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Mayo See the Light

Restaurant critic Besha Rodell's review, “Little Jewel Brings Soul of New Orleans to Chinatown, Los Angeles,” set off a debate among our local Louisianians. In response to Rodell's description of a proper po' boy as containing Blue Plate mayo, ashley.h.matt responded, “Actually, a properly dressed shrimp po-boy would have tartar sauce, not mayonnaise, but at least you're learning.” We're not sure we like her spelling of po' boy, but then reader I'mRightAboutThis came to our critic's rescue, insisting, “Uhhh, no. Mayo IS correct” and claiming to be a native New Orleanian.

This prompted writer fleurdelisinla to respond, “You are so right. I would also have lettuce and not cabbage, which all of his po-boys have.” Fleurdelisinla then gave some sharply phrased advice to Little Jewel's chef-owner, Marcus Christiana-Beniger, saying, “The chef really needs to buy some lettuce; cabbage slaw is not a component of a dressed po' boy. And he needs to turn down the heat. The food is too hot to eat. And he needs to find someone to teach him how to fry seafood.”

The Gay Wing of Men's Central Jail Saga

Letters keep coming in response to our Nov. 20 cover story, “The Gay Wing of Men's Central Jail,” which went viral and resulted in follow-up stories by national and international media.

Dr. Charles Kreuter, former psychology supervisor at the L.A. County Jail Inmate Reception Center, said of reporter Ani Ucar's story: “Excellent article, true to what happens at Men's Central Jail with [gay male inmates]. Missing, however, is the story on mental illness, which many inmates have, or claim to have. Since approximately 75 percent of arrests are for drugs or drug-related crimes, many inmates want 'medication' to continue their licit or illicit drug use. While L.A. County Jail has a large mental-health unit — the Twin Towers — gay male inmates cannot be placed among that population unless they are housed in single-man cells. So four choices face them: (1) request to see a psychiatrist prior to housing at MCJ; (2) wait until given [gay wing] housing and request mental-health services; (3) deny they are gay and request 'regular' mental-health housing; or (4) behave in a truly bizarre and/or dangerous manner and get placed in the Twin Towers seventh floor with no clothing except a gown and a mat and perhaps a blanket if not deemed 'suicidal.' The number of false claims of mental illness is endemic in the jail among all groups, but the protocol of housing gay men [separately] can create special difficulties in assessing their needs. This is another story in and of itself.

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