The last food we?d expect to crave in Chinatown is Cajun--it?s rare enough to find good New Orleans fare anywhere in town--but since we visited the Little Jewel of New Orleans, we can?t wait to go back for seconds.
This super-casual joint is a new hybrid lunch counter and food market that specializes in authentic Cajun fare. We went right for a shrimp po?boy ($14), served on fluffy white bread that?s slathered with rémoulade and hot sauce and then topped with lettuce, tomato and pickles. (Vegetarian sammies overflow with poutine-style French fries and gravy, $7.)
After eating, heed the siren call of the shelves of Southern groceries. Every food ever invented below the Mason-Dixon Line is there--from pickled okra (from $7 a jar) to Blue Plate mayo ($6) and Savoie?s roux ($5), the gumbo starter.
Our tip: Chat up chef-owner Marcus Christiana-Beniger, a former French Quarter cook. He steered us toward Crystal Hot Sauce ($3), which we?ve used to spice up our vegetable soups and ham sandwiches ever since our visit. Hot stuff, indeed.
The Little Jewel of New Orleans, 207 Ord St.; 213-620-0461 or littlejewel.la