Ever since New Orleans found the wormhole in the depths of its grandmother's armoire, it's been hopping by Orange County in hopes of turning it Cajun. Take a bite out of its base camp with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Cajun cuisine at JackShrimp in Newport Beach.
Cracking with a menu full of southern comfort, JackShrimp offers spice seekers and their mild-tongued brethren authentic Louisiana-style dishes. Teleport into a world of Cajun flavor with the Bourbon Street Boil, a half pound of saucy shell-on shrimp ($14), or the house specialty Jammin jambalaya loaded with andouille sausage, chicken, onions, and green peppers ($13 for lunch; $17 for dinner).
For a meaty meal of meat, try the blackened prime rib, hand-carved Cajun-style with sautéed spinach, roma tomatoes, and avocado ($22; $26 with shrimp). To dial back the heat on your eats, opt for a Sweet Thing—gulf shrimp and boneless chicken breast in a basil-garlic white-wine sauce ($13 for lunch; $17 for a full order)—or the hormone-free barbecue pulled-pork sandwich ($10) and a side of red beans and rice ($3). A gluten-free menu is available on request, and crawfish make menu appearances at times deemed fitting by the tyrannical Mother Nature.
JackShrimp's West Coast Highway locale is convenient for beach-goings and beach-comings, ocean-side afternoons, and weekend wining and dining with a glass of sangria ($5) or wine ($6–$11). Drop in to the crawfish-red building for a bayou vacation without the inconvenience and hassle of a 2,000-mile round trip atop an American alligator.
JACKshrimp transports Louisiana's distinctive spices and love of seafood to an upscale restaurant perched along the West Coast Highway. For more than 20 years, chefs have been blending crawfish and andouille sausage with al dente pasta or fresh greens. Black-iron grilled cheeseburgers also share menu space with healthy choices and non-spicy dishes that are perfect for the sensitive noses of pet bloodhounds. Along with colorful frescoes inspired by New Orleans, the restaurant boasts a weekend wine bar and an upper outdoor deck for private parties.