The 10 Best Gumbos in Los Angeles

Okra gumbo at Preux and Proper
Okra gumbo at Preux and Proper
Photo: Anne Fishbein

Serve me an excellent gumbo, and I’ll show you a gumbo that someone hates.

Gumbo is as divisive as it is delicious because its ingredients aren’t prescribed. Meat, seafood, poultry and vegetables can appear in any combination. As for the broth, any blend of roux, okra or filé (powdered sassafras leaves) can render it thick or thin. And inevitably, that gumbo you ate as a child formed what you consider proper gumbo now.

Of course, Los Angeles puts its own unique stamp on the Cajun stew, ranging from homey and traditional to downright radical. Grab a spoon and the hot sauce from your bag (swag) to check out this list of L.A.’s top 10 gumbos.

Uncle Andre's BBQ
Uncle Andre's BBQ
Hanh Nguyen

Uncle Andre's BBQ

Situated in a corner strip mall in Studio City, Uncle Andre’s is a local soul food favorite, especially for its seafood gumbo served only on Fridays. The thin soup packs plenty of flavor, heat and a lot of protein. Seriously, there’s so much shrimp, chicken, crab and andouille sausage (was the whole link cut up in there?) that only a tiny portion of rice is served on the side. Call ahead to order a portion and make sure to ask for extra rice and cornbread. 11715 Moorpark St., Studio City; (818) 763-8414, uncleandresbbq.com.

My Two Cents
My Two Cents
Hanh Nguyen

My Two Cents    

This quaint eatery just south of Little Ethiopia gives soulful Southern food a healthy L.A. twist. In this case, that means its seafood gumbo is gluten-free (read: no roux) and pescatarian friendly. A generous portion of crab comes with a helpful leg cracker on the side, and shrimp, crumbly veggie andouille sausage and pickled okra fill the herbaceous, slightly spicy broth. Quinoa subs for rice in this dish and gives it textual interest. 5583 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City; (323) 938-1012, mytwocentsla.com.

Fishing With Dynamite
Fishing With Dynamite
Hanh Nguyen

Fishing With Dynamite

Chef David LeFevre of M.B. Post couldn’t ignore gumbo in his love letter to seafood at Fishing With Dynamite. It’s a somewhat refined dish in which shrimp, a beautiful cut of sous vide chicken and smoky linguiça are accompanied by just the right amount of fluffy jasmine rice on the side. The chef has already added hot sauce to the thick stew so you don’t have to. 1148 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach; (310) 893-6299, eatfwd.com.

The Little Easy
The Little Easy
Hanh Nguyen

The Little Easy

This dimly lit but happening downtown bar is the place to order a cast-iron skillet chock-full of blackened catfish, okra, green and red peppers, shrimp and even crawfish, which is a rarity in Los Angeles outside of the Boiling Crab–style eateries. It’s a homey, tomato-y dish that pairs well with a cool brew or ginger beer, and even though you may be offered hot sauce, you won’t need to use it. 216 W. Fifth St., downtown; (213) 628-3113, littleeasybar.com.

Orleans and York Deli 

Gumbo gets the po’ boy treatment at this New Orleans–themed deli in the Gumbo Mumbo sandwich. Juicy shrimp, hot links, beef sirloin, chicken and bell pepper are drenched in a spicy stew and then crammed inside a flaky French baguette that soaks up all of that flavor. If you want to keep your hands clean, order the Gumbo Mumbo platter over rice, but either way come hungry because both are hefty enough to share. 333 S. Spring St., downtown; (213) 687-0400, orleansandyorkdeli.com.



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