Soul food is exactly what the name suggests: food that feeds your soul and is cooked from a place of love. If you are no stranger to soul food and have grown up in a home where Sunday dinners were a family tradition, you can recognize delicious soul cooking just from the smell in the air.
Upon walking into the quaint New Orleans Cajun Cafe on the corner of Pier and Manhattan in Hermosa Beach, California, you will immediately be captivated by the aromas filling the dining area.
With the kitchen in full view, presenting itself as the beating heart of the cafe, you find yourself relaxed by a familiar, at-home feeling. After being seated (and taking in the sounds and themes of a simulated Mardi Gras), you can’t help but notice the chef, opening pots and stirring sauces and seasoning her creations to perfection. Never forgetting to greet her customers and sharing occasional laughs with regulars, she makes you feel like you are right back in your own family kitchen again.
New Orleans Cajun Cafe’s menu offers all the traditional soul food favorites: mac n’ cheese, collard greens, baby back ribs and fried chicken. With the cafe’s roots seeded in the spicy bayous of Louisiana, there are also options indigenous to that culturally rich region, including jambalaya, sweet homemade beignets, and gator nuggets (yes, alligator nuggets) that are a recommended experience for daring foodies.
All mouth-watering menu items are served up in generous portions that can easily be shared with your dining partner or saved for a midnight snack. The hearty servings come at a moderate price, leaving your stomach and wallet full.
As for ambiance, the restaurant is versatile and can serve as the backdrop for a romantic dinner for two or large family get-together. And before you leave, you might just get a hug from the chef or waiters.
New Orleans Cafe is truly an overlooked gem of the of the West Coast, rivaling some of the top soul restaurants in the area in taste and overall experience. While it’s unexpected to find such an authentic, down-to-earth soul food restaurant in the swanky city of Hermosa Beach, it really adds a special something to the area!