2920 Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Harold & Belle's is basically the bomb old school New Orleans joint of Los Angeles.
I grew up down the street from this restaruarnt and I remember when they first opened. They are just off of 10th Avenue on Jefferson. Let me give you a little history. Up until the mid 80s, this part of Jefferson Boulevard still had trolley tracks in the street. They never came over to this part of town to dig them up and fix the street. And just past 10th Avenue was the end of the trolley line headed West. So the trolley would turn around making a left turn just past 10th Ave. The RTD inherited this property and buses still stop at 10th. Right next door to that is Johnson's Barber Shop, but more about that another time.
Harold & Belle got one or two hype reviews in the LATimes in the late 80s and then they exploded. The restaurant itself is very simple, the food is perfect. I'm telling you this so you know, my family on my mothers side is French & Indian Creole from a certain part of New Orleans where that makes all the difference. It still does if you appreciate original New Orleans jazz and Creole cooking. And of course if you ever had (no you didn't, sorry) my Anna Maux's gumbo, you'd know what I know about real good eats. Where dem folks be making groceries. I know of what I speak. Harold and Belle's excels by those standards. And now that many great chefs have been displaced by Katrina, you ain't gonna get this stuff just anywhere.
They used to have a live Jazz band come in on Friday's for happy hour and you could get a bucket of crawdads and sit five feet from them having a good old time. The oysters were the freshest and you could practically taste the bayou in them. It's been a while since I've been around old Harold and Belle's but I know it's still a very popular joint.
In fact, the last time I went to my barber, Nicky he told me our old pal Zeus got his car stolen there, not long ago. That's kind of funny considering Zeus, you know the big wrestler, Tiny Lister? That Zeus. Yeah the neighborhood's crusty but unless you're driving a big fancy Hollywood kind of car, you don't have anything to worry about. They do have a private parking lot. I think Harold & Belle will always be there, but I'm going to get down there again before too much time passes. I can't remember the last time I had great jumbalaya.