Feel the Love With a New Orleans Flair at Louisiana Purchase
Written By: Annie Kim
Photographed By: Kambria Fischer Creole Food San Diego
Every day at 4 p.m., just before golden hour, you can hear the swanky, soulful tunes from a New Orleans Jazz band playing from the ceiling speakers of Louisiana Purchase, one of San Diego’s newest Southern restaurants. Executive Chef Quinnton Austin, the culinary visionary and a New Orleans native, marinates the charm and character of his hometown into every item on the menu—creating diverse cajun flavors and creole tastes with a Chef Q twist. The restaurant’s contemporary French Quarter atmosphere and open loft layout allows a gentle waft of ocean breeze to flow from the opulent patio seating into the indoor dining space, fusing the love from New Orleans with the San Diegan way of life.
Chef Q describes the food at Louisiana Purchase as a freedom of expression, saying, “It’s exactly how I would do it back in Louisiana… It’s homestyle soul cooking. It’s about what’s good and what’s filling.” While there is no shortage of good and filling options at Louisiana Purchase, there are three particular dishes—the Alligator Andouille Cheesecake, North Park Gumbo Yaya and Crab Cake + Chicken Skin—that will transport you to New Orleans with each flavorful bite.
The Alligator Andouille Cheesecake, Chef Q’s version of a modernized alligator sausage cheesecake inspired by a New Orleans-based restaurant Jacques Imo, is the main palate pleaser. The cheesecake is a masterful blend of tender alligator sirloin soaked in buttermilk, andouille sausage, peppers, onions and sauteed garlic mixed with rich cream cheese and smoked gouda. From there, the cheesecake is doused in a vibrant mustard yellow-colored crawfish cream topped with fresh watercress and cilantro. The beautifully plated dish is a work of culinary art by Chef Q, a sight to see with a savory creole taste unlike any other.
The North Park Gumbo Yaya is a chocolate-colored, dark roux gumbo with a lighter consistency that holds a smoky flavor immersed in a variety of creole spices. “When you have your grandmother’s uptown gumbo, it always has little extra goodies in it,” says Chef Q. The Gumbo Yaya dish is filled with piquant picks from both land and sea, including crab, shrimp, andouille sausage and blackened redfish—all extra goodies from the Executive Chef himself.
For a smaller bite with a big Southern taste, the Crab Cake + Chicken Skin is a menu item that should not be skimmed over. The dish serves two crab cakes paired with fried chicken skin and truffle goat cheese resting on a bed of rooted vegetable marinara.
To top it off, their cocktail menu serves a collection of creative drinks with a New Orleans flair. Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll be greeted and taken care of by their hospitable staff. From the animal caricature plates to their weekly rotating Neighborhood menu, every aspect of Louisiana Purchase is designed to be an enlightening experience for the senses. Creole Food San Diego
Chef Q wants his guests to feel the comforts from both worlds: Louisiana and California. “I want them to feel like they just at home…it’s homey. I want them to feel like you’re in Louisiana when you step in here—from the music, the hospitality and from everything we got goin’ on…,” explains Chef Q. “We welcome you with arms open wide. Feel the love. Eat the love. Drink the love.”
2305 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
619.255.8278 Creole Food San Diego