Maybe it's because we're not in New Orleans. Maybe it's because Los Angeles has so few Cajun and Creole restaurants, there is little competition and even less incentive for them to be great. Maybe it's that the Original Farmers Market is gradually becoming more touristy and less tasty. Despite their name, the stalwart at the longstanding Gumbo Pot, one of the more accessible New Orleans-inspired eateries for locals and visitors alike, is their selection of po'boys. The trick is knowing which are worth ordering.

The Gumbo Pot: Shrimp & Oyster Po'boy

Offered in half-a-dozen varieties (catfish, salmon, snapper, shrimp, oyster or a combo of shrimp and oyster) the po'boys are served on sturdy French rolls with big leaves of lettuce and — this is the kicker — tart, wisp-thin slivers of lemon with the rind still intact. You can get your fish blackened or fried in cornmeal. The breading is crisp and sturdy, not too heavy. The shrimp are tender, the fish is fine. Some things, however, aren't improved by frying. Oysters, for example. The ones in the Gumbo Pots po'boys are sad, chalky blobs with none of the cool brine or slippery texture you get when you slurp them raw.

Enjoy your tour of the Farmers Market. Have a glass of wine at Monsieur Marcel, a taco at Loteria, a seafood cocktail at Tusquela's, an apple fritter at Bob's Donuts, a scoop of Choffee ice cream at Bennett's, a slice of cheese-bottom pie at Du-Par's and, starting tomorrow, a burger at Short Order. If you want a little taste of Louisiana, consider a shrimp or a catfish po'boy from The Gumbo Pot. Whatever you do, avoid the oysters.


Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at

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