I can never eat gumbo without thinking about Dad. How can I not? The mere mention of the word around my father conjures the Grand Master Professor from within him that will launch him into an entire semester’s worth of lectures on the history of gumbo. Can there actually be enough topical content on gumbo to fill an entire syllabus? My Dad can come up with a semester’s worth of lectures on anything. Gumbo is…
child’s TA’s play.
He will begin with his favorite phrase. “There is a common misconception,” he will say as he slowly leans back in his Captain’s chair, “that any thick, stew-like soup seasoned with cajun or creole spices is gumbo.” And yet again, we will be enlightened to the fact that the word “gumbo” translates to that vegetable which we call “okra,” thereby rendering said soup “gumbo” only when okra is present in full frontal floral cross-section. If there is no okra in the soup, then it isn’t gumbo. One more time? In order for it to be a true gumbo, it must have okra.
My Dad will be proud to know that this lesson played out in full Technicolored detail at The Gumbo Pot in the Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. We made one order of Gumbo Ya-Ya and one order of a gorgeous, bright Fried Chicken Salad, which is of course, the most brilliant disguise for junk food ever. It's a healthy salad...with fried chicken on it! The gumbo was real. It even came with a side of real cornbread (though okra has nothing to do with the authenticity of cornbread).
As for how good or bad the food was, I am embarrassed to admit that I can’t exactly recall any details about the taste other than it was good enough that I ate it. I was *ahem* toast. Who knew you could get so toasted at The Grove? In fact, I’m pretty surprised that the photos of the food are as decent as they are. Isn't that salad pretty? Or perhaps I didn’t take the photos. Good grief, I don’t remember.
However, I doubt that I would drive all the way over to the Farmers’ Market just for The Gumbo Pot, and given the variety of options in the Farmers Market, I doubt I would choose The Gumbo Pot over say, Loteria Grill.
Still, it was good enough to be called “gumbo.”
The Gumbo Pot
at the Farmers Market
6333 W 3rd Street (@Fairfax) #312
Los Angeles, CA 90036
** a year ago today, tres leches cupcakes and i had to accept big bones **