From LA to NOLA (Part 1): Southern Comfort

Where has the time gone? I’ve got a lot to recap, but that is my fault for not keeping up with writing about some of my adventures during the past few months. Time to play catch-up!

For Memorial Day Weekend last year, some of my friends and I decided to take a trip to Anchorage, Alaska. I actually wrote a five-part series about our trip which you can start reading here. This year, we decided to utilize Memorial Day Weekend again to plan another trip together. The destination? New Orleans, Louisiana.

Evelyn, Rona, Shelena, and I left LAX Friday morning and got to MSY (Louis Armstrong International Airport) around 3 PM due to the time difference. The flight wasn’t too long and it passed really quickly because Rona and I got in several heated trivia games with fellow passengers on the flight. I never got first place, but I got second quite a bit. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

NOLAPlaneWing

TriviaGame

From the airport, we took a taxi to our hotel for the weekend, the Hyatt Place New Orleans across from the convention center. The hotel itself was nice and our room was nicely decorated as well. After dropping off our luggage, we decided to venture into the local neighborhood to find a place to eat.

NOLAHotelSofa

NOLAHotelBeds

While walking down one of the streets, we ended up talking to a man who suggested that we try out this place called Peche, which specializes in seafood dishes. We all actually had a reservation for dinner only two hours later, so we pretty much just stuck with appetizers. I ordered the shrimp toast, which I had never heard of before but is apparently a Chinese dim sum dish (per Wikipedia), and it was really good. I actually wish we had more time to eat at Peche, but we had to rush back to our hotel and get changed into some spiffy attire so we could make our reservation on time.

NOLAStreet

Peche

ShrimpToast

Why so spiffy? We had a reservation for Commander’s Palace, which was TripAdvisor’s #17 best fine dining restaurant in the United States of 2014 (and New Orleans’ highest placed restaurant on the list). Of course, we had to look classy. Seriously though. Men are required to wear jackets. That’s a level of classy that would not be seen for the rest of the weekend.

CommandersPalace

I ordered the pecan crusted gulf fish and it was amazing. Well, at $36, it had better be! The menu on Yelp lists it as “a Commander’s Palace classic with crushed sweet corn, spiced pecans, petite herbs, and Prosecco poached Louisiana blue crab” and I practically devoured that plate. We each bought a dessert to share as well and ended up with a crème brûlée, bread pudding soufflé, bananas foster flambé, and the dessert du jour (which I can not remember what it was at all). Again, all delicious and a perfect dinner to start our New Orleans adventure.

PecanCrustedGulfFish

CommandersPalaceDesserts

After a quick rest back at the hotel, we were once again ready to head out and explore some NOLA nightlife. Our taxi driver had recommended Frenchmen Street so we took an uber down to check it out. Definitely did not know what I was going to be getting into. I think the moment we stepped out of the car, the craziness had already begun. I can only describe it as a sensory explosion with a lot of things to smell, see, and hear that it was a little overwhelming at first. We stopped by Maison and 30-90 Degrees for some drinks and live jazz music, which was really cool to experience. It seemed like a lot of people were having a fun time.

FrenchmenStreet

Maison

3060Degrees

We walked down Frenchmen Street some more and Shelena and I ended up sharing some shrimp and grits bought from a street vender. AMAZING FOOD FOR THE INEBRIATED. It was delicious, but I kept burning myself since I couldn’t wait to eat more.

ShelenaGrits

ShrimpAndGrits

Afterwards, we wandered some more, stopping by The Spotted Cat and…honestly, at this point, I was getting very tired and sleepy and the rest of the night was more or less a blur.

TheSpottedCat

SpottedCatGroup

FrenchmenStreet2

I realize that we did a lot of eating on this first day, but it was worth it. More food and a trip through the French Quarter awaits in Part 2!

Check out other posts in the From LA to NOLA series:
From LA to NOLA (Part 1): Southern Comfort
From LA to NOLA (Part 2): Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler
From LA to NOLA (Part 3): Gators Gonna Gate
From LA to NOLA (Part 4): The Voodoo You Do

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