Bullfish Bistro carries its signature warmth and Caribbean-fusion flavors to its new location

About 225’s food critic: Benjamin Leger previously served as managing editor for 225 and was the editor of its Taste section from 2012 to 2021, editing, writing and steering the direction of its food coverage in print and online. He is passionate about all things food and food journalism, and has written about the greater Baton Rouge area’s cuisine and culture for nearly two decades.

THE BASICS: Husband-and-wife duo Angel and Jasmine Lombrage opened Bullfish in 2019 just south of LSU and right before the pandemic wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry. Through determination and even national media coverage, they found a following, came out the other side and moved into a bright space in the same shopping center as The Little Village on Airline Highway in July 2023.

WHAT’S A MUST: The Coconut Shrimp appetizer is an easy intro to Bullfish’s fusion cooking, with a peppery mignonette sauce for the crunchy shrimp. The Jerk Chicken and Curry Shrimp entrees showcase the best of Caribbean flavors. The Beef Oxtails dish is a highlight, with a deep, dark Creole red wine reduction coating the tender meat. You can’t go wrong with a side of plantains or spongy cornbread.

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It’s amazing what a warm welcome can do.

Jasmine Lombrage could probably solve diplomatic crises with her friendly demeanor and personality. If she’s greeting you at the entrance to Bullfish Bistro, you can bet your day will immediately be brighter.

And with the help of husband Angel Lombrage’s cooking, maybe they could tackle all of society’s ills with charm and good food.

I had the pleasure of seeing that firsthand one March evening with friends when we were looking for a respite from busy work days.

Jasmine practically danced her way over to welcome us into this colorful space on Airline Highway.

I had only visited Bullfish’s previous digs on Nicholson Drive once, so we played it off that this was our first time trying the restaurant’s Caribbean and Southern fusion, and Jasmine gladly talked us through its mission: Tasty dishes made fresh with quality ingredients and authentic, housemade herb and spice blends.

Even the tropical cocktails feature fresh juices and house-infused liquors. We were ready to dig in once we ordered some colorful, rum-based concoctions.

First up were appetizers of Coconut Shrimp and Bahamian Conch Fritters.

The shrimp were butterflied and generously coated in a shredded coconut batter and served on a bright onion and pepper relish. They were fried to a crunch with nutty and salty flavors, and the relish delivered a sweet and puckery contrast.

The Conch Fritters were crispy with a tender interior, but the star here was a zesty green dipping sauce. It was smoky and spicy and slightly vegetal–our server confirmed it was a vegan sauce made with pureed vegetables and lots of hot sauce. Better yet: He shared that Bullfish sells it by the jar.

Knowing that our entrees would be heavy on the meat, we opted for the Avocado Beet Salad next. The plate was loaded with chunks of avocado and huge slices of red beets, as well as hot and crispy garbanzo beans and chopped lettuce. The strawberry dressing was a bit too sweet for my liking, but the rest of the components were just right, if not a little run-of-the-mill.

The Coconut Shrimp appetizer is served over an onion and pepper relish.

For our entrees, we didn’t hold back—ordering Jerk Chicken, Curry Shrimp, Catfish Étouffée and Beef Oxtails.

A sizable chicken thigh and leg came charred and coated in a layer of jerk spices and smothered in a deeply flavored jerk sauce. We could tell the flavors came from an expert blend of herbs and spices–nothing premade.

The warm and spicy sauce on the Curry Shrimp practically painted the white plate a pale orange, and the sauteed onions, peppers and tail-on shrimp served with white rice made for a satisfying dish. My friend ordered a side of cornbread with the shrimp, and we all marveled at its spongy, almost jiggly texture.

The Catfish Étouffée was a great take on a Louisiana favorite, with a lightly battered catfish filet resting on a bed of white rice all smothered in spicy crawfish sauce.

Finally, the Beef Oxtails dish was a standout. Four hefty slices of oxtails were caramelized and glazed in a red wine-infused Creole sauce that was so dark brown it was practically black. Thick chunks of stewed carrots dotted the plate, but the tender and fatty morsels of meat were the focus here. If you’re unsure about oxtail, this is the way to try it.

The Jerk Chicken showcases Chef Angel Lombrage’s authentic expertise.

By the end of the night, each entree had circled the table once, if not twice. We were all delighted with the distinct sauces that shined through in each.

And feeling completely safe and confident in Chef Angel’s hands, we were already plotting the other dishes we wanted to try, the sauces we wanted to revisit (and maybe even buy by the jar) and the tropical cocktails that looked so enticing for next time.

Bullfish Bistro has good, comforting food in spades. And coupled with what I’d venture to say are the loveliest restaurant owners in town, this is a place that deserves repeat visits.

Your taste buds and your heart will thank you.


14241 Airline Highway, Suite 105

Tuesday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.

Friday, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–10 p.m.

Saturday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

Sunday, noon–4 p.m.

This article was originally published in the May 2024 issue of 225 magazine.