A friend of mine has been looking for a quality Cajun restaurant since his last visit to New Orleans. He can tell you that it’s hard to find quality Cajun food here in LA. (If you have a favorite, please comment and let me know.)
He invited a bunch of his friends (including me) to check out his latest find, Bayou Grille in Inglewood. We were the first ones there on Sunday – right before the church rush. It’s a cute mom and pop shop started by someone who moved to LA from New Orleans.
Now let’s get to the food. Here’s the rundown from my order:
Tiger Shrimp Po’Boy – This was my favorite dish of the day. The shrimp is battered and fried but it’s not overly greasy. The shrimp has a nice crunch when you bite into it and it’s not overcooked which is always a plus. The shrimp is nestled in with some tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and lettuce then served inside a New Orleans style French bread. However, someone in our group said the bread in New Orleans is more airy than what we ate. Overall, I thought it was worth the trip to Bayou Grille just for this.
Red Beans and Rice – A traditional New Orleans dish. For those who don’t know, don’t be fooled by the simple bame because it’s not JUST red beans and rice. There’s actually a lot of time devoted in making red beans and rice. First off, you start with the “holy trinity” and then you add in such things like bacon fat, ham, sausage, and spices to get the flavor just right. Just by the ingredients I’ve listed, you can imagine the savory and warm flavors that come out in a successful bowl of red beans and rice.Alas, the red beans and rice at Bayou Grille was average. The rice was a little too mushy and the red beans could have used a bit more smokey flavor and more spice.
Beignets – This fried dough goodness engulfed in powdered sugar was served right out of the fryer – just the way you want it. You don’t want these babies to get cold. I like how they make it to order however I found the dough to be a little too dense and I could have used more powdered sugar on top.
If you’re looking for an introduction to New Orleans and Cajun food on a budget, Bayou Grille is worth checking out. The prices are decent and the staff is friendly. But if you want something authentic, you might have to go all the way to New Orleans, unless you have a suggestion for me.
Note: I just visited NOLA and I’ll have a post coming up about my favorite meals I had there.