What's So Great About Little Jewel?

I just don’t get it. Place gets a lot of love from city employees but I think that’s only an accident of geography and novelty. I’ve now been three times and each experience has been similar - everything is flawed, pretty expensive and utterly forgettable. I’ve never been to New Orleans so my opinions have no basis in regards to authenticity.

First trip out had the mufalletta. The jardiniere was nothing to write home about. Also the much-touted-flown-in-from-the-crescent-city bread was too heavy. Might have been 50% better if they let it sit for an hour or two, but freshly made it was a gummy mess of middling deli meats and dense bread. If the jardiniere gave it a pop it might have made a difference but no dice. And expensive.

Trip two I got the crawfish mac n cheese or etoufee or whatever. It was a good value for price and they didn’t skimp on crawfish but the flavors were so one-note I was bored after three bites.

Didn’t feel like I could properly evaluate the place until I had the shrimp and oyster po boy. At around $18 it should really knock my socks off. Well the bread again was too dense and generally unpleasant. The spice mix tasted like some cheap knockoff of old bay - like some Prudhomme mix out of a can. Or maybe it was just supposed to taste that way cause that’s how the do it Nawlins? The fry on the seafood was again soft and gummy (this may be a theme/goal here) and the sauce didn’t tie it together.

So what’s the deal? Did I order the wrong thing? What am I missing?

I’m a fan but haven’t been blown away.

The seasoning in the breading for the shrimp and oyster is indeed out of a jar. I’m trying to remember what it’s called but yeah, it’s a NO staple. I don’t mind it but just wish it wasn’t so flavor-forward, as it tends to overshadow the taste of oysters or whatever it’s used on.

As for the muffaletta, I found it heavy and really, really salty.

That being said, I’ve never been blown away by the bread used on sandwiches in New Orleans. It seems more like a platform for the other ingredients than anything else.


I agreed about the QPR but thought the po-boys were tasty myself. It is such that I’ve only been to LJ twice since opening.

The sandwiches are $$$ but they’re HUGE. I’m not what you’d call a light eater and have trouble getting through one of their po’boys.

Their tasso. It’s amazing and a staple in our kitchen.

Other than that, we prefer to Po’Boys at Orleans and York. But we really enjoy their Gumbo special and their catfish plate. The catfish Po’Boy doesn’t highlight the delicate domestic caught catfish and it comes with their excellent hushpuppies.


man that catfish plate looks twice as big as the one I got when I went!!

This picture was from two Friday’s ago, so maybe they are upping the portions now. But both the catfish plate and the Gumbo Rice (which has always been at the portion it is) are a good dinner size on their own.


Dommy - I agree about the tasso. We’ve also been stuffing peppers with the boudin with great success too. Even tried a few of the crawfish boudin which worked well.

Personally, i feel the bread is spot on for the po boys from what im used to in Nola.

Although relatively expensive, the camellia brand red beans are an essential part of the dish for me and they have them and other good ingredients.

last but not least – I appreciate chef marcus’ passion.

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Yep. That is also why I never compare them price wise, I know Chef Marcus’ sources a lot better than Orleans and York.


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And what up the fucking incomparable whisky bread pudding ???

Some of the best soft shells early in the fucking season were doled out here.

And that’s no fucking joke.

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Tough crowd.

I think this place is indeed a jewel. The bread is a knockout and makes for the best po boy I’ve had outside of Nola. (Admittedly, I’ve yet to try O&Y). I’ve also really enjoyed some of their specials. Their muff is better than most, although worth skipping for the other sandwiches.

If they served beer, I’d be there for a shrimp po boy on a weekly basis.

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So what I’m getting here is maybe I’m not properly utilizing the place as a deli. It’s local to me and lord knows I want to like it, so when the mood strikes to make jamabalaya I’ll pick up my tasso here. And maybe try some catfish boudin.

Nobody’s gonna convince me its worth burning the last of our precioso fossil fuels to fly out that shite bread though.

Irish channel beef poboy


…go to sleep.

Tried a po’boy (BBQ shrimp) there for the first time yesterday. Tasty, but I gotta say, I’m not getting flying the bread over. There’s nothing about that bread that couldn’t be duplicated in Los Angeles (unlike, say, San Francisco sourdough, or (apparently) NY bagels (with the demise, or temporary coma for Brooklyn Bagel) and NY pizza crust…) if someone tinkered a little.
Since I no longer partake of the pork, couldn’t say whether the same is true of their muffaletta bread…

In my experience, that bread hasn’t been duplicated in LA or at any Louisiana cuisine restaurant outside of Louisiana. That’s why they get it from NOLA. (O & Y bread isn’t close to Leidenheimer’s.) The only place outside of NOLA that had real NOLA style bread in my experience was the LV Commander’s Palace. The baguettes at Bristol Farms years ago were probably the closest local facsimile - super crunchy, flaky crust, and light and airy inside.

Personally, I liked the seasoning and breading of the shrimp at O & Y, but the quality of the shrimp was better at Little Jewel. Still, I hate that Little Jewel uses shredded cabbage.

I also think the Andouille they make is great. I haven’t tried the Tasso or Boudin.

their whisky bread pudding is the best I have ever had in LA and can still go head to head with the dessert in La. too.

and that’s no fucking joke.

Just had Post&Beam’s sweet potato pie on Friday; THAT may rival desert in New Orleans…

Really? l’m always on the lookout for great sweet potato pie. With hand-whipped cream?

Hit up Little Jewel for the first time yesterday. Easy street parking in front before noon. Friendly server at both registers. Oered a fried shrimp po’ boy, dressed, light mayo. Very good sandwich. Loaded with shrimp, to the point they kept falling out and I had to replace them. Big sandwich; only finished half for lunch and had the other for dinner.

Gotta say, however, I prefer the one at Orleans & York (on Florence east of La Brea). Two reasons: first, I prefer their big batter-fried shrimp to LJ’s crescent-shaped cornmeal crusted ones. Second, while LJ provides a selection of hot sauces in bottles placed on their various tables, the house “crack” hot sauce at O&Y is unique and to my taste better accents the sandwich. And while both are relatively expensive for a lunch sandwich (while easily stretched to another snack or meal) O&Y’s is a couple bucks less.

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Yeah, got to say I like both but I lean more towards O&Y. Luckily I’m closer to the one on Florence. I like the oyster poboy and their soups.