Can’t book a trip to Bourbon Street? Fortunately for you—and everyone who loves Cajun food and a good time—L.A. is full of NOLA expats, gumbo, seafood boils, Abita beer, beads, hurricanes and live music to help you celebrate Mardi Gras. Most of L.A.’s best New Orleans restaurants will be slinging beer and beads, not to mention weeklong specials, Fat Tuesday fatty fare, crawfish eating contests and more. Here are just a few of our favorite deals around town that’ll help you laissez les bon temps rouler most deliciously.
How do warm beignets from one of the world’s top pastry chefs sound? For those looking to feel extra fat on Fat Tuesday by way of baked goods courtesy Dominique Ansel, we suggest heading to Ansel’s Mardi Gras crab boil in his restaurant at the Grove. Each $60 ticket gets you entry to the party, which includes a live New Orleans band; molasses skillet cornbread; collard greens; fried green tomatoes with remoulade; black-eyed peas; fresh beignets; and a crab boil that involves Dungeness crab, P.E.I. mussels, black tiger shrimp, andouille, potatoes and corn. Whew. You’re probably going to want to make a reservation to secure your seat, and be sure to wear some pants with a little give.
Tuesday, February 13, 5–10pm
Big Easy specials meet West Hollywood nightlife at seafood-boil mecca Hot N Juicy, where you’ll find an annual Mardi Gras blowout that involves $1 beers and $5 sangria available throughout the day, plus a free-to-enter crawfish eating contest. Simply show up and add your name by 6pm, then eat your heart out; first place takes home a $200 gift card to the restaurant, while second and third nab $100 and $50, respectively. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Tuesday, February 13, noon–10pm; eating contest begins at 6:30pm
New Orleans son Brandon Boudet is lighting up his restaurant with Bourbon Street specials by way of a one-day-only Mardi Gras menu. Catch soft-shell crab po’ boys, gumbo, beignets, pork belly cracklins, king cake, boudin balls, red beans and rice, and drink specials from open to close in celebration of Fat Tuesday. Want to bring the festivities to your own home? Place king cake orders through the deli by calling 323-661-0055.
Tuesday, February 13, 8am–3pm and 5:30–11pm
This DTLA NOLA hideaway is celebrating Fat Tuesday with live music all day long, plus happy hour food and drink specials from noon to 7pm, the standard menu available til 11pm, Abita tap takeovers, $8 hurricanes and beads galore. Festive attire’s encouraged, so throw on some purple, gold and green and grab your best masquerade mask.
Tuesday, February 13, 11:30am–1am
As one of South Bay’s few authentic Cajun restaurants, you’d better believe these guys are going all out. Celebrate with an entire week of specials that include live crawfish, crab boils, shrimp boils, live music, beads, hurricanes and more. Then on Saturday, test the limits of stomach strength and endurance by entering Ragin Cajun’s first annual crawfish eating contest; entry costs $25 but the winner takes home a $300 gift certificate to the restaurant, plus, you know, a belly of crawfish. We like that payout. Call 310-540-7403 to register.
Mardi Gras Week runs now through Tuesday, February 13; the crawfish eating contest takes place Saturday, February 10, at noon.