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Mar 13, 2008 05:45 PM

Soul Food/Down Home Cookin'

So, there's been a lot of desperate talk lately about not being able to find good fried chicken in particular, and fine soul food in general, in Los Angeles. I was looking at the boards today, and folks were battling back and forth about Dinah's versus Larkin's versus Roscoe's and so on.

Frankly, the two out of three that I've tried have been good, but nothing to get moist over.

I don't think Roscoe's is any good unless it's smothered in their industrial-strength onion gravy. Dinah's is pretty tasty - it's the classic, southern fried kind, dredged in seasoned flour, as opposed to being battered - but the sides are frickin' narsty, from the starchy corn on the cob to the velveeta (or its non-union Mexican equivalent) smothered mac & cheese.

One poster made a really good point; people with the above complaints are either ignorant of what's available in South LA and Watts or simply afraid to go there.

To that end, I'm looking for recommendations for a place that specializes in the usual suspects: the aforementioned chicken, short ribs, black eyed peas, greens, you get the picture. We're a group of 6-8 that goes out semi-regularly on weekends to explore ethnic food and out-of-the-way finds. We certainly don't mind a bit of a trip or a meal at a place that is a few levels short of elegant, as long as the food is good.

With so many competing opinions, it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff or the Velveeta from the artisanal cheddar.

M&M has been mentioned, but there's many differing opinions as to which M&M is best.

I guess I should mention that I live in Silver Lake. The folks joining me will be coming from my neck of the woods and Santa Monica. Like I said, we don't mind a drive but I'm not looking to leave the county.

Any other suggestions?

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  1. Have read that Jordans Cafe is supposed to be good for fried catfish and the sides are reputed to be good as well, (especially the mac & cheese).

    7:00 am to 9:00 pm
    4448 Slauson Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90043
    (323) 296-2233


    2329 W 54th St. LA Phone: 323-298-9313

    M&M Soul Food
    3552 West Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard Crenshaw (323) 299-1302

    5 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      I think 5C's has moved to Covina or something, be sure to check. Pann's has some good soul food, great andouille sausage & eggs, chicken fried steak, biscuits & gravy

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

      5 C's Restaurant & Fish Market
      2329 W 54th St, Los Angeles, CA

      5C'S Louisiana Seafood
      1034 W West Covina Pkwy West, Covina, CA

      1. re: Burger Boy

        I've called 5c's a bunch of times and the number is disconnected or not in service, supposedly they serve up a mean oyster loaf. probably it's out of business now. if anyone has any info on it's Covina whereabouts, i'd like to know.

        1. re: kevin

          I would call information in West Covina and ask for the number, I posted the address.

          1. re: Burger Boy

   gives the West Covina number as: (626) 337-2530

      2. re: Servorg

        Jordan's (which I think had some kind of family relation to the Mo Better Meatty Meat Burger folks) has apparently gone out of business.

        Try the M and M just south of Manchester/La Brea (east sode pf street, hole in the wall, take out only). Good gumbo on Fri/sat.

        5C's long ago fled the location listed above.

        Whomever mentioned/bemoaned the lack of coverage of "soul" food or central/southern LA County eateries in general hit the nail on the head. I have no doubt there are lots of great places there that lack coverage on chowhound for what are basically paranoia-tinged reasons IMO, so let's get out there and investigate, folks.

      3. Have you tried Flossie's ? Most their side dishes are very good/nicely spiced and their fried chix is superb.

        3566 Redondo Beach Blvd
        Torrance, CA 90504
        (310) 352-4037

        3 Replies
        1. re: petradish

          Flossie's is finger lickin G O O D ! ! !

          1. re: Burger Boy

            Flossie's is great, but I hate how they shift menu items from one day to the next. For example, they have great cornbread stuffing but claim that it is only available on Sundays. Then I've found that isn't necessarily true, or that they may run out on Sundays and so forth. Still pretty good fried chicken. Sort of pricey too.

            1. re: broncosaurus

              On a side note, I went on Saturday and now they accept credit cards (visa/mastercard). This is nice since dinner for 2 usually runs around $25.

        2. So, six of us went to the M&M on Centinela for lunch today.

          I had the short ribs, which were really good - prepared in the no-frills traditional style. Friends had the fried chicken, some smothered, some not, and the catfish, which was cornmeal breaded. Most of us agreed that the catfish was the standout entree.

          Sides were great and tasty in the down home way we were expecting. Service was very friendly.

          As for the portions - they were simply huge! Each entree comes with a separate plate heaped with three sides of your choice. Each order was probably enough for two hungry folks. We all left with containers of leftovers.

          Would definitely go back.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JeMange

            Glad your experience was good. The M&M on Centinela is one of our favorite local breakfast places - the catfish & eggs is one of my favorite things.

            I'm surprised to hear there is some dispute about the quality differing among the various locations; we've been to three of them, and have had the same fare at all three.

          2. I have been out to West Covina and checked out 5C's Seafood in West Covina...
            if you have been to there first location on 54th and 2nd ave and loved it... then it is deifinitely worth the short 25 min drive... Place isnt as big but still great food and atmoshpere.... check it out

            1. It's been a while since I lived in LA, but I always liked Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch in Marina Del Rey. I've never had the fried chicken, but they always had good cafeteria-style soul food, I thought.