On Saturday I made a late lunch stop at the spanking new LA Bar, the latest concept from the folks behind Ragin’ Cajun.
In fact, it’s right next door to the original location.
Ragin’ Cajun was hopping. There was a line at the counter and the patio picnic tables were filled with patrons enjoying plates of crawfish.
Inside LA Bar, I was the only customer (at least for the first 45 minutes).
The attractive restaurant has a long, inviting bar, large comfy booths, a relaxing earthy palette and linen tablecloths. In spite of the many televisions and ubiquitous beer sign neon (at least its up high), it instantly sets the tone for a more upscale dining experience.
As for the menu, while the new restaurant is more elegant than its counter-service cousins, it doesn’t stray far from its Cajun/creole roots.
In fact, much of the menu is the same. The differences: Grilled dishes get fancier sauces and sides. There’s the addition of some high-end appetizers such as barbecue shrimp and char grilled oysters. Don’t worry, however, crowd favorites such as po’boys and gumbo are available, you’ll just pay a bit more. Take the hot boudin link. It’s $5.49 at the Ragin’ Cajun vs. $6 for the LA Bar.
When it came time to order, I went straight for one my favorite dishes: the char grilled oysters.
The kitchen didn’t disappoint. Some grill guys/gals will pull the oysters off the grill much too quickly for my taste. Whomever was in charge on Saturday wasn’t afraid to let the bivalves’ shells really blacken up. The juices were still bubbling when the oysters arrived at my seat.
The Texas Gulf oysters were medium sized and delicious. My only quibbles with my lunch was the oysters were a little pricy at $18 for a dozen and I should not have had to ask for bread. (Every grilled oyster-eater knows that sopping up the mixture of oyster juice, butter and parmesan is one of the best part’s of the meal.)
LA Bar: 4302 Richmond Ave.,