Come for the music, but stay for the bread pudding.
My House of Blues journey began when I was warmly greeted by the restaurant staff and granted my wish of eat-laxing (eating and relaxing—let’s make that a thing!) on the colorful and vibrant “Satchmo” outdoor patio. While chatting up patrons dining before they headed to a show at the main concert hall, I also took in the rock and blues themed surroundings I’ve come to appreciate so much. A collection of New Orleans folk art and moody lighting was a welcome way to celebrate music and art with such bold yet comforting creole dishes and drinks.
Thanks to Chef Jeremy Cantwell and staff, I had three mouth watering dishes plus a refreshing and distinctive beverage. To start off our experience, our cocktail was a muddled spicy cucumber drink mixed with Red Bull. It was light, satisfying and the spiced cucumber add a stylish twist.
Our first dish was the Jambalaya which simmered with earthy and well seasoned flavor. The andouille sausage was juicy and provided a nice savory bite to go along with the fresh tomato flavor and the crunch of the sweet peppers and roasted green onions. The smokey dish was hearty without being too heavy, and nourishing in a way that reminded me I need to start eating real meals instead of putting yellow mustard on a pickle and calling it lunch. Visually the dash of spices were arranged with great care both on the dish itself and on the surrounding circumference of the plate.
Our second dish, the Voodoo Shrimp, was also big on flavor and had a bold kick in my eating pants. This is the top dish of their restaurant head chef, Jeremy Cantwell, and I’m right along with him on this decision. The jumbo shrimp lived perfectly in a hearty blend of tasty and creamy beer reduction sauce. The spongy jalapeño cornbread was the pillowy, fresh and a nice hearty sized treat to sop up the rock and roll goodness of this dish, with a comforting mix of basil, oregano and tomato flavors. When my dinner-mates turned their heads I picked up the whole damn dish and slurped it right from the bowl. If you are like me and end your meal with bay leaves and Worcestershire sauce on your shirt, do not despair! House of Blues gives you a voucher for 15 percent off their merchandise after your meal!
Finally, Chef Cantwell brought out our dessert, the velvety and decadent Bourbon Bread Pudding. And you know me… I’m down with BBP. So down that someone across the patio asked if I wanted a straw to make sure I got every morsel of that rich and sugary sauce. This dessert is good enough to share but great enough for me not to feel one ounce of shame for eating it all entirely alone!
As I tilted my head back in a state of pure bourbon induced bliss, I noticed there were painted shoes on the ceiling. Real sneakers on the ceiling! I appreciate the hidden gems of art and culture both on the patio and in the venue itself.
My satisfactory food glow continued on for many hours post meal, and I was so genuinely satisfied I didn’t need to do my nightly routine of scouring the internet creepily for things like: “biggest bowl of mac and cheese 2017.” I pretended my pillow was the House of Blues San Diego’s Bourbon Bread Pudding.
This meal pairs great with the Missio show at the House of Blues this Saturday because much like the band, this meal was layered with bursts of goodness you wouldn’t typically expect. The band, who describe themselves as alternative/electronic with hip hop undertones, are from Texas so I’m guessing they would appreciate the hearty comfort food with a kick that House of Blues provided! My top favorite songs from Missio are “Middle Fingers” and “Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea,” both songs I look forward to hearing as I sip that Kickin’ Cucumber drink!
The House of Blues San Diego Restaurant & Bar is all ages and features monthly food and beer specials. Also check out their show lineup in the Voodoo room and the main concert hall!
FOOD REVIEW BY: MERYL KLEMOW