Worth The Drive: Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday in Los Angeles

Take a drive (or Uber or Lyft it) downtown or "over-the-hill" this weekend and on Fat Tuesday, February 17 for a little bit of NOLA fever. Los Feliz: MessHall Kitchen MessHall’s new executive […]

Take a drive (or Uber or Lyft it) downtown or "over-the-hill" this weekend and on Fat Tuesday, February 17 for a little bit of NOLA fever.

Los Feliz: MessHall Kitchen

MessHall’s new executive chef, Shane Pritchett, comes to Los Angeles direct from New Orleans, where he worked at Emeril’s Restaurant as well as Emeril’s Delmonico, where he was executive chef. In addition to his Louisiana specialties on the regular menu, Chef Pritchett is preparing a special celebration for Fat Tuesday highlighted by a two-course feast: an authentic crawfish and shrimp boil with corn, sausage and mushrooms served on newspaper in a tin can lid (shown above), followed by cinnamon raisin bread pudding with praline ($36). Another reason to attend is $1 taco and oyster night, which is an every-Tuesday, all-night-long affair. Drinks for the evening include a hurricane cocktail, plus drinks named after the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, wrath and pride. The party starts at 5 p.m. Reservations preferred. 4500 Los Feliz Boulevard, Los Angeles, 323-660-6377

Mid-City: Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax

It's the 26th year for this Mardi Gras celebration that runs during the weekend of February 14 and 15, wrapping up the festivities for Fat Tuesday on February 17. It's happening rain or shine: swing to New Orleans and Zydeco music; watch strolling parade bands, enjoy activities for kids, bead-throwing, and the "Mutti Gras" pet parade and costume contest on Sunday. All activities are free! There will be NOLA-themed eats and drinks, including authentic gumbo, jambalaya and Dixie beer.

Hollywood: Five0Four

It’s a big party at this Hollywood hotspot that is always in a New Orleans "state of mind," with decorative beads, colorful masks, a free slice of King's Cake and drinks—such as the Category 6 (pictured above) mixed up with strawberry moonshine, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, passion fruit syrup and Bacardi Oakheart. Start the celebration with happy hour from 6 to 8 p.m. on February 17. Guest DJs will be spinning favorite Mardi Gras tunes all night long. 6541 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-960-0224, five0four.com

Downtown LA: Preux & Proper

This new, two-story restaurant is reminiscent of the Garden District in New Orleans with a mix of frivolity and class. Chef Michael Ruiz' menu includes crispy frogs legs, smoked shrimp beignets (pictured above), fried oyster po’ boys and a "steam pot" with andouille, crab, shrimp, corn and potato in a saffron court bouillon. There will also be cocktails mixed up just for Mardi Gras at the open-air frozen daiquiri bar with a moonshine-based bar menu. Get into the spirit with a live brass band and complimentary beads and masks on Fat Tuesday. 840 S. Spring St., preuxandproper.com

Downtown LA: The Little Easy Bar

This NOLA-themed bar just opened in DTLA at the Alexandria Hotel with a menu that includes Abita-braised brisket (pictured above), seafood gumbo, cheese grits, po-boy sliders (with shrimp or catfish), jambalaya and beignets. And of course, the drink menu will lure you in with offerings that include Sazerac, Vieux Carré, hurricane and Abita ale.  

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