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new Orleans cuisine in los angeles

went to new Orleans jazzfest again this and am jonesing for some great new orleans Cajun or creole cuisine in los angeles. Any new places around?

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  1. Harold & Belle's

    1. Never been to New Orleans before (although I certainly want to go), and I'm not a huge fan of the place, but there always seem to be people at Bourbon Street Shimp in West LA. Might be worth a try.

      1 Reply
      1. re: soccerandlost

        Been to NOLA and that Bourbon Street Shrimp is awful. No comparison whatsoever.

      2. May get flamed for this, but The IVY has wonderful NOLA Food. Try the Gumbo Ya Ya....amazing. Lynne Von Kersting, the co-owner of the IVY is from NOLA. She loves and respects the food from the area.

        6 Replies
        1. re: maudies5

          I recently had a great time at the IVY.

          1. re: Hershey Bomar

            does anyone have a menu of the ivy dishes? that would be great. I feel that the comments on Ivy are reminscent of a ping-pong match. One minute the comments are favorable, the next the comments are atrocious.

          2. re: maudies5

            i can see why you recommend the ivy's but while i like their "gumbo", it really isn't very authentic.

            i've yet to find one in LA that passes the test, with enough okra, seafood and a great broth. uncle darrow's and the farmer's market are completely passable.

            1. re: epop

              You must give the gumbo a try at New Orleans in Hermosa Beach a try. It is delicious, we always ask for it extra spicy.

              1. re: JEN10

                cafe boogaloo in hermosa also has some new orleans' dishes, but i haven't personally tried them.
                maybe someone else on the board can say. . .

                http://www.boogaloo.com/eat/eat.php

                1. re: JEN10

                  Is this the former Rajin Cajun place?

            2. Uncle Darrows at Lincoln and Washington in Marina Del Rey would be my first choice. Great service, friendly New Orleans transplants own the place. Try the gumbo, fried chicken, collard greens, and po boys. It's all good. It's the best New Orleans cuisine I know of in LA.

              Also, at the Farmer's Market, you might try the Gumbo Pot. IMHO, it's decent.

              9 Replies
              1. re: SushioCity

                The tagline for Uncle Darrows is "Welcome to
                Uncle Darrow's Cajun restaurant
                where we serve food with all the flavor of the Bayou but without beef or pork"

                I'm sorry but...no. I simply cannot accept this as authentic New Orleans cooking.

                1. re: GenevieveCa

                  i agree. my addendum to their tag line would be: easier said than done.

                  1. re: GenevieveCa

                    Agreed, not serving pork is blasphemy. But, people swear by their seafood dishes. I'll try it before making judgment...

                    1. re: vinosnob

                      I went to Darrows for the first time a few weeks back and was surprised. It's much more of a fast food looking place than a restaurant. I would say that take out would probably enhance the food -- the inside of the place is stark and commercial and gray. The outside is mini-mall wasteland bleak.

                      1. re: Hershey Bomar

                        And the food??

                        1. re: vinosnob

                          Uncle Darrows, is mediocre and overpriced. It shares these qualities with The Gumbo Pot.

                          Try New Orleans fish market on Arlington, La Louisanne on Slauson/Overhill, The Gumbo Shack on Praire across from Hollywood Park, for starters.

                          1. re: broncosaurus

                            But really we all know that Harold and Belle's is the best LA has to offer.

                        2. re: Hershey Bomar

                          Yeah, the prices seem high, given that you order at the register and then someone brings your food out. But the service has always been extremely friendly in my experience, and that enhances the food. Anyway, I don't find the place "wasteland bleak" inside or out, so, I guess we see it with different eyes.

                          I won't argue with those who insist on pork as an essential ingredient. But, I like the food and would still recommend it to others who want something like they had in N.O. here in L.A. There just aren't all that many places to choose from here.

                        3. re: vinosnob

                          Yes. Try the grilled shrimp.

                    2. Check it out. The new South restaurant in Santa Monica. Best beignets I've found outside of New Orleans.

                      http://www.southsantamonica.com/south...

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: fdb

                        Can you say more about the food at South? The Web site screams "I'm afraid I'll have to see that ID, Miss" Singles Bar. What do they have beyond good beignets?

                        1. re: Mel Gee

                          It's surprisingly good bar food, but not something I'd go out of my way for. As fdb's celebration of the beignets suggests, the fried food is really the star. I like the fried green tomatoes, myself.

                          1. re: a_and_w

                            Well said, a and w. My experience with Cajun or creole food is somewhat limited. I've been to New Orleans once a long time ago, and remember the food being very delicious, and very flavorful & spicy. I used to like a restaurant called Orleans in West LA, which has closed for a long time. That said. The food at South seems to be somewhat mild and tame to me--not bad but not too exciting, either. We had fried green tomato as well, which is pretty tasty. The fried okra was ok. Baby back ribs were not bad. The muffaletta tasted good to me (my first time having it), but my friend commented that it wasn't very authentic--not enough olive salad on it. I like the Mint Julep though. We were there for lunch and the place was almost empty. It may be a good place for happy hour but it gets insanely crowded at late night.

                            1. re: fdb

                              Yes, it's a madhouse at night but a super chill place to watch a game in the late afternoon or early evening with the sun streaming in those big windows. Love that they have Abita Purple Haze.

                        2. re: fdb

                          I like that they have Abita. The abr menu looks interesting...at least there is a tad of variety. I'llhave to try it!

                        3. New Orleans restaurant in Hermosa Beach is delicious. It is a small place run by a wonderful family serving authentic cajun and creole food. They fly in all of their seafood from new orleans, the shrimp are oh so sweet. The seafood gumbo bowl is enough for 2. I believe they are closedf on Tuesday and Wednesday's.
                          310-372-8970

                          -----
                          New Orleans Cajun Cafe
                          140 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: JEN10

                            I recall going there when they first opened and not being very impressed, but I've since heard several pretty good reports from relatives. Probably worth a shot.

                            1. re: broncosaurus

                              I go to Hollywood Park a lot and consequently I've tried two places nearby. They're both on Prairie Ave. : Bourbon Street Fish near Manchester Blvd, and a hole in the wall called The Gumbo Shack, closer to Century Blvd. Bourbon St. is quite good with a fair sized menu and pleasant restaurant decor. I've only had the gumbo (what else?) at the Gumbo Shack and it wowed me - fantastic, rich flavor and texture, although no okra (Thank God) in the bowl I had. I hate okra - to me it's like eating phlegm. The Gumbo Shack has a few formica tables, but it's mostly take out. They must be doing it right, because they're doing good business in a bad location. I would suggest all you gumbo lovers to try it. Best I've had (other than my own, of course.) Nice people at both spots - NOLA vibe seems to bring out friendliness.

                              1. re: Jeryy

                                Second the gumbo shack..get the mucho gumbo (combo seafood, chicken and pork).

                                Chocolate cake is great too.

                              2. re: broncosaurus

                                Thanks to FDB up above for mentioning South, in Santa Monica. Hadn't heard of it, must try.

                              3. re: JEN10

                                It's been a while since I've been to New Orleans in Hermosa, but I only had great food the hand full of times I went.Glad to hear they're still there.

                              4. The best Cajun food I've had in LA has been at The Creole Chef:

                                The Creole Chef
                                3715 Santa Rosalia Drive
                                Los Angeles
                                (323) 294-2433

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/459017

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/72156

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/324681

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Norm Man

                                  Second that, but I must admit I haven't tried New Orleans in Redondo.

                                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                                    Yeah, I haven't tried New Orleans in Hermosa on Pier Ave in a while. I must be ready for a redux.

                                    As for, Bourbon St, I didn't find it too be good at all.

                                    Gumbo Shack I will have to try.

                                2. What about Gumbo Pot at Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax?

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: gado_gado

                                    Gumbo Pot good! 2 kinds of gumbo usually ready. I ordered a gallon of shrimp gumbo to go (like,45 bucks ) and it was delicious for days. The jambalya is excellent too, but as a to-go deal, i would recommend getting the rice separate from the sauce and blending right before service.

                                    1. re: DeePocketChopra

                                      Recommending the Gumbo Pot, or even the Creole Chef for that matter, as "authentic" and good-tasting Louisiana fare is problematic in my eyes. "Jambalaya sauce" ? Jambalaya doesn't have a sauce, and it is not supposed to be saucy. As far as Uncle Darrow's is concerned, you simply cannot make a decent Creole or Seafood Gumbo without pork or beef. Even chicken and duck gumbos are traditionally made with smoked birds (or smoked sausage). Without that deep, smoky flavor, it's just not gumbo...or jambalaya either for that matter. Most south Louisiana dishes are seasoned with smoked meats, usually pork. You can't even make authentic red beans and rice without smoked sausage, ham, ham hocks, or pickled pork. You just can't get around that. I honestly think that Harold & Belle's and La Lousianne are the only two games in town. If New Orleans in Hermosa is anything like Ragin Cajun (a complete travesty), I'll save my time and stick with the tried and true. Bourbon Street Shrimp isn't bad, but it's not authentic either. Anyone who has tasted real New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp will tell you the same.

                                      Stepping down from my gumbo pot now,
                                      T-D.

                                      1. re: TerriDawn

                                        P.S. I haven't tried the Gumbo Shack, nor the other place mentioned that isin Inglewood, so I'll have to try. Also, does anyone remember the 5 C's? Is that still there? Their food was pretty good, as I recall.

                                        1. re: TerriDawn

                                          They've relocated to West Covina (a chowhound search should find the exact address). NO fish market is similar in some ways. Gumbo there is only so-so, shrimp and oyster loaves are good. They're on the corner of Arlington and Vernon.

                                          I agree with your comments about Creole Chef (though the owners are from NO stock) and Gumbo Pot. La Lousianne has (or had) a good lunch special for gumbo for those who'd like to try it for just under $10.

                                          1. re: broncosaurus

                                            I am a second generation customer of NO Fish Market (my dad relocated to L.A. from N.O. in 1946), but the last time I was there was a total disaster. The place has gone down the toilet. The odor was not just a bit ripe, it was FUNKY; and my food just was not right. I won't be driving to West Covina for gumbo any time soon either.

                                            The people at the Creole Chef certainly appear to be of Louisiana stock, but that doesn't impart any specialized cooking skills upon them. I grew up here in Los Angeles with plenty of people with roots in Southeast Louisiana who could not cook a pot of red beans to save their very lives. Once their grandmothers passed away, that was the end of home-made gumbo in their family. My own sister, who grew up in the same house with me, and who attended college in Louisiana just as I did, cannot cook any of these foods. She knows what they taste like, but she can't cook any of it; and her children will grow up completely ignorant of their own culture due to the loss of foodways in their nuclear family.

                                            Honestly, my cravings for Creole food are generally for awesome po-boys, stuffed with impeccably fried oysters and shrimp, served on buttered bread that is flaky outside and chewy inside...or perfectly fried "stuffed shrimp." I mean, nobody else's gumbo or shrimp creole (around here) is really going to please me as much as my own; but it would be nice to go out and have real crawfish bisque, with the delicious stuffed heads decorating the bowl! Sometimes you don't want to make these labor-intensive dishes; sometimes you'd just like to luxuriate in a great, authentic meal.

                                            Not that bread pudding is complex, but I would like to buy some in a restaurant that is actually pudding-like, instead of a hard, old piece of bread seasoned with cinnamon. I love cinnamon, but I was never served bread pudding with cinnamon in Louisiana (nor in my childhood home).

                                            Do you remember Sid's on Exposition? You could eat there, and be completely satisfied. I remember going there with my father on sweltering summer nights, and the fans would be blowing, and we would be sweating...but also smiling.

                                            1. re: TerriDawn

                                              Man you may be complaining but I could listen to you talk all day!

                                              I agree that N.O. Fish Market is sketchy but it's at its best on Saturday's and everyone is always super friendly. I just wish their boudin was good.

                                              1. re: TerriDawn

                                                the bread pudding you are describing sounds a lot like the bread pudding that was served to me at mariscos chente last saturday night.
                                                it isn't a menu item, i believe, just available sometimes.

                                                it had sliced plantains hidden in there somewhere. . .

                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                  Oh yes, had some myself.Amazing!

                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                    so now they have desserts too?

                                                    i haven't been in a month now, but i'll try it in a week or so hopefully.

                                                    any new shrimp dishes on the menu?

                                              2. re: TerriDawn

                                                New Orleans in Hermosa is nothing like Rajun Cajun. You are talking night and day, give it a try before passing judgment, you will be quite suprised!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              3. re: TerriDawn

                                                No quarrel there about the necessity of pork. However, their seafood is supposed to be good. Worth a shot...

                                          2. I am from Louisiana, and the best gumbo by far is made by my mother :). However, the closest representations I've had in Los Angeles are at Michaels/Mardi Gras in Burbank on Olive, and Uncle Andre's BBQ (they only have gumbo on Friday, but it's gooooood). Uncle Andre's is on Moorpark & Colfax in Studio City. Their fried chicken and baby back ribs are good too.