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Lousiana Purchase brings the bold tastes of the Big Easy to North Park of San Diego. The food is loud and proud, created by experienced Louisiana transplant chef Quinnton Austin. We were excited to be able to check out this new spot recently through a media invitation.
There's a cozy firepit in the patio seating behind the hostess stand.
We always prefer the outdoor seating with the breezy San Diego weather though it can get a bit drafty!
The indoor seating is swanky and intimate. Keep your friends close and your bartender closer...
Snazzy jazz music plays in the background and transports you to New Orleans without leaving your seats. I adore these colorful artsy plates they use as individual dinnerwear! That evening, our main server was Ryne and he was accompanied by trainee Juliette. Throughout the evening we saw several staff check on us (like a group service).
The menu is two pages and divded into a few main sections. Smalls are appetizers that can easily be shared with your companions.
Alligator Andouille Cheesecake ($26) - savory cheesecake, alligator, andouille, crawfish cream
By the way, the Alligator Andouille Cheesecake is NOT dessert, but I asked anyway to confirm! This huge dish reminds me of that irresistible cheese chip dip at Superbowl parties but dolled up with meats like alligator and crawfish sauce. The edges have a crusty bread crunch which pleasantly changes up the texture. Sharing is recommended since it is an extremely rich dish! I pleaded oblivious regarding the sneaky cream cheese calories... who's counting anyway?
Peaches & Scallops ($23) - buttered seared scallops, grilled peaches, potato latke, peach glaze
The scallops were tender with only a touch of sear to them, seasoned perfectly and complimented by the peaches. The light grill of the fruit brought out a deeper sweetness and you could get more by using the surrounding glaze. The potatoes cut away easily and gave it more chew with the yummy skin bits. This was our absolute favorite item here!
The Dookey Chase ($20) - 3 fried chicken wings, cheddar biscuit, collard greens
The chicken wings arrived stacked and packed tight! The skins are battered with a light flakiness with moist meat beneath. Sometimes wings taste plain underneath but these, as well as the collard greens, were heavy handed in the salt department. Hopefully it was a fluke that night and not typical. We powered through.
Next were the entree sized portions though some of those SMALLS seemed like they belonged in thie BIGGIE section!
North Park Gumbo Yaya ($23) - blackened fish, dark roux gumbo, jasmine rice
We were hoping for jambalaya (part of the rotating "neighborhood" menu) but it was sold out that night! Instead we settled for its close cousin gumbolaya, oops, I mean gumbo! Individual components seemed to have their own seasoning, especially the shrimp with its spicy coating! Blackened fish was well cooked with a hint of Cajun heat. Inside the claw was additional crab meat though it was a bit fishier. I'm not sure if we're supposed to eat that part! The leaner sausage didn't carry much flavor by itself until mixed in with the savory roux basked rice. I still felt the taste of black pepper in my mouth after this dish.
On the side were these fabulous duck fat rolls. You won my heart with that toasted crust and the parmesan sprinkles...
Of course there's plenty of drinks to chose from.
Weezy Ana ($20)
The drink that caught our eye was the skull mug cocktail. This drink was smoking along with the scent of eucalyptus and hibiscus oil. Fun presentation with a heavy liquour-sweet taste.
The drinks and cuisine are beautiful, creative and flavorful though it can get pricey. On the weekends, I hear the atmosphere changes to a more "night-time" experience around the bar area. The parking can get tougher in the evenings but we found a spot a block away for an early Sunday dinner. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sundays and recently added brunch to their menu. I believe lunch is coming soon too, if not already.
Disclaimer: We were invited to dine here and our meal and drink was complimentary. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions are our own.
Louisiana Purchase (San Diego)
2305 University Ave
San Diego CA 92104