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Lucky Mojo

3/4 Cajun, Tex-Mex, bbq and sushi? Sounds like kitchen nightmare waiting to happen. The cuisine at Lucky Mojo is about as convoluted as the restaurant’s history. This cavernous bi-level, barn-like space is the current incarnation of the now-shuttered Upper West Side Jacques-Imo’s, which was an offshoot of a popular New Orleans restaurant.

Lucky mojo interior

I liked my meal on a visit to Louisiana some time ago, never heard anything good about the NYC version and was even more scared of this Long Island City mishmash. It’s not the kind of place you go out of your way for, but if the urge for sushi and etoufee strikes while you’re at the Water Taxi Beach, Lucky Mojo is your place.

Lucky mojo crawfish sushi

There’s a full on sushi bar upstairs, which churns out standard rolls in addition to specialties like this one using crawfish and Tabasco.

Lucky mojo shrimp & alligator cheesecake

I was not weirded out by the shrimp and alligator cheesecake because it’s a Jacques-Imo’s signature that I’ve had before. It only sounds creepy because they call it a cheesecake, which it is–oh, and because alligator meat doesn’t sit well with some. The alligator is in sausage form and with all of the cream and spices you would have no idea you were eating a water reptile unless someone told you. No, this is not healthy food but split among four it was reasonable.

Lucky mojo bbq shrimp

Bbq shrimp is another frighteningly rich New Orleans dish that has nothing to do with barbecue sauce or grilling. I’ve had a wonderful rendition of this buttery, Worcestershire and black pepper drenched treat, and this didn’t quite match. The rice was on the undercooked side, too. And they forgot my side of collard greens.

 Lucky mojo shrimp po boy

I did not taste this shrimp po boy.

Lucky mojo catfish sandwich

Nor the catfish sandwich.

Lucky mojo vegetarian tacos

Vegetarian taco. What more needs to be said?

As we finished our meal, my dining companions and I began discussing a movie we were about to watch, The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief, about gender reversal host bars where young Japanese women pay good money for the attention of hired men. The Japanese propensity for fantasy indulging and role-playing gave us a brilliant idea: Beta Kappa McPaddysteins.

This would be a faux frat house where Japanese girls would shell out big bucks for a simulated American-style date rape experience. Don’t worry, no sex would actually occur, this would be a professional establishment. First, our patrons would be serenaded by Dave Mathews and sloppily wooed by gentleman in cargo shorts, flip flops and baseball caps. Beer pong would be played and jello shots would be in abundance. Good clean fun, a little cosplay never hurt anyone.

Huh, and then our waiter broke up our genius business plan when he stopped by with a tray of shots. Did he overhear? Did he want in on the action? No way, mister, Beta Kappa McPaddysteins is all mine.

Read my less date rapey take on Lucky Mojo for

Lucky Mojo * Long Island City, NY

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  1. Nick #

    Beta Kappa McPaddysteins made me laugh more than any blog I’ve seen in a long time… And I have forwarded this along to share the joy. Will likely try Lucky Mojo this weekend and hope it’s not the train wreck it certainly seems like it ought to be!

    August 1, 2008
  2. PLG #


    I have been to said spot and I, myself, went armed with more than just a cell phone camera fitted with a fish-eye lense and and a scathing need to exit the establishment as fast as possible to view the latest japanese-transgender-subculture-bullshit-most-people-don’t-give-half-a-rat’s-ass movie that was cool that day amongst Willaimsburg-ers.

    The shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake– you seemed to have enjoyed it down south but the northern sample, same in every way (I’ve had both) seemed to pale in comparison… did it taste cooler in New Orleans? “Cheesecake” and “health food” seldom occur in the same sentence, as they did in yours. Maybe they do on Planet What-The-Fuck…

    BBQ shrimp- they forgot your collard greens? Go tell it on the mountain. Alas.

    Vegetarian Taco- your picture is as poor as your copout explanation. It’s a couple of tacos, champ. Not a Beef Wellington.

    I guess the moral of the story is not to go to a restaurant when you are just brimming at the prospect of seeing the next Iranian sub-erotica Cannes winner for best editing.

    Perchance one day I can feign a coolness even remotely similar to that of the author.

    September 5, 2008
  3. PLG: I didn’t realize this was Yelp, but thanks for the contrived review. Is this really what people do at 3am in Staten Island?

    September 5, 2008

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