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DineLA: Harold and Belle's
I love DineLA week. All these great restaurants at almost affordable prices. I wish I had more time to hit up all the great places! DineLA YEAR, I say! Bring it back now!Useless and completely unrealistic rant aside, Harold and Belle's came highly recommended from my friend Sharon, "Our favorite place, so much food!" she says. I can't say no to that! So here we go:
It's certainly not in the greatest neighborhood, and my friends and I had no second thoughts about valeting the car, but once you walk in to Harold and Belle's, you relax. The people are friendly, the Lakers are playing on the TV at the bar, and they seated us at a pretty large table so we can really order without worrying about running out of space to put food.
So, we were pretty fortunate. There are three courses for the DineLA pre-fixe meals, and there are three items for you to choose from each course. We knew Harold and Belles' portions are on the enormous side, so we just ordered one of everything for the four of us. Four people, three three course dinners. We ended up taking about a quarter of the food home. So yeah, be ready to eat when you come in here. Alright! Enough talk! On to the pictures!
Fried Oysters, Fried Crawfish, and Louisiana Hot Links
The Oyster and crawfish were both very decent, but didn't have the freshness I was looking for -- it may very well have been fresh-- but the frying doesn't bring that out. Good, but not great. I love fried stuff, though, and may order the oysters again.
The hot links really stood out here, spicy and full of flavor. The barbecue sauce is excellent and I kept going for it with other items too. Ah, the power of barbecue sauce.
The Chicken Creole had four huge chicken breast pieces covered with their special creole sauce and served over pasta. The creole sauce was exceptionally good, a little tangy but smooth and very pleasing. Chicken is a little dry, as usual, and I wished they had used dark meat with this.
Crawfish Etouffee. Crawfish tails simmered in a spicy gravy, served with a scoop of rice. Spicy, great flavor, but again I didn't really taste the freshness of the crawfish, not bad at all, but would've been great with some really fresh crawfish.
Red beans and rice with fried catfish nibbles. Catfish has a distinct flavor to it and I do like it, but I suspect it's not for everyone. This was great, though, despite being a little on the dry side, which is easily fixed with the tartar sauce. By this time I couldn't fit much rice and beans in, there's just so much food!
So I moved on to dessert. From left, clockwise: Hot Southern Peach Cobbler, Sweet Potato Pie, and Louisiana Bread Pudding with Home-Made Whiskey Sauce. First off, their desserts are GREAT, none of these disappointed me. I have to say that the Sweet Potato Pie is my favorite, beautiful sweet potato flavor, not too sweet, along with a home made feel. I loved it. The pudding with the whiskey sauce came in second, you can really smell and taste the whisky, the pudding is a bit tougher than I thought pudding ought to be, it had the weight and firmness of a solid cake. The beach cobbler with ice cream is also very good, any time you have something warm and sweet coupled with ice cream, you can count me in.
Service was very attentive and helpful when the waiter was there, but we were seated way in the back and didn't get quite enough looks. Prices on non-DineLA weeks are going to be on the higher side, but if you consider the ridiculous amount of food you get, it's completely worth it. I'd come back and try some of their non-fried stuff, I'm definitely interested in trying a steak or maybe some grilled seafood.
Harold and Belle's
2920 Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90018
Photos by Kevin Cheng for LAist.