Nola Seafood Boil Brings New Orleans-Style Cuisine to Lawrence

Photographer / Belinda Russell

Local resident Calvin Lam has brought a Cajun tradition to Lawrence, Indiana. Spicy NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) flavors rule the day at Nola Seafood Boil on Pendleton Pike. The family-friendly restaurant specializes in a variety of seafood cooked with a southern twist. 

“I never thought I’d be in the restaurant business – it just happened,” says Lam, who co-owns Nola Seafood Boil with Nam Ho. “I was looking for something to invest in when I met Nam. He owns Mad Crab, a similar concept, in the St. Louis area. I visited the restaurant and it was packed with people. I found that the food was great. Nam and I shook hands, and off it went from there.”

When customers walk into the restaurant, they have several choices to make. Besides the seafood boils, they can select from several starters such as raw oysters or beer-battered shrimp. Also on the menu are fried seafood baskets, po’ boy sandwiches and combo plates. Sides include rice, bread, fries, and of course hush puppies. Traditional New Orleans beignets and gooey butter cake are offered for dessert. Beverages include beers and soft drinks.

The seafood boil option is a build-your-own experience. First, the seafood is chosen. Patrons can opt for shrimp, crab and even live, whole lobster. Next, extras like sausage, potatoes and corn on the cob are added. Finally, patrons choose their flavoring and spice level. Everything is put in a bag, cooked and served up to the customer.

A typical seafood boil ranges from about $20 to $45. Po’ boy sandwiches start at $11 and most fried seafood baskets are $12 to $14. For those that don’t care for seafood, chicken tenders and chicken wings are available. There are also menu options for children.

“Right now the most popular menu item is the seafood boil,” Lam says. “A lot of people have been choosing the snow crab legs and the deveined shrimp. The spices used make it very flavorful. It’s hard to describe unless you try it.”

Nola Seafood BoilRestaurant leaders held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 10. Members of the Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier were on hand. Since then, Collier has been seen eating lunch at Nola Seafood Boil more than once.

“Mayor Collier was just in eating lunch,” says Lam. “He helped cut the ribbon during our ribbon-cutting ceremony. I can’t thank the Chamber of Commerce enough for all they have done to promote the business.”

Lam adds that the eatery’s seafood boils have a Vietnamese twist.

“People have to try it to see how good it is,” he says. “I brought Nola Seafood Boil to Lawrence because it didn’t have another restaurant like it, and I thought it would be the perfect place to be.”

Nola Seafood Boil is located at 11135 Pendleton Pike, Suite 400 in Lawrence. Visit or call 317-826-7282 for more info.

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