Not heading to New Orleans or Rio to celebrate Mardi Gras and Carnival (or Carnaval or Carnivale, depending on your preference)? No problem. There are plenty of places right here in Los Angeles where you can celebrate the festive season on Fat Tuesday, February 17. (Yes, it’s OK to party on a Tuesday.) Whether you’re religious, hedonistic or a little of both, this is the time to get your grub on, shake it up and let the good times roll!
Original Farmers Market – www.farmersmarketla.com
This outdoor market is hosting its 26th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration on Saturday (Valentine’s Day), Sunday (Feb 15) and Tuesday, February 17. Sunday at noon will be the annual “Mutti Gras Pet Parade” and on Fat Tuesday itself you can expect plenty of live New Orleans and Zydeco music, bead-throwing, strolling parade bands, arts and crafts, face painting for kids, authentic Cajun food, beer and a whole lot more.
Brazilian Carnaval – www.braziliannites.com
There’s more than one way to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year because it just so happens to be on the same day as the 15th annual Brazilian Carnaval of Love at the Conga Room. Going on from 8pm to 2am, the non-stop event is a colorful and vibrant spectacle of music, dance, food and drink you won’t soon forget!
Preux & Proper – www.preuxandproper.com
This new DTLA spot is all about SoCal farm-to-table freshness paired with the robust flavors of New Orleans and on Mardi Gras they’re getting the party started at 4pm with shuffle board and drinks (including their frozen daiquiri bar and a special King’s Cake cocktail!) plus NOLA-inspired dishes like crispy frog legs, oyster and lobster po’ boys and even a deconstructed Muffaletta board. It’s LA meets LA!
Amoeba Music – www.amoeba.com
This Sunset Strip music megastore’s party starts at 3pm on Fat Tuesday with a DJ spinning Mardi Gras tunes, beads galore, live music performances, goodies for the kiddies and a parade at 4:30pm where everyone’s encouraged to bring an instrument and play “When The Saints Go Marching In.” There’s no cover charge and all are welcome.
Dominick’s & Little Dom’s – www.littledoms.com
Whether you’re on the Westside or Eastside, Dominick’s and Little Dom’s will be giving you a taste of N’awlins cooking with a special Cajun-inspired dinner menu on Fat Tuesday. New Orleans born Chef Brandon Boudet is whipping up everything from gumbo, jambalaya and crayfish pie to muffaletta sandwiches, beignets and mini king cakes with most items only $5.
Uncle Darrow’s – www.uncledarrows.com
There’s always Big Easy fun at LA’s own Uncle Darrow’s where you can get all the flavors of the Bayou … without the beef or pork. (Yes, it’s true!) The ultra-casual, family-owned restaurant in Marina del Rey is your one-stop spot for Southern delicacies such as gumbo, fried catfish, jambalaya, red beans and po’ boy sandwiches any day of the year but on Saturday, February 21, make sure to stop by for Uncle Darrow’s 16th Annual “Mardi Gras West” Fat Saturday celebration (1pm to 5pm) with free live music by T-Lou and Super Hot Zydeco Band, a crawfish boil, face painting for kids and dancing!
Long Beach Carnevale – www.longbeachcarnevale.com
Rain or shine, Carnevale is taking place in Long Beach on Saturday, February 28 with a daylong festival that promises to bring pageantry, music and fun with elaborate masks and face painting available plus food and drinks. The festivities take place from 11am to 10pm on the courtyard near the Aquarium of the Pacific. Free admission.
Mohawk Bend – www.mohawk.la
Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s not decadent. This year for Fat Tuesday, eco-chef and “Afro Vegan” author Bryant Terry, takes over the Mohawk Bend kitchen for an evening of plant-based revelry. The party begins at 6:30pm. Laissez les bons temps rouler! Tickets are $40. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org