Monday, May 09, 2005

Uncle Darrow's

Uncle Darrow's (2560 S Lincoln Blvd Marina del Rey, (310) 306-4862) is the friendliest restaurant I've ever been to. Newcomers are generally offered samples of most everything on the menu and returning customers are received like long lost cousins. It helps that the food is exceptional, there are plenty of Cajun places in Los Angeles but at this quality level it's easy to understand why Uncle Darrow's is packed with black, brown, beige and white peeps on the weekends.

- Po'boys are the bedrock meal at Uncle Darrow's. Crispy fried seafood with soft roll for textural contrast. My favourites are the delicious oyster loaf, of course (Fri-Sun) followed by the catfish. Shrimp is OK but a little plainer, while the zeek po'boy containing catfish, shrimp and potato salad could use a little greens.

- Jambalaya and its cousin bean-balaya are tremendous, the red beans don't detract from the latter dish and I think even increase its tastiness.

- Crawfish etouffee was liked by my part-Cajun friend Alison, though the differences between Uncle Darrow's and her grandmothers became the subject of some dispute with the owner Richard. I thought it was great.

- Gumbo is consistently fine, its the file kind not okra. Alison and her husband Charlie thoroughly approved of this and their standards are very high based on past Louisiana sojourns. I prefer Stevie's and the Gumbo Pot but it's pretty much down to personal preference.

- Cajun pups are the classical hush puppies for unhealthy fried goodness.

Give Uncle Darrow's a try, the hearty welcome and fine fare make it one of my favourite restaurants for taking out-of-towners.


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