Celebrate Mardi Gras at these L.A. restaurants with New Orleans charm
“Laissez les bon temps rouler!” This Mardi Gras mantra that translates to “Let the good times roll!” is more than a call to party — although it serves as that, too. It’s a petition to live with abandon, to embrace excess and decadence if only for one night and to bring friends, family and even strangers along for the ride. While New Orleans may be the capital of Mardi Gras, there are plenty of ways to celebrate here in Los Angeles, thanks to restaurants dedicated to showcasing the Big Easy’s melting pot of food cultures.
“It’s an opportunity to share our culture with people who’ve never been to New Orleans or people who miss home, to have a little bit of that here in L.A.,” said Jessica LeGaux, who runs popular Creole restaurant Harold & Belle’s with her husband, Ryan LeGaux. When we spoke, the pair had just landed in New Orleans, where they were purchasing authentic bead necklaces to give to customers during their annual party.
“It’s a celebration of life and our favorite things in life — friends, family, food, music and culture,” Ryan agreed.
For Norwood Clark Jr., a New Orleans native and owner of Darrow’s New Orleans Grill, it’s important to share the trademark Southern hospitality that his hometown is so beloved for. “People don’t care if they don’t know your name or if you’re a stranger. You immediately become family,” he said.
Clark implements a similar ethos at Darrow’s. As he said: “We don’t do customers, we do family.”
From po’ boys to gumbo, beignets to king cake, here’s where to find a slice of New Orleans on Fat Tuesday, which lands on Feb. 21 this year.
Harold & Belle's
Little Jewel of New Orleans
Darrow's New Orleans Grill
Willie Mae's Restaurant
The Rising Sun
Les Sisters' Southern Kitchen
Stevie’s Creole Cafe
It's a date
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