The Little Easy
Happy Hour: $
The Little Easy Bar.
215 W 5th St.
Hours: M-F 4:00 - 8:00 P.M.
All day on Tuesdays.
In the Historic Core of DTLA, there are ancient hotels with so many stories to tell. The Millenium Biltmore, The El Dorado, The Cecil, and The Alexandria. All within a block or two distance from each other, it’s hard to wonder what happened to these old ruins? Well, they haven’t all been left behind or forgotten, some have taken a big role in the rebirth of DTLA. For example, The Alexandria, home to a number of businesses like The Little Easy.
The New Orleans themed bar is nestled along Fifth Street between Spring and Broadway, an area is centric to a lot that’s happening in DTLA. The Little Easy is one of those places where we always love to take people. And whenever out-of-towners ask us for a suggestion, we always send them to this hidden gem in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.
Look for its signature bright purple neon "Cajun" sign, come on in and step into New Orleans without leaving DTLA.
Having opened in January 2015, it is still relatively new and a preferred spot for locals to hang out. The owner is Los Angeles Bar Queen and former LA Derby Doll, Vee Delgadillo. Vee has three other bars in the downtown scene: Down N Out, Bar Mattachine, and her latest venture; Adelita’s. The Little Easy is her New Orleans jewel.
Inspired by the scene in New Orleans, The Little Easy is anything but little. When you first walk in, you may think it is small and just one bar—with the bathroom and kitchen area just past the back corridor. However, this is all a trick of the eye! This first bar you see is actually just kind of a lobby area. It’s adorned with drapes, portraits of French court people, a fireplace, a vintage piano, and a chandelier. There is plenty of seating along the bar or on two vintage seating pieces of furniture near the bathrooms.
You are most certainly welcome to enjoy Happy Hour here- the bar is full service. However, we recommend that you keep going past the bathrooms to the best part of this establishment: the courtyard. Yes, you'll pass the kitchen, yes you'll be confused as to whether or not you went down the wrong corridor, but trust us this is the best-kept secret of The Little Easy...
This is one of the main reasons we love bringing newcomers/visitors to DTLA here. We rave on and on about it so when they walk into the lobby they are impressed but underwhelmed. Then, when we urge them to follow us to what seems to be the kitchen, we guide them into the bustling courtyard. Dead smack in the middle of it is a gorgeous fountain, this is where the action happens.
Additionally and most impressively, Vee even put in a mini stage for live entertainment! The courtyard offers both table seating and a lounge-like area, it allows you to be away from the action, should you choose to. The space is big enough to accommodate bands, burlesque, and heavy crowds on any weekday make it easy to forget you are even in DTLA.
You’re even more transported outside of the city thanks to bad cell reception. Being off the grid kind of forces you to have a great time with the people in front of you. However, if that still really doesn’t sound appealing to you, they do have great wifi available.
Grab a bar top table, a cozy date table, a seat at the bar, or lounge it out in the back on any of the vintage couches. Everywhere but the bar offers the amazing attention of the waiter in charge, but you can eat at the bar if that's your jam! There's so much space back here, it's easy to get comfortable and feel right at home.
The atmosphere Vee and her staff have provided at The Little Easy is everything. Everyone has that southern friendly smile you want and the decorations really put people in a party mood. There are umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, as well as your traditional Mardi Gras beads and bras hanging from the top. It's difficult not to be happy here, though it might get a little loud in the back, for those who prefer close encounters and quiet conversations you can go to the front.
The Happy Hour at the Little Easy is quite lively. It goes on Monday-Friday from 4:00-8:00 P.M. Come on a Tuesday when you can get those discounted prices all day. Plus, you might catch the rotating entertainment, a live New Orleans Jazz band. Stay a little later on Wednesdays and catch the burlesque show! If you're a large group, they will accommodate you the best they can, but we advise to come early so you can get preferred seating, there isn't really a waiting area in the back and a big group may feel a bit in the way of staff, patrons, or the entertainment.
The Little Easy's Happy Hour is a good time all around, all the visitors HHC has gladly brought over here have always proclaimed their good time. Everyone who attends that is a nearby local is friendly and if you're sitting close enough to someone you're bound to make friends. It's a place to let loose, tune out, and enjoy yourself. That being said, we certainly had a great time trying just about everything on their Happy Hour menu.
The drinks on the Happy Hour allows you to sample one of each of what The Little Easy has, which is- craft cocktails, beers, and wine. Your basic bar necessities. The cocktail they put on the spotlight is the perfect drink to keep you at The Little Easy well after Happy Hour.
Our one and only regret is that they don’t have one more. Their regular cocktails run you about $10-$14, so at $6 for The Hurricane is a great deal. However we believe Happy Hour should have options, but you’re not choosing wrong with the Hurricane. The house wines for $5, also an incredible deal, are more than a generous pour. The beer they offer may be light but it comes in a very tall glass, and for $4 you could literally have 4 and spend under $25. (We're assuming you're all fair tippers.)
Despite the fact that The Little Easy offers a lunch buffet, appetizers, dinner, brunch, and dessert- their Happy Hour is only a small sample of it. The only difference is that the Happy Hour menu includes two food items that are not on the regular menu; the tacos.
If you want to order something else but keep it at the low prices of the Happy Hour menu, we suggest checking their "Sides" options. The rice and beans combo is to die for and the Cajun waffle fries are a fan favorite, both of them are just $6.
We ordered almost everything on the food menu and everything on the drink menu, and we got happily lost in Cajun heaven for a while.
Mariana ordered the Hurricane
The one and only cocktail on the Happy Hour menu is the Hurricane, which is a very well known drink in New Orleans and The Little Easy does it right.
This doubled rum drink is dangerous, even though you know what you’re drinking- you won't realize how strong it is until later and by then it will be too late. This is the case almost every time that Mariana drinks this delicious citrus cocktail.
They are the right level of sweet, making them very easy to drink, but they don’t overpower the alcohol. You can taste the kick of both rums, so you do taste the strength, they’re just so good they’re hard to put down.
For the price of $6, if you didn't come to The Little Easy to grub, you can walk away buzzing with three of these, while still keeping it under $25.
Xena ordered the House Chardonnay
Xena is our in-house wine expert, and right away she was able to detect from the scent, that this was a typical California Chardonnay.
A very young one at that, her guess was 2015, and bartender Lauren, who was there while we visited told us it was 2016.
Given that this is a younger wine, Xena wasn't a fan, the scent was hard to appreciate and we had to let it acclimate to room temperature to really taste the sweetness of it.
They do have the Sauvignon Blanc on the regular menu, so if you're a white wine drinker only, you're probably out of options for Happy Hour.
Xena also ordered the Kronenburg
This French Pale Ale comes in a tall glass, for $4 this beer is perfect to pair with any of the Happy Hour food menu items.
Xena loved the crispiness of it, yet how unbloated it made her feel. This is a beer you can have over and over again without feeling like you will explode.
It is comparable to a Peroni, an Italian beer she also enjoys.
It's got a low alcohol content but you can order 4 of these and you'll only spend $20 (including tip.)
It's cold, it's refreshing, it's a great choice for our beer fans. That being said, it is the only one offered on the Happy Hour Menu.
The HHC team shared:
The main star of the Happy Hour Menu are the Voodoo Wings. Mariana has come during regular hours and is willing to pay regular prices for these delicacies.
That being said, on the regular menu you get 6, but for Happy Hour you get 5. They are seasoned with their very own dry rub, and they are quite perfect.
They’re savory, filled with that authentic Cajun flavor- not too spicy. The fact that there is no sauce involved means you don't need a wet wipe for your hands and face afterwards. This is a huge plus since there is little mess to be made. Yet, don't fear, the dry rub will get all over you but it is finger licking good.
Xena compared them to the texture and flavor of a Chicharron, for those who understand the relation. It was her first time trying them and she couldn't get enough, definitely worth the hype.
The HHC team was very impressed with the Chicken tacos! For $6 you get two of these, or you can mix and match between Chicken, Shrimp, or Catfish!
The Chicken tacos were delicious, not soggy at all. Clearly made with both dark and white meat, the meat is juicy and accompanied well with its condiments.
The chicken tacos are served with simply shredded lettuce and tomato but what really makes them great is the aioli. They come with a small side of salsa, which was the best surprise of the night. The salsa was refreshing and ignited our palets for more.
Our only wish is that they served the aioli on the side so you can really give the salsa a try. A simple request should anyone else want to try it.
The mini shrimp used in the shrimp tacos were cooked to perfection. It had that right pop that a well-cooked shrimp that isn't burnt should have.
It has the same condiments as the chicken taco, which is a genius money and time-saving move for the kitchen staff. We were surprised to learn, it works well for both tacos.
The aioli shrimp combo made this Mariana's favorite. Although we don't recommend the salsa aioli mixture here, the two flavors battling it out on the taco overpower the rest of the ingredients.
The traditional deep friend, cornmeal balls, have a special touch to them. The kitchen makes them with their own recipe that includes actual bits of corn in them.
For Happy Hour you get 5 of these puppies for $4.
We do advise that if you're not having them as an appetizer that you perhaps order them at the end, they are at their very best when they are hot. That being said, try both dipping sauces and see what tickles your fancy.
Mariana was a big fan of the honey! Xena tried them with ranch and loved it, she even tried a little ketchup and it was good.
The Overall Experience
We have reviewed The Little Easy twice, we have individually visited several times, and each experience has been a memorable good time. That's our favorite thing about this DTLA gem, you feel like part of the family right away. The hidden courtyard will wow guests every time, guaranteed. And when the party is on with DJs, live bands, or the burlesque girls- this place can get the right kind of rowdy.
Leave your troubles at the door and come with an empty stomach because everyone was eating when we visited and the aroma of the Cajun ensemble of delicacies will demand you try the menu. Bring family, friends, or even coworkers to let loose and have a taste of what NOLA is all about.
We'd like to thank Vee for allowing us to revisit for Happy Hour, Kyle for always tending to us very well, and Lauren for being a kick-ass bartender during our visit. It got really busy on a Monday night and she handled the entire courtyard like a boss.
Overall Score: 4.2/5
Happy Hour Score: 4.1/5
We hope that, should anyone be from Louisiana and reading this, that you pop into The Little Easy and feel you are in New Orleans. Thanks for reading and as always...