Correction: An earlier version of this review listed Tirzah Love as the chef-owner. Love was there briefly in 2019. Eva Morris is the managing partner and head chef of Voodoo Love
Voodoo Love has had no fewer than three other homes. I remember reading about them a couple of years ago and wanting to try them at their South of Market locale. A variety of things kept happening to make them move, and then the pandemic hit. So, their new — and, hopefully, permanent — home is now on Mission Street, near the corner of Duboce Avenue. A black and female-owned restaurant, serving Creole and Louisiana favorites? We had to try it.
The first surprise was: no booze. I was a bit taken aback, seeing as they’re housed in a bar (the bar of music venue Brick & Mortar.) Well, not NO booze. They were offering a series of pre-made cocktails, and you could go next door to Crafty Fox Ale House and purchase a 4-pack of beers. It seems they’re having some problems with the liquor license that they‘re hoping to work out soon. I wasn’t in the mood for any of the cocktails, so we chose to go dry this time.
We sat outside at a café table (the wooden picnic area belongs to Crafty Fox). The BF ordered black-eyed peas to start.
I was shocked at how good these were. Smoky, the BEPs cooked to a perfect density, with a lovely, deep, porky broth. Excellent, and showed Chef Morris’s skill as a long-time caterer.
Unbidden, I was brought a kale salad, something I would probably not have ordered myself.
Another winner. The kale was light and easy to chew, plenty of other veggies, the dressing bright and fresh, a vegan lemony vinaigrette. I ate every bite with gusto.
For his main, the BF got a burger.
My inner monologue: WHY would you get a burger at a creole place?? With all these wonderful Southern dishes available? With NOLA right at your fingertips?? To be fair, it does bill itself as a Cajun burger, with Voodoo slaw and garlic aioli. I had to admit, it was quite a burger, as you can see, and he loved it, including the hefty order of Cajun-seasoning-dusted fries.
I ordered the catfish plate:
The catfish boasts a perfectly crunchy cornmeal crust, lovingly enveloping a piece of steaming, silken catfish. Light as a crispy cloud, and well-seasoned. I can honestly say this was as good as any I’ve had in New Orleans. I didn’t really need the extra kale salad (nor the fries!) but I appreciated the effort. More evidence that Chef Morris knows her genre well.
There is SO much more to explore on this menu: ribs, jambalaya, prime rib sandwich, po’boys, red beans and rice, a seafood mac & cheese, chicken & waffles, shrimp & grits … Hot DAMN, it’s an all-star listing. I think they may have even expanded the menu since we were last there, ensuring we’ll be back. They’ve got vegan and veggie offerings too, and banana effing pudding.
Let’s make Voodoo Love feel the Mission love and keep them around for good.
Voodoo Love (website)
1710 Mission St.