Creole meets California: Summer vegetable salad with an Abita back.
Lara Hata
Creole meets California: Summer vegetable salad with an Abita back.

That brings us back to the beginning, to an arugula and celery-leaf salad surrounded by cornmeal-dusted fried oysters ($11), the shock of the bitter greens mollified by each rich, custardy bivalve. To hush puppies ($5), their centers barely more solid than sponge cake and sweetened with fresh kernels. And finally, to the boudin balls ($5), the fried chunks of ground pork and rice loose but not mushy and seasoned so densely with aromatics and herbs that the flavor had all the force of Thai green curry or Oaxacan mole negro. That first bite, swabbed through a Creole mustard sauce, put a hundred culinary clichés to rest. At last.

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