Looking for a taste of Louisiana in LA
Hey hounds, just stumbled on this website about three hours ago and I'm completely hooked. I got back from Southeast Louisiana a few months ago and am just craving the food I had down there. I'm talking catfish, crawfish and crab boils, red beans and rice, etouffes (spelling?), the good stuff. Anybody know any places around LA? I'm willing to drive. Oh and anybody know a good place I can get some brisket? Cheers!
WHAT?! Everything's wrong with The Gumbo Pot at the Farmer's Market! The étouffée is black and watery with no tomato when it should be thick and over rice. The jambalaya has tomato and is soupy. All of it is overspiced, like the cooks are trying to mask the flavor of poor ingredients. My mother and her family are from south Louisiana, and I know Louisiana food, and The Gumbo Pot's food is to Cajun and Creole food what Taco Bell is to Mexican cuisine.
Harold & Belle's scratches my itch well enough when I don't want to make it myself.
There are no hyperboles here. It's horrendous stuff. The dishes had no resemblance to their true counterparts. Étouffée is not a black soup. Jambalaya is not runny tomato rice. It all tasted like those terrible packets of spice mixes sold to tourists in the French Quarter. Maybe it's good enough for people who don't know their Louisiana food, but it was three-quarters of a plate of inedible food into the trash for me.
I crossed paths with customers walking away with po' boys when walking through the Farmer's Market a few weeks ago, and they have some mighty skimpy portions of seafood on them there.
It's not Taco Bell to me. I have absolutely no claim to truly knowing Lousiana food; I've eaten around New Orleans a couple of times, but I don't think that counts. I thought what I had at the Gumbo Pot was fine for what it is. Maybe it's not the true blue, but it wasn't exactly horrible.
For a taste of Lousiana, try
The Creole Chef
3715 Santa Rosalia Drive
the more upscale
Harold & Belle's
2920 West Jefferson Blvd.
I have read some positive Chowhound reviews of crawfish boils served at some restaurants in the Little Saigon area of Garden Grove area. One of these restaurants is:
14241 Euclid St., #C116
Elmomonster's review of Boiling Crab:
I always get the Louisiana itch! A couple of suggestions: For some odd reason, Hermosa Beach has more NOLA spots than all of LA!
As Nicole mentioned, the Ragin Cajun in Hermosa Beach is fun, pretty decent grub, and loaded with fun New Orleans ephemera. We've only been once, but were pretty satisified.
Also, two more in Hermosa (we've never been to either but their on our list), Cafe Boogaloo just down the hill from Ragin Cajun, a blues club with full Louisiana-style menu
Then there's the New Orleans Cafe, also just down the street from the other two. Never been, but maybe it's good?
PS, We just went to the Palace Grill in Santa Barbara and had a most fabulous time. It's so festive in there and they really get into NOLA sounds, sights and smells.