Restaurant Review: Bayou Kitchen

Restaurant Review: Bayou Kitchen
Photo by Jonathan Zhang/ UCSD Guardian

Recently, while my professor was lecturing about “something important that everyone needed to pay attention to,” I wisely decided to browse Yelp instead. I was absolutely shell-shocked to find Bayou Kitchen, a Cajun and Creole establishment rated a whopping 4.8 stars from 839 reviewers. After ensuring that I was reading this monstrous score correctly, I knew I had to try it out, which is why I ventured all the way to the urine-scented streets of Gaslamp Quarter, reachable by the Blue Line trolley. 

Bayou Kitchen occupies a small location, nestled in the heart of Downtown San Diego. With only a couple of tables scattered across the space, snagging a seat is definitely hard but not impossible. My friends and I managed to get in slightly before they closed. 

I started off with the buffalo gator bites — minuscule morsels of breaded alligator tenderloin slathered with a tangy buffalo sauce and served with some measly, miserable-looking veggies and lackluster ranch. Easily, the worst dish by far; I could barely taste the gator with all the breading encased around it and the overwhelming punches of buffalo sauce. 

The fried shrimp po boy, on the other hand, was filled to the brim with a mountain of freshly fried shrimp, slathered with their exquisite remoulade sauce (akin to a more flavorful tartar sauce), topped with a medley of tomatoes and lettuce, and sandwiched between their fluffy French bread. It was fantastic and demonstrated their strong technical prowess in Cajun cooking. 

Their Cajun jambalaya was also a beautiful rendition of the Louisiana classic. The hearty and flavorful mix of rice, the Cajun trinity (celery, onion, and bell pepper), chunks of smoky Tasso ham, pieces of snappy Andouille sausage, and massive slabs of grilled chicken met my expectations but most definitely wasn’t the best I’ve ever had. 

On the whole, Bayou Kitchen serves up excellent Cajun dishes; however, it does not live up to its ludicrous Yelp ranking of knock-your-socks-off-good. 

 

Bayou Kitchen 

Cuisine: Cajun/Creole

Address: 815 F St, San Diego, CA 92101

Rating: 8/10

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Jonathan Zhang, Staff Writer
Foodie fanatic and comedy connoisseur.
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