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Gumbo from Boujie Crab in Los Angeles, California
Boujie Crab’s gumbo
Courtesy of Boujie Crab

11 Tasty Creole and Cajun Spots for At-Home Partying in LA

Jambalaya, po’ boys, gumbo, and more make for a mighty Mardi Gras on the West Coast

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Boujie Crab’s gumbo
| Courtesy of Boujie Crab

Creole and Cajun food can lift just about any spirit, thanks to its cacophony of familiar, savory flavors spread across classics like seafood boils, jambalayas, gumbos, and smothered meats stewed to deliciousness — and don’t forget the comforting hush puppies or fried chicken.

And while this year’s Fat Tuesday kickoff for Mardi Gras is certainly more subtle than in years past, LA residents can still locate a slice of New Orleans by way of the city’s many fantastic Creole and Cajun restaurants. Here are 11 options for eating well during at-home Mardi Gras celebrations — boozy hurricane (sometimes) included.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Lee Esther's Creole & Cajun Cooking

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830 1/2 E Ave Q-6
Palmdale, CA 93550
(661) 266-0000
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There is no more famous restaurant in all of Palmdale than Lee Esther’s, the staple Creole and Cajun restaurant renowned for its jambalaya, gumbo, and delightful assortment of Louisiana staples.

A shrimp po boy on a checkered cloth inside a sunny restaurant in Palmdale, CA.
A po’ boy from Lee Esther’s
Farley Elliott

2. Henry Parsons Project

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541 S Arroyo Pkwy
Pasadena, CA 91105
(818) 445-4940
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What can a catering chef do when business drops to zero as a result of the pandemic? Cook gumbo, of course. The upstart Pasadena-based Henry Parsons Project is turning out some seriously surprising New Orleans-inspired food, from deep chicken gumbo bowls to po’ boys and shrimp and grits. Get it while you still can, because who knows if this pop-up will last forever.

Gumbo from Henry Parsons Project in Pasadena.
Gumbo from Henry Parsons Project in Pasadena.
[Official Photo]

3. The Little Jewel of New Orleans

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207 Ord St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 620-0461
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Husband and wife team Marcus Christiana-Beniger and Eunah Kang opened up this charming Big Easy transplant on the east side of Chinatown, where po’boys, muffaletas, and house made cochon de lait is smoked in-house.

4. Annie's Soul Delicious

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1066 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 424-7402
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Though open Friday through Sunday, Annie’s soul food is one of the city’s best with a festive throwback 70s vibe at her Fairfax spot. Get the smothered turkey wings, oxtails, candied yams, and ask for extra cornbread to-go.

5. Stevie's Creole Café

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5545 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 413-2494
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The late Jonathan Gold shared good words about Stevie’s, labeling it the “best gumbo this side of New Orleans.” The locations have moved since opening in 1986, but recipes have endured, especially the peach cobbler.

6. Harold & Belle's

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2920 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018
(323) 735-9023
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Harold & Belle’s is celebrating 51 years in Jefferson Park. To mark the occasion, there’s a combination platter with a large gumbo, eight pieces of fried chicken, 10 fried catfish strips, jambalaya, a large order of red beans and rice, with potato salad. The combo even comes with Mardi Gras beads.

7. Cafe Creole Baldwin Hills

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3650 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd suite 144
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 389-8355
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This Baldwin Hills spot touts crawfish etouffe, hush puppies, and some incredibly crispy fried chicken.

8. Sal's Gumbo Shack

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6148 Long Beach Blvd W
Long Beach, CA 90805
(562) 422-8100
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Open since 2013, Sal (or chef Sally) is pure Cajun, with a soul food menu that’s full of favorites with fried okra, croquettes and grits, and fried pickles as particularly tasty sides.

9. The Boujie Crab

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1002 E South St
Long Beach, CA 90805
(562) 612-3311
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Owner and New Orleans native Nickey McKnight opened the Boujie Crab right when the pandemic began. Traditional creole favorites are throughout the menu, but McKnight twisted things up a bit by offering bowls with red potatoes, Cajun beef sausage, and Cajun corn can be topped with a protein of choice including snow crab, shrimp, and salmon.

10. Georgia’s

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440 S Anaheim Blvd #209a
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 906-1900
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Georgia’s Anaheim and Long Beach locations are open for takeaway and on-site dining. They’re also channeling Mardi Gras with a $15 hurricane for two filled with rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and grenadine. Have one before trying “Nana” Gretchen’s jambalaya served over pasta or rice.

11. Darrow's New Orleans Grill

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21720 S Avalon Blvd #102
Carson, CA 90745
(424) 570-0531
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Usually open Thursday through Sunday, Darrow’s cooked up Mardi Gras specials for today, Fat Tuesday. Pickup beignets, or the $30 Mardi Gras special where shrimp, catfish filets, oysters, and wings are dunked in the fryer. On the side is french bread and chicken gumbo.

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1. Lee Esther's Creole & Cajun Cooking

830 1/2 E Ave Q-6, Palmdale, CA 93550
A shrimp po boy on a checkered cloth inside a sunny restaurant in Palmdale, CA.
A po’ boy from Lee Esther’s
Farley Elliott

There is no more famous restaurant in all of Palmdale than Lee Esther’s, the staple Creole and Cajun restaurant renowned for its jambalaya, gumbo, and delightful assortment of Louisiana staples.

830 1/2 E Ave Q-6
Palmdale, CA 93550

2. Henry Parsons Project

541 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105
Gumbo from Henry Parsons Project in Pasadena.
Gumbo from Henry Parsons Project in Pasadena.
[Official Photo]

What can a catering chef do when business drops to zero as a result of the pandemic? Cook gumbo, of course. The upstart Pasadena-based Henry Parsons Project is turning out some seriously surprising New Orleans-inspired food, from deep chicken gumbo bowls to po’ boys and shrimp and grits. Get it while you still can, because who knows if this pop-up will last forever.

541 S Arroyo Pkwy
Pasadena, CA 91105

3. The Little Jewel of New Orleans

207 Ord St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Husband and wife team Marcus Christiana-Beniger and Eunah Kang opened up this charming Big Easy transplant on the east side of Chinatown, where po’boys, muffaletas, and house made cochon de lait is smoked in-house.

207 Ord St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

4. Annie's Soul Delicious

1066 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Though open Friday through Sunday, Annie’s soul food is one of the city’s best with a festive throwback 70s vibe at her Fairfax spot. Get the smothered turkey wings, oxtails, candied yams, and ask for extra cornbread to-go.

1066 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

5. Stevie's Creole Café

5545 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

The late Jonathan Gold shared good words about Stevie’s, labeling it the “best gumbo this side of New Orleans.” The locations have moved since opening in 1986, but recipes have endured, especially the peach cobbler.

5545 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019

6. Harold & Belle's

2920 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018

Harold & Belle’s is celebrating 51 years in Jefferson Park. To mark the occasion, there’s a combination platter with a large gumbo, eight pieces of fried chicken, 10 fried catfish strips, jambalaya, a large order of red beans and rice, with potato salad. The combo even comes with Mardi Gras beads.

2920 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018

7. Cafe Creole Baldwin Hills

3650 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd suite 144, Los Angeles, CA 90008

This Baldwin Hills spot touts crawfish etouffe, hush puppies, and some incredibly crispy fried chicken.

3650 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd suite 144
Los Angeles, CA 90008

8. Sal's Gumbo Shack

6148 Long Beach Blvd W, Long Beach, CA 90805

Open since 2013, Sal (or chef Sally) is pure Cajun, with a soul food menu that’s full of favorites with fried okra, croquettes and grits, and fried pickles as particularly tasty sides.

6148 Long Beach Blvd W
Long Beach, CA 90805

9. The Boujie Crab

1002 E South St, Long Beach, CA 90805

Owner and New Orleans native Nickey McKnight opened the Boujie Crab right when the pandemic began. Traditional creole favorites are throughout the menu, but McKnight twisted things up a bit by offering bowls with red potatoes, Cajun beef sausage, and Cajun corn can be topped with a protein of choice including snow crab, shrimp, and salmon.

1002 E South St
Long Beach, CA 90805

10. Georgia’s

440 S Anaheim Blvd #209a, Anaheim, CA 92805

Georgia’s Anaheim and Long Beach locations are open for takeaway and on-site dining. They’re also channeling Mardi Gras with a $15 hurricane for two filled with rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and grenadine. Have one before trying “Nana” Gretchen’s jambalaya served over pasta or rice.

440 S Anaheim Blvd #209a
Anaheim, CA 92805

11. Darrow's New Orleans Grill

21720 S Avalon Blvd #102, Carson, CA 90745

Usually open Thursday through Sunday, Darrow’s cooked up Mardi Gras specials for today, Fat Tuesday. Pickup beignets, or the $30 Mardi Gras special where shrimp, catfish filets, oysters, and wings are dunked in the fryer. On the side is french bread and chicken gumbo.

21720 S Avalon Blvd #102
Carson, CA 90745

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