San Francisco isn’t exactly known for its out-of-this-world Southern fare. Sure, the city tops the charts when it comes to top-notch seafood and international cuisine; according to SFTravel, a full 40% of visitors cite the city’s restaurants as a motivating factor behind their decision to visit. Yet, despite the smorgasbord of available options, Southern-inspired restaurants — and Cajun joints in particular — have been few and far between.
Voodoo Love hopes to change all of that.
A casual eatery on Howard Street, this new hotspot brings a refreshing spark of Louisiana warmth into San Francisco’s food scene with its incredible Cajun- and Southern-inspired menu. The restaurant has set up shop at the former Gaslamp Cafe and sits a mere ten-minute walk away from Mosser’s apartments at 1751 Market Street — an easy trek for anyone craving something new for dinner.
While the restaurant hasn’t gotten all that much press yet, it promises to be a smash hit among locals and tourists alike. Voodoo Love draws its name from two inspirations: the New Orleans folk spiritual tradition and its founder’s last name. It offers top-notch Creole food such as remoulade sauces, po’ boys, and seafood, along with dishes that weave in Vietnamese, Southern, and Soul flavors and preparations.
The restaurant’s menu is nothing short of mouth-watering; food offerings include buttermilk fried chicken, cajun salmon, shrimp and grits, Caribbean whipped yams, smoked gouda mac, and shrimp and cheddar fritters. If you want a drink, Voodoo Love has you covered; it offers beer and cider on tap, wine, sweet tea, Vietnamese coffee, and lemonade.
Voodoo Love’s location on Howard Street has been years in the planning. The restaurant is a collaboration between chef Tirzah Love and her managing partner, Eva Morris, and draws heavily on Love’s passion for crafting healthy, organic, and GMO-free cuisine. Though the chef’s career began with a humble food blog, it quickly progressed into a thriving upscale catering business. In 2013, she was asked to be a private chef for a few members of the Sacramento Kings; later, she continued her high-profile work as a featured chef on Guy’s Grocery Games. She also teaches a series of cooking classes entitled “Cooking With Tirzah,” which centers on informing students about conscious eating, the value of raw foods, and meatless options.
Her motto is as simple as it is compelling: “You are what you eat. So don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.”
Love lives that motto at VooDoo Love. While it isn’t always easy to meld a healthy approach with traditional Cajun food, the chef manages it. In a recent article for the San Francisco Chronicle, Love told reporters that she whips her yams and uses little butter to ensure that the end dish is light, airy, and sweet.
“We’re two sisters handling our business,” Love shared with the Chronicle, “That’s our energy. That’s what we’re about. That’s what we want to give people.”
It’s not an energy to miss. Voodoo Love opened with a limited menu in the last week of September, had its grand opening on October 5th, and now welcomes guests from 11 AM to 7 PM daily.