Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jazzy Night Out at the Jazz Kitchen?

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen
1590 Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92802

It was Katie's birthday and she really wanted to go to Disneyland. So, what is a boyfriend to do, but take her there. Now the question becomes, where to eat? Not looking forward to just a burger and a churro, we headed to Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney.

I had never been here before. The restaurant is a two story replica of French Quarter architecture. The restaurant is big, so there is no trouble getting a seat at 6 o'clock on a Sunday evening. In fact when we are seated, we are the only ones in the room, (although it does fill up quickly after about ten minutes).

The bottom floor dining room where we are seated is brightly colored, and has umbrellas on the ceiling.  The jazz band starts halfway through our meal. I thought it was going to be too loud, but I could still hear Katie across the table. Okay, so let's see what we got to eat, and find out if this place is going to make me want to throw some beads.

We started our, "Big Easy", meal with the Barbecue Gulf Shrimp appetizer. This is shrimp served with a New Orleans barbeque sauce. I liked the sauce a lot, it had a nice mild flavor. Wish I would have gotten more bread to sop up the extra sauce with. The shrimp were cooked well, but you only get six, for this $11 dollar appetizer. Not worth the two dollars a shrimp price.

Next up is Katie's salad, the French Quarter Salad. Mixed greens, candied pecans, cherry tomatoes, and ranch on the side, make up this basic salad. Katie liked this, I thought it was just an average salad that you could get at your local Coco's.

Here is my soup of the day. Not sure what they called this soup, but it was tomato based, and had bay shrimp and pieces of chicken in it. The soup was also spiced nicely. It had a little kick to it, but I could have handled more heat.

Now on to the entrees. This is the Pasta Jambalaya. Gulf shrimp, sausage, chicken, Creole seasonings served over spinach fettuccine. Katie really liked this dish. I thought it was mediocre. There was only a tiny bit of spice with this plate. When I think of jambalaya I always think heat, but this left me wanting more spice. I also am not such a big fan of jambalaya served over pasta, I like it over rice much better. This was a good size plate though.

My main course was the Pecan Crusted Catfish. This fish was pan roasted, with lemon-thyme beurre blanc. I really liked the buttery sauce and I got a big piece of fish. The catfish tasted mellow, and was cooked well. The three gulf shrimp that accompanied this were really good when dipped in the sauce. The dirty rice that came with this also tasted good. A very decent dish.

Here is Katie's birthday dessert. She got the Profiteroles. These profiteroles are basically cream puffs minus the cream in the middle, and instead of the cream they have ice cream sandwiched between the puff pastry. I thought that the puff pastry was over cooked. It was almost impossible to cut with a fork. The ice cream tasted good though.

For my dessert, I had the New Orleans Bread Pudding.  This bread pudding had raisins and a housemade creme anglaise. I really liked the creme, it complimented the bread pudding well. The bread pudding was pretty moist and had a good cinnamon flavor.

When I left the Jazz kitchen, I was not so sold on it. But as I was writing this review, I came around. The food was all pretty good, not great. Eating here has made me want to find a real great Cajun place, so if you know of any, leave me a comment. As for the Jazz Kitchen, I felt that I expected more flavor. I wanted more spice. I know they probably leave it bland, for the masses, but I wish they would tried to stand out. The service was really good, and I liked the Jazz band that was playing also.

So out of five strings of beads, five being best, to zero being worst, Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen gets 2.5 strings of beads.

For more information on Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, click here:

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen on Urbanspoon


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