4 Great Spots For Gumbo In LA
Kicking off Madri Gras or just want some cold weather comfort? We’ve got just the thing.
When the sun starts to set at 4pm and your housemate refuses to let you turn the heat on, there’s no better salve for those chilly LA nights than a warm bowl of that Cajun-Creole specialty, gumbo. With deep, rich roux, fresh seafood, and impeccably seasoned andouille, here are 4 LA restaurants that know how to make a mean gumbo.
Stevie's Creole Cafe
This might just be the Holy Grail of LA gumbos. The roux is dark, rich, and impossibly silky. It’s thick enough to coat a spoon and packs just the right amount of heat—enough to remind you that it’s there, but never so hot that it overwhelms the rest of the flavors at work. And the meat—juicy, plump pieces of shrimp, crab, and sausage—comes well-seasoned, making for a properly hearty stew. Served over a bed of white rice and with some seasoned French bread, this is the kind of comforting, nourishing meal you need to get you through a chilly Fat Tuesday.
Darrow's New Orleans Grill
If Stevie’s is the Golden Child, then Darrow’s New Orleans Grill is the younger, scrappier kid sibling. Because although it may not be number one in our hearts, it’s still a damn good bowl of gumbo. The star of the show here is obviously the meat—from the imported Louisiana Blue Crab to the chicken sausage and andouille, every morsel is impeccably seasoned and complements the thick, gravy-like roux perfectly. Make sure to get the filé gumbo ya ya—unlike the regular filé gumbo, this one comes with a mountain of jambalaya and French bread.
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Harold & Belle's
Eating at this 50-year-old South LA staple is the kind of nice, wholesome experience you forget exists after a rough day of no one letting you merge in traffic. There are two types of gumbo here: one, a traditional filé with a dark roux, lots of sausage, chicken, shrimp, and meaty pieces of crab, and the other, a vegetarian okra gumbo made with stewed tomatoes, and the holy trinity of simmered onions, bell peppers, and celery. Both are hearty, flavor-packed soups that will build your strength back up before you hit the road.
Sal's Gumbo Shack
The roux at this shack in Long Beach might be thinner and lighter than the others on this list, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less complex. Smooth and silky like the voice of Luther Vandross, this satin-like seafood gumbo is filled with nice chunks of shredded chicken, shrimp, and crab legs, and packs a salty (but pleasant) punch.