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Recs for good eats in Inglewood

Looks like we'll be moving to the 'hood within a month or two. We're currently in the Beverly-Grove area, so no shortage of places to dine. Right now we're so centrally located that it only takes a few minutes to head east for Korean, or north for Thai, or west for Italian. I know Inglewood is going to be a tad more isolated, but I'm guessing it won't be too bad a drive into Culver City and adjacent areas. There are bound to be a few gems there.

Any specific Inglewood joints that you'd recommend? Or Westchester, since we'll be on the north/west side near La Cienega and Centinela? I'll be commuting home every night from Santa Monica into Inglewood, so any recs for places between the two would be great.

Thanks Chows. We're major foodies, so leaving such a food-rich area is stressing me out already.

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  1. As I've posted before, I'm a big fan of Porky's, which has the best BBQ I've had in SoCal. Very good, meaty spareribs, but my favorite is their superlative pulled pork -- rich, succulent, with crispy crusty edges. They also are franchised to serve Golden Bird fried chicken. Porky's is on Manchester, just east of La Brea and west of the Forum, on the north side of the street. They also offer drive-thru and delivery, but since they sometimes mix up orders or leave something out, I'd play it safe and eat in.

    1. Just south of Inglewood on Inglewood Boulevard is Al Noor.

      AN is a really good Pakistani restaurant.

      I've been twice recently (after never having been before) and loved every bite.

      I think I owe the board a review of this place, because I wrote about it before I went, then never followed up.

      There is another Pakistani place within a mile or so of Al-Noor called Al Watan and I haven't been there. But Al Noor is really good.

      The mini-review, in advance of the real review, is that if you like Indian, you'll like Pakistani, though the flavors and dishes are different.

      Lawndale is just south of Inglewood. If you drive south on Inglewood, from Inglewood, you'll hit Al Noor. If you do it at night, you'll pass a couple of taco trucks with long lines. My buddy from Pegueros loves -- lovesloves -- one of the trucks, but I can't remember which. I'll try and find out.

      1. Panns for Fried chicken & comfort food

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        Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop
        6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

        1. For REAL NY pizza go to Joe's in SM. BBQ just drive back over the hill to LA. Phillip's. Tasty Q for real Cajun style Deep Fried Turkey. they Only charge you $2.50 per pound to prep & Fry a Turkey You bring in. Just did one for the office party yesterday.....Everyone is gonna bring their bird to tasty Q.

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          Phillips Barbeque
          2619 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

          Joe's Pizza
          111 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Tasty Q Bar-B-Que
          2959 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

          4 Replies
          1. re: Skunk2Racer

            And what does this have to do with requests for Inglewood?

            1. re: Wes

              OP said Commute from santa monica to inglewood...... These are places along the way or not too far from.....

            2. re: Skunk2Racer

              There's a Phillip's much closer to where you'll be staying. It's on Centinela between La Cienga and La Brea.

              Derrick's Jamaican Cuisine on Centinela and La Tijera is a very good Jamaican/Caribbean restaurant.

            3. For Mongolian BBQ All you can eat

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              Three Flames Mongolian Bar-B-Q
              5608 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

              3 Replies
              1. re: Skunk2Racer

                Is it all you can eat? I thought you got one trip only?????

                I didn't like this place the last 2-3 times, ownership/service was rather indifferent.

                1. re: Skunk2Racer

                  i'm sorry to disagree about three flames.
                  i bought their ayce deal and they tried to limit how much tofu they would dole out to me.
                  it is not in the op's area, but for mongolian bbq, i'd drive to manhattan beach to BIG WOK where it truly is ayce and they make no attempt to control your choices nor amounts. also, BIG WOK is cheaper and has better/fresher ingredients.

                2. for a hole-in-the-wall serving good eithiopian food go to IBEX
                  630 N La Brea Ave
                  Inglewood, CA 90302
                  (310) 673-3392

                  1. Thanks for the recs everyone. I look forward to trying them. Anyone know of good delivery options?

                    1. Tumby for the best delivery Pizza in the area.

                      1. M and M soul food express, on the street just south of the corner of Manchester and La Brea. Good gumbo and fried chicken.

                        Also Porky's and Phillip's for bbq, as often mentioned here.

                        Kreme Krop Bakery on Manchester east of Crenshaw for monkey bread.

                        No good Thai, Chinese or sushi. But you are very well located near several transportation arteries, so trips to the westside etc. aren't bad at all.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: broncosaurus

                          Don't forget that it's easy to get to Gardena and Torrance for great Japanese.

                          Honestly, you can eat well in pretty much any neighborhood. I used to live in the Beverly-Grove area, too, and while you lose a lot of mid- to high-end places, there's also joy in visiting the smaller places, too. And when you go out to fancier restaurants, it seems to make the trip more special.

                          1. re: broncosaurus

                            Porky's for Golden Bird Fried Chicken too.

                          2. Many years ago we dined at Buggy Whip, and I thought it was terrible. Now I'm reading in other threads that they have good crab. Anyone been recently? Is this something worth trying? It's definitely in the vicinity of where we're moving.

                            1. Reporting back on some of our early dining experiences.

                              We had a meal at Compari's a while ago, and while my dining companions thought it was "Olive Garden good" I don't know that I'd even go that far. The food tasted fresh out of the freezer. There is something cornball and charming about the place (the hanging fake grapes, faux indoor/outdoor ambience), but the food was just not good. What's sad is that I don't know know that it's knocked off our list; the boys liked it, so we very well may go back.

                              We hit up Louis's Burgers, formerly Quik N Split - on La Cienega & Manchester. These are some delicious fast food burgers, and very inexpensive. Fries are pretty good too (heavily covered in seasoned salt).

                              We had what was one of our worst breakfast eating-out experiences at Pann's. Service was horrible. My order was botched, and although I loathe sending food back, this was eggs, and eggs should be prepared the way you order them. I got my eggs back WRONG AGAIN so I just gave up. It was unusually expensive and the food was meh. The place wasn't very clean. I don't get it. I remember eating there as a kid, and I liked it. What went wrong?

                              Dinah's was great. It was very crowded, but we were seated promptly and the service was polite and efficient. We'll definitely be returning for breakfast or brunch.

                              We had Popeye's takeout from the one on Centinela & La Brea (love the bullet proof glass), and it was so-so. For some reason, didn't taste as good as when I first tried Popeye's on Melrose & Vine/Rossmore. I should have gotten chicken from one of the local fried chicken places, which is what I will do next time.

                              M&M on Centinela was also very good for breakfast. Portions are huge and prices are good.

                              One place that I love and highly recommend is Taqueria Sanchez on Centinela. I've gone several times, including getting a big bag of tacos for our movers a few weeks ago. The food from there has been consistently good.

                              Please keep the recs coming. We're always up for trying new places.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Faulkner99

                                Interesting about Dinah's vs Pann's. We had the complete opposite experience. Thought the service and food was just okay at best verging on mediocre. But Pann's was very friendly, food was very good and we've gone back several times and it's been fine each time.

                                Wonder what caused the difference.

                                1. re: Jase

                                  I'm not sure what happened. I'm not giving up on Pann's, but it was such a disappointing experience. It'll take quite a meal to clear the palate of that experience.

                                2. re: Faulkner99

                                  i'm glad to hear i'm not the only one who found the Pann's experience wanting--
                                  the cheapest, ingredients paired with horrible preparation.
                                  screwing up a grilled cheese sandwich and a vanilla shake is inexcusable imho.

                                3. In your area of town there are a Ton of soul food places - Serving Spoon is one I mean to get to. I can't believe anyone hasn't mentioned Woody's and Bad 2 Da Bone for BBQ. Bilal has good reviews for Pakistani. PaulF must have had a brain cramp; Al Watan is in Hawthorne (90K+ city Just South of Inglewood). Haven't been to Bourbon Street yet for Creole or Derrick's for Jamaican. Market Street Gumbo Shack has mixed reviews here. Simply Wholesome is one of the few vegetarian places in your area.
                                  Westchester, now There's a wasteland.
                                  If you haven't already, click on a Place link to see other related topics.
                                  We eagerly await your reviews :-).

                                  -----
                                  Bad 2 Da Bone
                                  4565 W Century Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90304

                                  Woody's Bar-B-Que
                                  475 S Market St, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                  Derrick's Jamaican Cuisine
                                  6806 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                  Bilal Cuisine
                                  1117 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                  Gumbo Shack
                                  945 S Prairie Avenue Suite 100, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                  Louis Burger
                                  8425 S La Cienega Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                  Bourbon Street Fish
                                  601 S Prairie Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                  Simply Wholesome
                                  4508 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                                  Ibex
                                  630 N La Brea Ave Ste 106, Inglewood, CA 90302

                                  Serving Spoon
                                  1403 Centinela Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: DiveFan

                                    Fudge. Meant to add Los Chorros for Salvadoran and Coleys for Jamaican.

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                                    Coley's Caribbean
                                    300 E Florence Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                    Los Chorros
                                    4693 W Century Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90304

                                    1. re: DiveFan

                                      Wow DiveFan, thanks very much for that list. I'll be sure to report back as we try them. This list is probably a good reference for people needing suggestions near LAX too.

                                    2. re: DiveFan

                                      Just found out about Saaris, a Nigerian restaurant.

                                      Back to (mostly) north and west of the OP's starting point. Phillips branch on Centinela is closer. If commuting via La Cienega, Uncle Moki's and J R's BBQ are on your way.

                                      Near the I-405 Jefferson onramp is Buffalo Wings & Things, which has been hanging in there and doing good wings for many years.

                                      Inglewood - a critical (foodie) path from the Westside to LAX!

                                      -----
                                      Porky's BBQ
                                      801 E Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                      J R's BBQ
                                      3055 La Cienega Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                                      Uncle Moki's
                                      3560 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                      Phillips Barbecue
                                      1517 Centinela Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302

                                      M & M Soul Food
                                      5496 W Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                      Saaris
                                      307 E Hillcrest Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                      Buffalo Wings & Things
                                      11499 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA

                                    3. Al Noor is INSANELY GOOD!!!! I've going there before it became popular, and I only think it's gotten better. The best dish IMO is the Tikka Massala Paneer (their paneer is awesome) and I also like the Palak Paneer A LOT. I've experimented with the menu quite a bit, but these two dishes are truly "out of this world", though about 1 out of every 15 times, it's not as good as it normallly is, i.e. consistent (but still awesome). Everything else is very good, and I've only had one dish that didn't impress me 3 years ago.

                                      Naan plus any of these dishes is at least a 9/10. Also, if you can wait, get an extra palak paneer to go, and eat 36 hours later. Now THAT's the best!!!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: upstarter

                                        Personally I prefer Al Watan over Al Noor in all classes..

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                                        Al Watan
                                        13619 Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

                                        1. re: upstarter

                                          We got out to Al Noor and it was good. Very inexpensive and the food was well seasoned. It wasn't terribly close though - it was a bit of a drive.

                                        2. Reporting back on a couple more.

                                          Ayara Thai: It's not quite up to the standard of anything I've tried in Thai Town, but it was still pretty good. The restaurant is clean and comfortable, the service was excellent, and the prices were reasonable. We'll definitely be going back.

                                          Porky's BBQ: Loved this place. We went overboard ordering because we wanted to try several things and didn't realize how big the portions were. The dirty rice was my favorite of the sides. All of the meat dishes we tried (pulled pork, baby back ribs which I think they call rib tips, pork ribs, Golden Bird chicken and beef brisket) were very good. The sauce was a little too sweet for my taste. I think next time I'll have to try their spicier sauce.

                                          -----
                                          Porky's BBQ
                                          801 E Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                          Ayara Thai Cuisine
                                          6245 W 87th St, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                          1. To the OP, hope that you have seen this recent topic related to Inglewood/LAX eats - the fabulous neighborhood of 'Lennoxico':
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/545598

                                            For some reason the Place for Mariscos Chente cannot be found by LTAP:
                                            http://www.chow.com/places/34962

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: DiveFan

                                              Thanks for this post, I hadn't seen that. We will have to try some of those places.

                                            2. So we've tried a few more places. The Crab Pit, which I started its own thread about. It was horrible. Beyond horrible.

                                              This week we tried New Flavors on Centinela. It's a combination of Hawaiian BBQ and Chinese food (of the Americanized variety). It was pretty good. Not the best Hawaiian BBQ I've had, but definitely not bad. Their Americanized Chinese is better than most, too. Service was excellent, plus they deliver. We'll be going back.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Faulkner99

                                                Faulkner.. saw that you liked al noor try al watan. dinner set 7.99 or lunch set 6.99 go for it. M-F only not available on weekends...

                                              2. Yum. My favorite place to eat is actually in Inglewood. It's called Aliki's Greek Taverna, located at 5862 Arbor Vitae Ave at Airport Blvd. They are open M-Sat 11am to 10pm. Just to be clear, the are CLOSED ON SUNDAYS. The family that owns the place sells Greek foods (delicious, fresh feta kalamata olives, olive oil, etc.) at the Encino farmers market and other FMs, I just can't remember which. Fresh, healthy meals made with farmer's market vegetables and natural meats. I'll be damned if you locate a can of anything in this place!

                                                Everything I've eaten here and called in to go has been delicious and I've savored every bite. I usually start my day with a ridiculously small breakfast when I know I'm coming here so I can pig out and STILL end up having food left to take home for another meal. The prices are very reasonable for the quality of the food and the service. The cook is right there in front, no secrets here. Be patient with him, the food is from scratch and made w/love. It's very clean, including the restroom. Plenty of street parking is available. How wonderful it was to find this little gem had been hiding on this crappy, bumpy street.

                                                Some of my favorites:
                                                Gyro Sandwich
                                                Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich
                                                Grilled Lemon Chicken Plate
                                                Sizzling Feta
                                                Horiatiki Salad

                                                I could go on and on, but here's somewhere to start. Gotta try it at least once.

                                                -----
                                                Aliki's Greek Taverna
                                                5862 Arbor Vitae St, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: iheartjavier

                                                  I like Aliki's, and while their quality was decent I thought the prices were a bit steep. Three of us dined there a while back, and I think all we had were 3 entrees and we split a salad. The bill with tip came out to something like $80. Considering the lack of atmosphere there, and how no-frills it is, I felt like it was a bit excessive. Don't get me wrong: I will routinely fork over $100 or more just for the two of us to dine. But the price point here didn't feel like it matched the actual meal. Also, comparing just the Greek salad to other places, I know I've had better. I think Sofi's Greek salad is much more delicious (but incidentally also a bite overpriced).

                                                  We will probably still go back, but it's not on our list of MUST GO places.

                                                2. nowadays,
                                                  sergio can often be found at the inglewood mariscos chente

                                                  call before you go to be sure that he is cooking that night
                                                  310-672-2339

                                                  3544 west imperial highway
                                                  inglewood ca 90304