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Fat Tuesday in LA

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A year ago, people in New Orleans were celebrating like crazy, going to parades, lifting their shirts, collecting beads and other plastic trinkets, all the while drinking with reckless abandon. We admire those who are there keeping the tradition alive there today, Fat Tuesday, and for the rest of Mardis Gras.

Here in LA we can celebrate the undying New Orleans Mardis Gras spirit too. An excellent musical lecture from jazz pianist Henry Butler starts at 5pm at UCLA's Fowler Museum; it's free.

After that it's dinner time. Stop by the old-school farmer's market at the Grove and hit The Gumbo Pot for some you-know-what. Or go south for some fantastic cajun food without attitude at Harold & Belle's on Jefferson at 9th Avenue. General southern cooking (with attitude) is being served up at the new Memphis Restaurant in Hollywood.

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After dinner head up to Highland Park if you'd like to celebrate punk rock style at Mr. T's Bowl (if you're still hungry, we hear there's a pot luck planned).

Thirsty, mix-inclined Angelenos can borrow the recipe of New Orleans native Chuck Taggart and make a batch of Vieux Carré Cocktails: they've got whiskey, vermouth, and bitters. Or savor the irony and make the signature drink from New Orleans bar Pat O'Brien's: The Hurricane. You can buy a powder or bottled mix, but people who know say it's best to make your Hurricane from scratch. Either way, they pack a whallop.

photo by mbyrne via flickr