“Our food is free. You just pay for the flavor.” - Norwood, Chef and Owner
Newcomers to Uncle Darrow’s usually pop in to try an authentic gumbo or find out what makes up a real Louisiana po’ boy. They don’t realize that a trip to Uncle Darrow’s actually means gaining an uncle. Norwood Clarke, chef and owner of the friendly Venice eatery, makes sure to greet every guest like family (Literally. He says, “Hey Family!”). With open arms, he offers samples of savory and spicy red beans and rice, creamy banana pudding, juicy collard greens, and magic sweet tea that’s somehow sugar- free. He helps newbies choose between the award-winning Zeek, a catfish, shrimp, potato salad po’boy, and gumbos bursting with Louisiana blue crabs. He asks questions. He gives hugs. He remembers the details. He might actually be better than an uncle. “We’re not really selling food here,” he says. “We’re selling a culture.”
The culture of New Orleans is warm and welcoming. And that’s where Norwood’s family found their recipes generations ago. Norwood slimmed them down for the LA crowd, exchanging the lard, pork or beef for homemade turkey and chicken sausage (“When in LA,” he says). He managed to keep the Creole flavor. And he somehow figured out how to transport beignets straight from the bayou. If you don’t exactly know what a bayou is (I didn’t), ask your new uncle.
Menu Highlights: Combo Supper: farm-fed catfish and shrimp seasoned with care. Served with rice, collard greens, and corn bread, $16.99 Filé Gumbo: A rich Creole concoction of fresh imported Louisiana blue crabs, shrimp, chicken and other delightful ingredients topped off with plenty of filé, $12.99 Fri -Sun only
Hours: Monday - Friday, 11 am - 9 pm Saturday - Sunday, 8 am - 9 pm