I have to admit, I'm wholly embarrassed that I waited over a year and a half since its opening to make Downtown LA's Preux & Proper one of my absolutely favorite culinary destinations. Nestled in a beautiful flat iron-shaped building on a triangular island between Spring and Main, the New Orleans-style restaurant owned by Louisiana native Joshua Kopel boasts two levels -- Preux, the downstairs barroom (complete with an incredible frozen daiquiri bar where I could drink the Priyonce, with gin lavender, and blueberry lemonade, all day!), and Proper, the elegant upstairs dining room. With its menu full of "eats to satisfy your soul" crafted by chef Samuel Monsour (a North Carolina native and graduate of the CIA, known for his Chuck Taylor Fried Chicken All-Stars and $300+ a plate pop-up Antebellum Voodoo Noir events) Proper offers a modern, creative take on classic New Orleanian dishes. Hushpuppies are packed with Dungeness crab and are served swimming in bourbon barrel aged hot sauce with a more than generous heaping of poblano butter. Smoked Beef Heart is shaved wafer thin, and comes on toast topped with Rancho Gordo Rojo Beans with lemon, celery, and onion. The smoked arctic char rillettes are served atop an insanely delicious hoecake, paired with trout caviar, meyer lemon cream, and chives. My boyfriend and I left the restaurant already planning what we'd order during our next visit (Fried Mississippi Catfish, Hudson Valley Foie Gras Torchon, Baked Macaroni with Crawfish Étouffee, and Fully Dressed Po'Boy Burger of grass fed beef and fried Willapa Bay oysters topping our list!). Having never yet made it to The Big Easy in person, it's nice to know that with a quick jaunt downtown, Preux & Proper can keep me happily sated in the meantime!
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