Is It Any Good?

Kirk Franklin puts on a good show on Sunset Blvd. every other Sunday.

Church is a very particular thing for African-Americans.

The burgeoning and growing black middle class you see today wasn’t always so. There was a time when the best jobs available, the thing you hoped for beyond home, was to get a job at the Post Office. Even in those days, when money was tight, African-Americans would scrimp and save for their Easter Clothes, the special thing they’d wear to Church Easter Sunday. It would be the finest thing they owned, and they’d take excellent, excellent care of that garment. And everyone knew to be careful, and would help take excellent, excellent care of that garment.

That is just a taste of what good Churchin’ meant to Black Folks from down South. Even growing up in Suburban Maryland, you knew what good Churchin’ meant for your people.

So, it was a strange, strange experience going to House of Blues Gospel Brunch.

Standing in line, waiting to get in, you are surrounded by…well, let’s be honest…a group of mostly white folks, with a few African-Americans scattered in between. The black folks are dressed how you’d expect them to dress, as I described above, in for a good afternoon of Churchin’.

The white folks are dressed…well…for an afternoon out at Disneyland.

Expect a touch more Disney than Southern Church here at the House of Blues.

It mean, it was all right. Heck, it was better than all right. The singers onstage were first class. It was like listening to an album right there on stage, and no I wasn’t seeing any lip syncing. I saw a great performance by five talented singers, with backup. You’re treated to a decent sized spread and variety of food, and a good performance along the way.

Here’s…where it kinda went wrong…at least in my party.

Like I said, Church is a very particular thing for African-Americans. I mean, they know the good stuff from the bad, and the real from the fake.

The people I were with had…shall we say…grown up in the Church, and the artifice of the experience at the House of Blues was a bit too much for them to take. The Gospel Songs were a bit too R&B for their tastes. The Food was a bit too bland for their tastes. We wound up leaving a touch early.

I didn’t have quite the same experience. I thought the performances were great…da–oh, wait.  Can’t say that particular word in context of a Gospel Brunch.  I was particularly entranced by one of the singers, and was very, very pissed off that we left in the middle of her solo.

God, she looked great…and could sing.

The Food…yeah, the food they kinda had a point about. It’s not terrible by any means, but…there are far easier places to get this grub, that are far better that’ll probably cost you half as much. You just need to know where to get it. And if you look at this site, you already do.

Look, it’s a good show. You’ll have a good time…just don’t bring any Church people with you. They’re already in the know. Well…in the know.


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: It’s an all you can eat brunch, featuring mass quantities of what they occasionally serve at Crossroads. Their Omelets were excellent, but then again, it is an Omelet, what do you expect?

Then I tried the Chicken and Waffles.

Let’s just say Roscoe’s has nothing to worry about.

Again, like an Omelet, there’s no real way to screw up a waffle. Though Roscoe’s tastes extraordinary. The Chicken on the other hand? Bland and uninteresting. Clearly tailored for the Disney crowd were watching the show with.

I hope Crossroads it better than this. I’ll be trying in soon, but…damn. Very, very average. Very edible…that’s all I can say.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Arriving early will only get you so far as the Doors open at 12pm, and not a moment before. If you do get there early, you can expect to be waiting in line until then. It’s not so bad. At least some of it is shaded.

Then again, it is a strange notion to be waiting in line when you allegedly have reserved seating.

Also, you will be given earplugs when you walk into the theater. Depending on where you’re sitting, you should avail yourself of them because you will be blasted to Kingdom Come if you’re sitting too close to the speakers.

So when you get your Tickets, and are at the point where you’re picking your seat, pick ones AWAY from the stage. I know you think you want to be close to the action, but believe you me…you’ll be right under the speakers and those earplugs are going to come in mighty handy.

And remember, the Gospel Brunch is put on every OTHER Sunday, so mind the schedule.


PARKING: You can take your chances along Sunset, but the easiest thing is just to go ahead and Valet it at the House of Blues itself. It’s $10 bucks the day of (costs may vary if you’re coming here for other hours), and at least you won’t have to hike the hill to get your ride. You can try to get Street Parking along Sunset, but remember, the House of Blues is usually closed on Sunday, except for the Gospel Brunch and special events. Get there early enough to get a cheap street space, and you might be milling around a looooong while until the House of Blues opens.


House of Blues
Gospel Brunch (presented by Kirk Franklin)
8430 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Tel: (323) 848-5100

Monday-Saturday 5:00pm – 2:00am
Sunday: 10:00am – 11:00pm