on November 26, 2008
According to our waitress, the restaurant hadn't been that busy in "months" on the night of our visit. Despite the large crowds waiting at the door we got a table for two in about twenty minutes and were delighted to sit down and dive in to some delicious Southern LA cuisine!The restaurant is enormous with a fairly large dance floor in front of the live band-set up. There is a bar area that seats about 25 people just inside the entrance plus the gift item area, and more seating behind the bar. Tables are tight especially as people avoid the dance floor to get around when the music starts! Nightly music plays at 7 pm, at least on the weekends when we went, and provides a nice background setting. Don't expect to have an in-depth conversation however if you are sitting near the music as it blares out to serenade you.An older couple got up to dance to start the trend, and later I saw they were featured on the Web site - certainly regulars, as we guessed! A few children got out to bop around, some 40something tipsy ladies, and a handful of couples at random.Our waitress was slow in getting to our table, and apologized explaining how big the crowds were. We were ready to order - fairly hungry but not wanting to splurge, so we each got a cup of soup.gumbo.bisque and a house salad. The big meals looked great - but definitely high in calories! The corn and shrimp bisque, when it finally arrived, was scrumptious! I was hungry and it was a great option. The salads arrived next, a bit odd, but were a full house salad. My dining partner also got a twice baked potato, small but filling. We contemplated the highly touted bread pudding but decided to pass. Prices were reasonable, with our cup items being around $5 or $6 and the house salad slightly less. Entrees ranged up to $20 and sodas were pricey at $3 but came in an enormous glass (meaning an unhealthy amount).At neighboring tables we saw plates full with jumbalaya, rice, potatoes - and I would be glad to go back the next time in town! Advertised as the "original" Mulate's wasn't overly cheesy or touristy, though that is who filled the place. The staff were wearing LSU jerseys or the Mulate's shirt and were friendly, and the atmosphere was a good time feel. Visit them online at www.mulates.com - and if you go, look for the cute older dancing couple!
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