A slice of the Big Easy makes its official debut in North Park today with the opening of Louisiana Purchase, the new restaurant and bar at the corner of University Avenue and Louisiana Street. Developed by local restaurant group Grind & Prosper Hospitality (Miss B’s Coconut Club, Park 101, Whiphands), and designed by Jeff Svitak of Jeff Svitak Inc., the New Orleans vibes start in the kitchen, which is run by Louisiana transplant chef Quinnton Austin, also known as chef Q. Austin spent 15 years cooking in Louisiana, training at the Culinary Institute of New Orleans and creating his versions of Creole and Cajun classics that now appear on the North Park menu, including sweet potato cornbread etouffee, gumbo ya ya, and savory alligator cheesecake with crawfish cream sauce; the chef tells Eater that he’s hoping to educate San Diego diners on true NOLA cuisine, especially dishes found outside of the touristy French Quarter. Louisiana Purchase’s menu will change every season, but chef Q says he’s also offer weekly specials.
Grind & Prosper partner and bar manager Rob McShea created the cocktail menu, which offers twists on New Orleans originals, from the Voo Doo Carre with cognac, whiskey, sweet vermouth, amaro nonino, apricot balsamic, and spiced cacao tea bitters to a Ramos Gin Fizz variation called Cash Money Fizz that features cinnamon and grapefruit-infused Hendrick’s. A category named after a fais do-do, or Cajun dance party, inclues their version of a Hurricane and a sharable punch dubbed Pablo Discobar that’s served in a disco ball.
Open Wednesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Louisiana Purchase will launch weekend brunch on the first weekend of April.