome. Not only can you get the usual suspects like gumbo, po’boys, jambalaya, and É’toffée, but they have my favorites – fried catfish and chargrilled oysters, a New Orleans delicacy. There are also family-sized platters.
New Orleans Sweet Treats has been baking King Cakes, Louisiana Smash Cakes, pralines, and other Creole treats for Angelenos since 2006. The family of owners Cynthia and Kimberly hail from New Orleans. So that their mother didn’t have to have her favorite cakes shipped all the way from Louisiana, the two sisters learned to make King Cake for their mom, and a business was born. This home-based, family-run business bakes every cake fresh to order. Each King Cake is festooned in Mardi Gras beads and decorated in purple for “justice,” green for “faith,” and gold for “power.” To order and arrange for pickup or delivery, call 323.759.7188.
Orleans and York, as the name suggests, is making an effort to cover two of the most food-focused sandwich cities in America. Owner Sami Othman was something of a deli prodigy, working at his family’s New York sandwich shop at the age of ten, then opening up his own deli in 1977 at only 16. In 2013 he opened Orleans & York Delis in Inglewood, Baldwin Hills, and Downtown L.A., soon followed by locations in Carson and on Slauson in the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood. I cannot attest to the authenticity of the New York subs, because I’m all about the po’boys. When I took my first bite of their shrimp po’boy, I honestly felt like all of the other sandwiches might as well just give up and go home. You can even order additional shrimp or oysters — not that you need to. They will grill your shrimp instead of frying it upon request, and serve it in a nice mayonnaise-hot sauce. They offer five different muffulettas and even have a po’boy based on gumbo ingredients. With the wall of Zapp’s Potato Chips and desserts like Banana Pudding and Red Velvet Cake, the Southern culture does seem to overshadow the New York heroes.
You might not expect to see this iconic Cuban bakery on this list, but they make one of the best King Cakes in town. If you can’t find Cajun or Creole spots today, try their guava pastries or medianoche sandwiches on superfresh bread.
This little corner diner on Long Beach Boulevard is owned by Sally Lewis and staffed by friends and family. They serve one of the best shrimp po’boys in town, and a dark, rich gumbo with sausage and crab legs. Not only do they have spicy, buttery BBQ shrimp like Pascal’s Manale in the Garden District, they even serve Acme’s Boo Fries. The skin-on fries are covered with cheese, gravy, and roast beef debris. The only question is, why isn’t everyone making Boo Fries?
The Snoball Shop is conveniently located on the same corner as Orleans and York Deli. As far as I know, it is the only place to get an authentic snoball in LA. A snoball is grated ice that is doused with syrup. It looks like a snow cone, but instead of hard grainy chunks, the ice is shaved into flurries as light as air. It’s more similar to Hawaiian shaved ice than a snow cone. There are lots of fruit and dessert flavors. There is one flavor particular to snoballs called nectar. People are only able to describe it to me as “sweet.” The red syrup kind of reminds me of cream soda. You can also order the snoball topped with sweetened condensed milk, like they do in Louisiana.
(Written by Monique A. LeBleu.) As a Louisiana transplant of nearly 50 years, it was both thrilling and embarrassing to discover that the best place for Gumbo this side of the Sabine River had been in L.A. during much of that time. The cafe’s paper menu will tell you that child actor and restaurant owner Stephen Perry opened his first restaurant in 1986 out of a passion for cooking, and that this is the second incarnation of his restaurant that has a colorful, long list of celebrities who frequent it. Stevie’s World Famous Seafood Gumbo lives up to its name. Both a stew and a soup, the art of a good Gumbo is in its rich roux, along with a trinity of seasoning vegetables. With it, the same tender shrimp, along with cut crab leg, chicken, sausage, and a pinch of filé, making this Gumbo the most authentic and worthy of the very top of your bucket list. The Peach Beignets couple their crisp, puff pastry version of the donut with a fresh peach compote that will simply just curl the toes. Some of the cafe’s additional classic New Orleans-style Creole southern fare also includes fried catfish, jambalaya, chicken with rice and gravy, assorted etouffees, and po’boys, with additional desserts like Sweet Potato Pie, Banana Pudding, Vanilla Pudding, and their signature Peach Cobbler of that same singular compote.