When we find a restaurant that adds live music to the mix, we know it will be popular. Jazz Louisiana Kitchen certainly falls into this category. What started just over 25 years ago, has grown to include six locations in four states. We dropped by their KCK location, which is found on the west end of the Legends Shopping Center. A weekend visit means that there will be a live performance taking place. They also feature periodic shows during the weeknight evenings, but you may want to check their website for show dates and times.
Jazz at Jazz
Clearly the name of the restaurant hints at the music style that will be found inside. We have had the pleasure of hearing a variety of musical groups perform, and they all seem to be quite capable. Sometimes performing for a crowd at a restaurant can be quite the challenge for musicians. There are so many distractions, that it can be difficult to capture the audiences attention. We have witnessed groups that really get the crowd to interact, as well as those that seem to only be background music for dining. No matter who is performing, we try to make it known that their music is appreciated.
The interior of the restaurant is like many other family style dining establishments, except for the New Orleans themed decor. A few murals are scattered across the walls, and trinkets adorn various statuary and sculptures that dot the dining area. A metal circular staircase leads up to a balcony area that is used by the bands, and makes a good focal point for the bar area just beyond. There are three elevated dining areas, which add visual interest to the over-sized room. The seating is all tables and chairs, which can easily be assembled to handle most any size group.
Time to Dine
We can be creatures of habit, and at Jazz we certainly have become just that. It goes without question that we will begin our meal with salads. We have always found them to be fresh, which is a must for us. While they aren’t fancy, like in some restaurants, they still offer a nice start to our meals. It also helps us justify the dishes we are about to have, by beginning with some fresh greens.
Not Too Chicken to Eat Chicken
My favorite menu item is the Chicken A La Mer. This dish consists of a crusty coated chicken breast that is smothered with a Parmesan sauce. The sauce is loaded with shrimp and crab, as well as some bites of vegetables. (I’ve convinced myself that there aren’t as many calories in this sauce, as there probably are.) This entree is served on a bed of dirty rice, which has a nice kick. I always substitute hush puppies for the steamed vegetables. (Clearly the reason for the salads.) The main course is not overly spicy, but adding the rice to each bite certainly brings up the heat level. This is a dish that I could eat almost every night, so clearly I am biased of my choice.
Crystal also seems to order the same exact dish on each visit. Her entree of choice is the Blackened Chicken, which is seasoned and cooked in a cast iron skillet. (I’ve recreated this at home with mixed success.) The finished product is nestled on a bed of dirty rice, and comes with a boiled potato and some melted butter for dipping. She will also forego the steamed vegetables to make room for hush puppies. (Another entree that is probably a little above the norm for calories, but we will walk some of these off later.) I have on occasion taken a small bite of her dish, and while it is quite tasty, I just can’t seem to change my order. We enjoy our dinners at Jazz, and look forward to hearing new performers serenade us, while we dine. On occasion, we will also visit their older location on the corner of State Line and 39th Street, which is just across from KU Hospital. How many of you have had the pleasure of enjoying this restaurant? Do you always choose the same dish when you visit?