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5 Places To Get A Taste of New Orleans In Los Angeles
Mardi Gras shouldn't be the only time that Angelenos celebrate NOLA culture, and several bars and restaurants are taking note, offering lovers of Southern food and drink a taste of the culture of one of America's great cities without having to step foot on a plane. From jambalaya and sazeracs to po'boys and beignets, it's all at your fingertips in our fair city. Here are some of our favorite places to enjoy a taste of the Big Easy in L.A.
Little Jewel's shrimp po'boy (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
When this New Orlean's-style deli opened in Chinatown late last year, it was the beginning of the neighborhood's turn as a major food destination. They sell all sorts of nostalgic ingredients you might be missing, from Zapp's chips and seasonings for crawfish boils to chicory coffee. There are also heaps of grab-and-go sandwiches, like the massive 10-inch po'boys that are stuffed to the brim with massive fried shrimp and all the fixins. Chef Marcus Christiana-Beniger was born and raised in New Orleans, and took the cooking he learned from his grandmother to the many kitchens he worked in the French Quarter. Now he's made his way out the West Coast, where he does a traditional red beans and rice feast every Monday night at the deli.
Little Jewel is located at 207 Ord St. in Chinatown, (213) 620-0461
Photo of Preux & Proper's steam pot with andouille sausage, crab, shrimp, corn and potato in a saffron-scented broth (Photo courtesy of Preux & Proper)
Preux & Proper
Preux & Proper is a sweet new addition to downtown's growing food and nightlife scene. You can grab bites inspired by the Bayou at their upstairs bistro. Downstairs you'll find their open-air bar where you can play shuffleboard while sipping on a frozen fruity daiquiri a la Bourbon Street. As for the bistro, Preux & Proper's Executive Chef Michael Ruiz (formerly of Cobras & Matadors) is putting his own creative spin on Cajun and creole food. Their near-perfect po'boy is stuffed with crispy battered oysters sandwiched between fluffy French bread, and the warm bread pudding is something not to be missed. Peering out the larger open windows that overlook faux French Quarter-style balconies and sipping on on a French 75 or Vieux Carre, you'd swear you were in New Orleans. —Jean Trinh
Preux & Proper is located at 840 S. Spring St., downtown, (213) 896-0090
A line-up of some of Sassfras' New Orleans cocktails (Photo courtesy of Sassafras)
There really is nothing like drinking in New Orleans, which is arguably the city where the cocktail was actually invented. If you want to be transported straight to the heart of the French Quarter, step into the fully-themed bar at Sassafras. They offer excellent Southern-style cocktails like the sazerac made with Peychaud's bitters, both of which were most certainly invented by Antoine Peychaud in the 1830s in New Orleans, as well as live entertainment that the city is so well known for. If Reverend Tall Tree is playing, you won't want to miss it. And if the spirit moves you, you can always head upstairs for more dancing after the show. Added bonus: they also offer bar bites like gumbo and shrimp n grits in case you're hungry.
Sassafras is located at 1233 Vine Street in Hollywood, (323) 467-2800
Chef Brandon Boudet was born and raised in New Orleans, and his style of cooking at this classic LA restaurant is heavily influenced by both Louisiana and Italian cooking. At their weekly Sunday suppers, you'll often find dishes like barbecued beans and house smoked andouille sausage or shrimp po'boys. Over at their sister restaurant Little Dom's in Los Feliz, he also offers some NoLa-inspried fare, like the always-delicious Creole chicken sandos. Each year around Mardi Gras he turns his two restaurants into a blowout party, complete with King Cakes, catfish, jambalaya, and best of all, beignets. It's as close to Cafe Du Monde as you'll find in L.A., that's for sure.
Dominick's is located at 8715 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood, (310) 652-2335
Muffaletta at Del Ray Deli (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
Del Rey Deli
This classic deli stop has all sorts of fantastic New Orleans-style goodies for those missing the Big Easy. We have to admit that their muffaletta is one of the best we've had since visiting Central Grocery in NoLa. Their version is similarly served on a round Sicilian sesame bread and stack high with Italian deli meats, provolone cheese, and a fantastic chopped olive tapenade with just the slightest twinge of heat. When paired with a bag of Zapp's chips and a Big Shot soda, it's the ultimate picnic fare.
Del Rey Deli is located at 8501 Pershing Dr, Playa Del Rey, (310) 439-2256