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Jul 29, 2009 10:01 PM


Can anyone suggest a good place for gumbo on a Saturday for lunch? Preferably from the Crenshaw area east along the 10 to the SGV, or the Pasadena area. It has to be a place where you can sit down and eat there (not necessarily with waiters, but no takeout-only places). It seems a lot of places are no longer in business or are takeout only.

Anyone? Thanks in advance!

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  1. This has been a pretty popular topic over the years. Since Orleans in WLA closed we have been pretty bereft of excellent, local options. While I don't think it's exactly in your preferred geographic area (it is east of Crenshaw Blvd. but south of the 10 frwy) it seems that Harold & Belle's is the consensus winner on the LA board for gumbo. The link to Menu Pages has an online menu attached (use the so called "printable" pdf choice one over the "on screen" menu choice).

    Harold & Belle's Restaurant
    2920 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018

      1. We love the Gumbo Pot in the Farmer's Market on 3rd & Fairfax. Best catfish po' boys, too.

        Gumbo Pot
        6333 W 3rd St Ste 312, Los Angeles, CA 90036

        2 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv

          Gumbo Pot does a nice dish of RB&R (almost as good as my own ;), and their gumbo is okay. But I was very, very disappointed with their oyster po'boy. I didn't like their dry, tasteless bread; the lemon slices were a distraction (albeit one that was easily removed); and they were stingy with the oysters. Perhaps the catfish is better.

          1. re: Bjartmarr

            I do not consider gumbo to be Gourmet Food - my own tends to be just kinda flung together, and I like it that way. So long as it's nicely seasoned and tastes of all its good ingredients, and not like something from a can, we're cool. The Gumbo Pot does a good job on this, I think, and I love sitting in the area next to it with friends for hours, just talking and nibbling and sipping. Yup, fish po'boy is better, and I love their Cajun potato salad, too - I even get that when I've gotten a corned beef sandwich from Magee's.

        2. Thanks for the replies. I didn't think Harold and Belle's was open for lunch but I see they are. Actually I was looking to spend less than that, though - they're really expensive. Something more like $15 or under. Harold and Belles is right in the area I was thinking of; I don't mind places near Crenshaw, it's where I grew up!

          Ipsedixit - is Brix 42 good? I looked at the menu and it looks like one of those try to please everyone kind of places but if you recommend it, there must be some merit to it! Gumbo just seems out of place on that menu, though, which is why I asked. Thanks.

          19 Replies
          1. re: monkuboy


            Wish I could help you out some more, but only been there for Happy Hour (and spied that they had gumbo, as well as some cajun bbq fries).

            I did try the calamari and the pot roast, which were both ok but nothing to write home about.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Let me get this straight. You're recommending a dish at a place you've only been to for happy hour, and never tried the dish? And other dishes you've tried there was "nothing to write home about?" I'll remember this for future reference.

              For the OP, I don't think you'll find a proper gumbo for much less than Harold & Belle's. Even when Stevie's on the Strip was on the corner of Jefferson/Crenshaw with their burger counter service, it wasn't cheap. You might find it cheaper at the Gumbo Pot in the Farmer's Market, but it'll be nowhere as good as the one at Harold & Belle's. Most of the other options are going to be South or West of your starting point.

              1. re: E Eto

                Thanks for the info.. actually my daughter wanted some gumbo. Me, pretty much the main gumbo I've eaten is Campbell's chicken gumbo soup, lol.. maybe if it was her birthday or something we'd go to Harold and Belle's but this is just a casual lunch get-together so that's too rich for the occasion, haha.. thanks, though. I did think of Stevie's but found out some imposters took over that location. Maybe we'll just hit Golden Bird or somewhere like that.. we're both big fans. As for the mentions of Gumbo Pot - I wouldn't mind trying that except it is too far in the other direction.

                Edit: oops, just looked at the H&B site and see that the gumbo isn't all that bad. $12 small and $18 big. I think I got all mixed up when I saw that they charge $26 for fried chicken.. $26 for fried chicken??? That sounds kind of steep! But the gumbo price is reasonable.

                1. re: monkuboy

                  Monkuboy, if you are incredulous at $26 for fried chicken at H & B's then don't ever wander into Boneyard Bistro and order it on some Monday night, because it's $30 there. Instead of Golden Bird that bird must be made of gold. ;-D>

                  1. re: Servorg

                    I guess I've been out of the fried chicken loop too long! lol.. actually there are two prices at H&B, I guess dinner it is $26 and lunch you can get by for only $22. Still, fried chicken is fried chicken. How much can it cost to make that?

                  2. re: monkuboy

                    $18 for Gumbo?!?!?!? $26 for friend chicken?!?!?! How many chickens? What am I waiting for? My sorry coon-ass can make some incredible gumbo and fried chicken. Too bad there's no cheap rent around here.

                    1. re: Davebr

                      1/2 a chicken.. I hope that at least they are from Foster Farms! ; )

                      1. re: Davebr

                        Well, that's a major part of the difference, along with taxes, workers' comp coverage, insurance, licensing, and the cost of getting decent gumbo ingredients here. (Just as Bourdain observed that if the only fish you can get is some farm-raised salmon, you're barkin' up the wrong tree if you try to make real boulibaise, if the only thing you can get are some pre-cooked frozen thawed shrimp and an oyster in a jar, don't try to make seafood gumbo!)

                        That, and there's simply no real serious demand. Los Angeles keeps about as many Cajun/Creole restos going at a time as they do clubs with live jazz; new ones open only when or after one closes. There's just no way you'll likely ever see a bunch of places in Los Angeles selling (at least passable, if not damn good) gumbo for $5.00 a bowl, like in New Orleans...

                        1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                          Exactly, nail on the head. Like I said earlier, houston & new orleans are very high bars to set for this town for cajun/creole food.

                          1. re: Phurstluv

                            A lot of cuisines are extremely well represented in Los Angeles. I dont see why Cajun and Creole should be any different. I've made some great gumbo here---albeit not truly authentic. Its like anything, take the freshest ingredients you can find. The most trouble I have had has been with finding decent smoked spicy sausage(andouille) and that nasty Chinese crawfish.
                            Has anyone noticed there seems to be a decent amount of po-boy/crawfish joints opening up around California by the Vietnamese transplants?

                            1. re: Davebr

                              Hey I hear ya, you're preachin' to the choir! But as I said above, I think silverlake... said it best that the demand is not sufficient enough to keep them open for long. There are some places that've been around for a while, and have a certain following, Uncle Darrow's & Gumbo Pot being two examples, but most true southerners or people who've experienced true gumbo, et al., don't think those places even compare.

                              Where do you find decent po' boy /crawfish places? Do tell....

                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                I don't like Uncle Darrow and Gumbo Pot not bc they aren't authentic (which they aren't, yes). It is because the food tastes terrible, period.

                                1. re: epop

                                  Agree with you on Uncle Darrow's. Don't like it, doesn't taste like much, let alone cajun or creole, and it seems more like soul food to me.

                                  Haven't been to the FM in years, maybe the pot's changed, but it used to be on e of the few decent cajun places in the city. Possible they have changed chefs or recipes, I don't know.

                    2. re: E Eto

                      Does anyone know if Stevie's in Encino is still open? Their website is down and the phone number just rings and rings. (818) 528-3500

                      It'd be a damn shame if that location closed too. I miss the old Stevie's on the Strip.

                      1. re: E Eto

                        "Let me get this straight. You're recommending a dish at a place you've only been to for happy hour, and never tried the dish? And other dishes you've tried there was "nothing to write home about?" "

                        Yes, that's exactly right.

                        And, please, do remember it for future reference.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Gotta agree with E Eto, tho, it is a little risky. And you've got to expect to be called on it.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Reference noted. You just gave me a better perspective on why I've always distrusted any of your recommendations, besides for Chinese food. Thanks for explaining.

                            1. re: E Eto

                              E Eto,

                              In looking at it again, my initial response to your post was probably too hasty, and in hindsight bordering on terse and perhaps rude. No offense intended.


                          2. re: E Eto

                            yeah, everytime i looked at the mcdonald's style writing at stevie's on the strip the entrees and gumbo seemed to be int he mid teens and that was a whole decade ago. i still miss it.

                      2. Next to pancakes & bbq, my next favorite topic is gumbo. I have yet to find ANYTHING passable in Los Angeles or surrounding areas. As a barometer for comparison I think about the best gumbo I have had in Houston, Tx & New Orleans. I have been to both cajun places in the beach areas, the horrible place at the farmers market and Harold & Belles. They all suck! Take Harold and Belles: It is watery, seemingly made with no roux, and godawful expensive. It's a trip because everything else there (fried food, etoufeee, etc..) is really tasty. I would like to hear anyone who knows anything about gumbo make a case for theirs. Gumbo Pot, in my humble opinion, can't even make a poboy right no less gumbo. So, like the OP asks, where is the good gumbo. I am also curious to know if anyone has had gumbo form the place in Pasadena that makes fruit cobbler.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: orythedog

                          That's an extremely high bar - houston & new orleans.