Call us crazy but my friend and I drove out from NoHo to WeHo on a sweltering lunch hour (more like hour and a forty-five) to run an errand at the Grove and ended up ordering piping hot gumbo from The Gumbo Pot at The Farmer's Market. As if our body temperatures hadn't already risen past 120, we just had to. There's an obvious lack of good Cajun/Creole restaurants in the East Valley, and we had already made the trip out there, so why not?
I wish I liked their Po'Boys more, because they would have been more hot-weather friendly, but I've tried them before and was not at all impressed as they're dry and bland. So I was left with no choice but to order something out of one of those hot crocks: the Gumbo Ya Ya took the cake in spite of the heat. There's other stuff on their menu--fried or blackened seafood, crabcakes, jambalaya, red beans and rice, salads--some that I've tried and have liked, some that I've tried and have disliked, and some that I just haven't tried at all. They're just not my favorite.
There's been some discussion on Chowhound lately as to the decline in their food's quality with a recent change in management, so I was a little wary after placing my order. And I had a lot of time to think about it, too, because my debit card had jammed their machine and the service was a bit slow. But when I finally got my food (I got it in a to-go bag by the way since I knew we wouldn't be able to finish the whole thing in the heat), I breathed a big sigh of relief *phew!* The gumbo was good as it's always been, thick and hearty, with good amounts of andouille sausage, chicken and shrimp, okra that's of the perfect bite, and just a nice scoop of rice at the bottom. The Ya Ya, as opposed to the "regular" gumbo is the spicier of the two, and though it did have a kick, I always thought that it could be just a teeny bit spicier. But oh well, this'll do just fine!
My side of vegetarian collard greens was out of this world. It's the first time I'd had them here since I usually get the green salad with pecans and definitely NEVER get the bland-as-hell creole mustard potato salad. The dark, leafy greens had the perfect amount of bitterness, sweetness and tartness to them. Perhaps it was the addition of tomatoes that made them so tasty; whatever it was, they were good and I could hardly believe that they were vegetarian, no ham hocks needed.
The corn muffin that came with the meal, however, was dry and crumbly. I just couldn't keep up with it, so I waited 'til I was almost done with the gumbo and used the corn muffin chunks to sop up the rest of the sauce! Keep in mind that this part of the meal was done back at the office in air conditioned comfort. My friend and I had taken a few bites of our gumbo back at The Farmer's Market and thought that we were gonna melt!
The Gumbo Pot at The Original Farmer's Market
6333 W. 3rd St. #312
Los Angeles, CA 90036