Starting on Fat Tuesday, March 5, it’s Mardi Gras somewhere. OK, it feels like it’s Mardi Gras everywhere—after all, who doesn’t want to get in on one of the biggest parties of the year? Here in L.A., restaurants and bars are throwing their doors open with brass bands and king cakes galore, not to mention a few crawfish boils for good measure. Here’s where to celebrate the Big Easy in Los Angeles, easily.
One of the world’s best pastry chefs is of course offering some festive sweet treats for the holiday, but you can also expect a crab boil from Dominique Ansel this year. Each $55 ticket includes buckets of fresh crab, tiger shrimp, P.E.I. mussels and corn tumbled onto your newspaper-topped table, plus a bevy of sides like red pepper maque choux, fried pickles and fresh-baked cornbread. Ready for those sweet treats? Ansel’s planning fried-to-order beignets—and à la carte from the bar, the requisite hurricane cocktails.
March 5, 5–10pm
Can’t decide where to celebrate? Why not choose four spots in one night? The nightlife organizers of Hollywood Club Crawl are hosting a four-bar adventure, and while all four locations aren’t announced, we can tell you that you’ll at least begin at St. Felix. Your $30 ticket includes skip-the-line privileges at all stops, plus drink specials at each. To start, expect $5 shots and $2 off all drinks at St. Felix.
March 2, 10pm–2am
This gorgeous new brewery is bringing a little bit of NOLA to L.A.’s Union Station with an all-day crawfish boil. Imperial Western’s celebration is a full-on party, complete with live music, and each $40 ticket includes crawfish and its simmered compatriots—corn on the cob, red potatoes and andouille sausage—plus fried green tomato salad with remoulade, collard greens and either a beer flight or a cocktail.
March 3, noon–6pm
Looking to celebrate the Big Easy without big portions of meat? North Hollywood’s all-vegan cajun restaurant is throwing itself a plant-based party that includes live music, raffles, a photo booth, face painting, beads and $10 bowls of their gumbalaya (a stewy gumbo-jambalaya hybrid). They’re even taking orders for whole vegan king cakes—with 48 hours’ notice—plus selling them by the slice during the party.
March 5, 6-10pm
New Orleans son Brandon Boudet is lighting up his restaurant with Bourbon Street specials by way of a one-weekend-only Mardi Gras menu. From March 2–5, catch between-bread treats like soft-shell crab po’ boys, plus shrimp-studded gumbo, sugar-dusted beignets, crunchy pork belly cracklins, sweets like the iconic king cake, and drink specials—hello, $5 Abita beer—from open to close in celebration of the holiday. Want to bring the festivities to your place? Place king cake orders ($25) through the deli by calling 323-661-0055 (48 hours’ notice is required), or grab a slice or two for $5 apiece.
March 2–5, regular hours of business
The Original Farmers Market is throwing a three-day festival for the occasion, and get this: It’s got dogs in costumes. Stop by any day for à la carte cajun classics courtesy the Gumbo Pot (we’re talking jambalaya, king cakes and more), and then on Saturday from noon to 1pm, the Dog Bakery will host its annual “MuttiGras” pet parade and costume contest. Once more, with feeling, dogs in Mardi Gras costumes.
As one of South Bay’s few authentic Cajun restaurants, you’d better believe these guys are going all out. Head to Ragin Cajun for a “Bands, Beads and Bugs” party, where you’ll find live zydeco and other festive music, and of course po’boys, drink specials, Louisiana crawfish, boudin and other delectables.
March 5, 6–10pm