Friday, August 1, 2014

Getting the Wheels On Straight

The Ragin' Cajun wheels are a little wobbly a full week after opening.  We know better than to try a restaurant the night of the grand opening.  Smarter people wangle invitations to pre-openings, but we don't know any chefs/owners.

We also went to show loyalty to the Hyperion Outfall Serenaders, a legendary local New Orleans jazz band.  So we do know people of renown in case you were clucking sympathetically with our woeful lack of fat Rolledexes.  

   When I was told "45 minutes" at the front; I said, "Next time!" and didi-ed outta there.  Himself was disappointed but he didn't forget and yesterday afternoon, he said, "Let's go back."  We did and were promptly seated on the spacious patio. 

The only things on the table were five bottles of Ragin Cajun-labeled hot sauces - Garlic; Raspberry Chipotle; Chipotle; Hot Sauce and Pepper sauce.  Cajun Ketchup was served with a dish and it would put an alert expression on your face. 

We ordered a Cajun martini for me and a Stella for him.  Waiter asked me what was in a Cajun martini?  "Aw, it's just a regular GIN martini with a splash of pickled jalapeno juice."  He nodded and took off. 

Three minutes later, he was back.  "I'm sorry, sir, but the Stella tap keg just ran out."  Richie ordered a Parrain Pilsner and the waiter went to get it.  When he came back, he turned to me and said, "I'm sorry, ma'am, but we don't have any pickled jalapeno juice." 

During one of his absences Richie pointed out Sazarac on the Real Drinks Menu.  I love these!  I once got knee-walking drunk on just three of them at the oyster bar across from the French Market.  I haven't had one since before Katrina (which, thinking about it, is perhaps just as well.)  Naturally I purred as it arrived, but I nursed it all through the meal.  Once burned...

We ordered crawfish popcorn (called "Crawfish on the menu" and they were sensational!  Just the right amount of warm, extremely crispy and very good.  They came in a little salsa-type container of the ketchup.  But I wanted to taste the garlic and the raspberry chipotle sauces with them.  No small serving plates so I improvised tasting plates by using the lid of the ketchup container and the empty butter box for the other.  

(I told our waiter then and the owner on the way out, that if they set out small plates with the appetizers, then people could try all of the sauces and more effectively market their products.) 

Our crab cakes with crawfish sauce arrived and we had to ask for silverware as did our neighbors.  Unfortunately the cakes were soggy; too much filler and covered with lashings of brown gravy with a forlorn crawfish and a pile of chopped green onion tops.  The texture was as they say "off." 

But we'll go back.  I'd go just for the crawfish popcorn!

Dinner and a drink each:  $80.74 plus a $15 dollar tip.  For better service, we'd have paid the full 20 per cent. 

Ragin' Cajun Café, 525 S PCH, Redondo Beach

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