Best Po'boy, August 2009
At $17, the po’boy at South L.A.’s Harold & Belle’s is not for the po’. That is one premium sandwich—pricier even than the exquisite oyster loaf at the Hungry Cat—and yet it is the only po’boy in Los Angeles that tastes properly New Orleanian. The bread is chewy, the shrimp pounded and dredged, the dance of brine and butter as joyous as Jazz Fest.
Best Jambalaya, April 2007
If you find it hard to imagine that an ivy-covered former pool hall in Jefferson Park doubles as a portal to New Orleans, you haven’t sampled the jambalaya at Harold & Belle’s. Chef-owner Harold Legaux employs steaming (not sticky) long-grain rice, chicken and shrimp sautéed with onions and bell peppers, and smoked all-beef sausage from Pete’s Louisiana Hot Sausage just down the road. Jambalaya should be subtly spicy, not soupy or dry. Legaux knows how to elevate the flavors from a rich tomato base into a zydeco of a treat that’s piquant only on the finish. With the texture of paella, it’s Africa, France, and the Caribbean wrapped in one, just like the Big Easy.