Food Truck Friday: Ragin Cajun
After being eliminated on the second episode of cross-country reality show "The Great Food Truck Race," ostensibly because he failed to properly promote the truck, Domingue seems to be everywhere. He has honed his skills to a fine point, his gravelly Louisiana accent cutting through the chatter of Miracle Mile office workers on their lunch breaks or the clamor of traffic in El Segundo. Though the food is Cajun, the patter is as much Brooklyn street hawker as bayou.
Though the Hermosa Beach restaurant that spawned the truck closed this Sunday, Domingue plans to reopen in El Segundo. Until then, he's got his mobile eatery and big plans in the works. Painted swampy green with a slick design that looks like a gator, though one with bright red letters spelling out its name, this truck is a looker.
If you've ever been torn between a bowl of fluffy jambalaya or a saucy gumbo, Ragin Cajun has finally solved the problem with its gumbolaya ($6), a ladle of gumbo atop a bowl of jambalaya. Purists may shudder, but it's a combination that, like peanut butter and chocolate, only enhances its core elements. Why didn't somebody think of this sooner? Maybe they did -- but not on a truck.
Ragin Cajun's food veers toward the bland and generic. The breading on the shrimp has little discernible flavor, and the po'boy ($7), served on a French roll, comes with a cup of straight-from-the-bottle cocktail sauce. The gumbolaya is better. The gumbo is mild and without a whole lot of that filé kick, but it livens up the jambalaya and comes with a few sausage rounds showily perched on top. It pairs nicely with a bag of Zapp's spicy Cajun Crawtators chips.
Though Ragin Cajun's fare is well above average for a food truck, it's hard not to imagine how much better it could be, and perhaps at Domingue's upcoming brick-and-mortar restaurant, it will be.
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