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Aug 1, 2008 09:12 PM

Any Suggestions for Southern Food in The Valley?

Can anyone suggest a really good Atlanta-style Southern restaurant in the SF Valley? I've got a hankerin' and don't know where to go. I've been to Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch, but that's all the way down in Marina del Rey and it was good but didn't knock my socks off.



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  1. Although I'm unfamiliar with the particulars of "Atlanta-Style" Southern food, I could make a couple of suggestions for "Southern-Style Food".

    Let me begin with the disclaimer that, in my opinion, none of these places comes in under the heading of "brilliant" however, there are a few places where you can find some or all of the following; acceptable black-eyed peas, hot-links, red beans and rice, greens, cornbread, fried chicken, fried catfish, the occasional gumbo, barbecued chicken, smothered turkey wings, smothered pork chops etc.

    "Mom's BBQ" in Van Nuys

    "Uncle Andre's BBQ" in Studio City.

    "Miss Peaches Southern Cuisine" in N. Hollywood.

    I always defer to my Mississippi Belle whenever I'm looking for authentication and try to dine in New Orleans as often as possible. (Uglesich 's!)

    Bon chance!

    16 Replies
    1. re: Steve2 in LA

      You know Uglesich's is closed, I think they closed a few months before Katrina.

      1. re: Burger Boy

        BB - Uglesich's IS no more . . . not because of Katrina but because the original Mom & Pop owners couldn't find a family member willing to take over the place. Really a loss.

        1. re: Steve2 in LA

          I tried it pre-K but it wasn't all that. Granted I visited only once and plowed through about three dishes on my own, but honestly it's way way way overrated.

          But to keep this LA soul food centric rather than La. centric, Mom's BBQ on Vanowen is superb stuff. In addition to great BBQ, they have amazing meats and threes, whether fried chicken or fried catfish with delicious, homemade potato salad, candied yams, and baked beans. Great stuff all around. And a great straight out of the box, Betty Crocker style slices of chocolate or coconut layer cake. And only a $1.50 per, a real steal.

          1. re: kevin

            Hey Kevin, who would you say has/had better fresh oyster, and food in NO? Did you try the blue cheese fried oysters or the Oyster loaf or any of the asian infused creole dishes. Uglesiches was the Bomb! Hey if you like Mom's try J&J Burger Shack & BBQ for some really good cue, you won't get any $1.50 pieces of boxed cake, but the Que is first rate, the smoked chicken wings, yes smoked are the bomb, the potato salad and most of the food is excellent. You might want to Try Dr. Hoggly Woggly in the Valley, great sauce, great brisket, great mac salad, but some spicey sauce on the mac salad, and great links

            Dr Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ
            8136 Sepulveda Blvd, Panorama City, CA 91402

            JNJ Burger Shack
            5754 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

            1. re: Burger Boy

              Yeah, I've hit up JnJ and for Beef ribs with hot sauce I prefer Phillip's but on a good day JnJ is pretty darn good. And they are much friendlier at JnJ. Also, all the wood stacked up is a good sign.

              The really great part of JnJ (which is similar I guess to Mom's) is that they serve an amazing and huge slice of sweet potato pie for around 2 bucks. A definitive steal.

              How's the burger side of JnJ? Worthwhile?

              I did not try the blue cheese oysters. What I had at Uggie's is the Oyster Loaf, the shrimp uggie, and yeah one of those newfangled asian-inspired dishes (I think it had siraracha). I really like the owner, he's quite the curmudgeon in a good place. But it also felt like the rich people were coming there to slum it, and didn't feel like a real neighborhood joint, although it is smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood, corner of Erato and Baronne if I'm not mistaken. the Barq's beer in Bottles were great too, we don't have these in Los Angeles. Now would I still go to Uggie's if it were still open, yeah, I would. But from that initial impression, way overrated. Esp. the oyster loaf wasn't that great. I have a feeling it was pretty good in the 70s and 80s before any of the hoopla. I like Crabby Jacks for similar food (but no asian inspired stuff there). as well as Brigsten's which ranks up there in having one of the best dishes I have ever had in a restaurant. Most of the food I had at Jazz Fest was also better than Ugg's.

              1. re: kevin

                If and when you go back to JnJ try the pork ribs, the rib tips and the smoked wings. Ask if his mom is making any desserts, she makes the BOMB stuff. You can get Memphis style sandwiches, but you have to assemble yourself. Jay will NOT put coleslaw on his meat! Burgers are good, kind of like a Fat Burger. For a burger like that try Fresh & Meaty on Florence, just east of Crenshaw or the place on Crenshaw, 50 feet south of Jefferson on the west side of the street.
                Brigsteens is great, there is also Gabriels (if it is still there) and there was a place off of upper Canal in an old church,Christian's i think, that had cold smoked fried soft shell crabs, OMFG!, I know they are gone.

                1. re: Burger Boy

                  in all the literature I've read there has been on mention on Gabriels or Christian's , but smoked fried soft shell crab sounds awesome.

                  once again, to keep this LA centric, there has been mentions on chowhound of a soul fooder place on Lankershim. It's not Miss Peaches nor is it Uncle Andre's. Anyone know what I'm talking about. If I'm not mistaken it open up in the past few months, with a few notices on this boards maybe a few weeks ago.

                  1. re: kevin

                    Cleo's on Lankershim across from HealthyCA? I haven't been there but there was a recent positive post.

                    1. re: sel

                      That might be it, I read the post and all I can remember now it that it was on lankershim.

                      1. re: kevin

                        I went to "Creo's Southern Kitchen" (a derivative of Creole, I think) for lunch this afternoon with a buddy

                        We started off with an order of jalapeño hushpuppies (hot, crunchy, a little spicy . . . what's not to love?) then had the BBQ Brisket Sandwich with Mac & Cheese (cheesy, nice crust) Coleslaw (a snappy, mayo-based, traditional version), and a Shrimp Po-Boy with Cajun Fries.

                        The brisket, served open-faced on Texas-toast sized garlic bread, was good. Tender, smokey (because according to Tony, the proud owner, they smoke their meats with almond wood) and generously portioned.

                        The fries were crisp and seasoned with an herbed-salt that took them beyond your ordinary fried potato-product. The Shrimp po-boy was terrific; virtually identical to one I had at Acme Oyster House in New Orleans, Lots of hot, deep-fried shrimp on a large french roll, good crust, crisp shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes and a remoulade-like sauce. Doesn't sound inspirational but to fully appreciate the "wah" that is a good shrimp po-boy, you've got to try it.

                        Creo's menu is extensive and I'm told, will be available on-line soon. Amongst their listings are the aforementioned brisket, shrimp, greens, catfish, black-eyed peas, cornbread, pork-ribs, beef-ribs, chicken, fried oysters,gumbo, hot-links, a selection of po-boys and more.

                        Before we left, Tony generousuly offered us a taste of his gumbo. It's rich and tasty. Made with crab, 3 kinds of shrimp and (out of respect for folks who aren't fond of the pig,) chicken andouille sausage. While this seems somewhat sacrilegious to those of us porcine-philes, it's damned considerate.

                        I'm headed back this weekend so my Southern belle of a wife can enjoy some home cookin' and "sweet-tea".

                        Creo's Southern Kitchen
                        4715 Lankershim Blvd.
                        N. Hollywood, CA 91601

                        Lunch and dinner, Monday-Saturday
                        (818) 980-RIBS

                  2. re: Burger Boy

                    Gabrielle's is closed as well, sadly....

            2. re: Steve2 in LA

              I did not say they closed because of Katrina, it was a few months before, after the Jazz Fest!

              1. re: Steve2 in LA

                I did not say it closed because of Katrina, it closed a few months before, right after Jazz Fest.

            3. re: Steve2 in LA

              None of the BBQ places in LA are really truly Southern BBQ. Mom's and Andre's both seem to steam their meat and then grill it really slowly.

              Miss Peaches isn't bad, though it's more soul food than Southern food -- the peach cobbler is noteworthy. The dinner dishes are better (in my OH-so-humble opinion) than the fried chicken It's definitely the closest you'll get in the Valley.

              The only Southern food I've had in LA that seemed like Southern food I had when my dad was posted in Georgia is actually Johnny Reb's -- and that's not in the Valley (Long Beach, Bellflower, Orange and Victorville). It comes with a heapin' helpin' of ugly roadhouse decor but the food is best.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Does Miss PEaches have biscuits (yes, I'm STILL looking, gravy or no gravy) or does she do corn bread?

                1. re: Diana

                  I had cornbread, though I don't know if she offers biscuits -- I prefer cornbread to biscuits.

            4. Although it gets mixed posts here I enjoy Les Sisters in Chatsworth.

              3 Replies
              1. re: chuck

                Is there still an Angel Lena;s in the valley? You can also try the Swinging Door BBQ for some Q and sides. Les Sisters was lame, imo. You may have to venture out of the valley and try some of these:

                M & M Soul food
                Roscoe's Chicken n waffles
                Jay Bee's BBQ
                Harold and Belle's
                Uncle Darrow's

                If you go to downtown Inglewood there are several places. (LaBrea @ Manchester)

                1. re: foh

                  Angelena's was in NoHo and changed names to Miss Peaches.

                2. re: chuck

                  Les Sisters fried chicken is excellent but the cornbread is terrible

                3. I am from Memphis and live in the SF Valley. So far, the best Southern/Soul Food I have found in the Valley is Uncle Andre's. It's inconsistent but there are some good things there - friend catfish and sweet potato pie are best. Have not made it to Miss Peaches yet but am hopeful it will be good. I recommend M&M Soul Food on Centinela in Culver City - they have great fried chicken, good corn bread and some good vegetables - candied yams, blackeyed peas and greens. You can also find some fairly decent BBQ ribs at Baby Blues BBQ on Lincoln in Venice.
                  All this being said, there are not any great meat and three restaurants like we are used to in the South - someone do us a favor and open a Southern Restaurant with good vegetables, corn bread and desserts.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: prainer

                    There was a meat & 3 place around the corner from the Union Station Hotel in Nashville. I know they used lard, bacon grease and all kinds of unhealthy stuff. Damn, those were some of the best breakfasts I have ever had. The BBQ at Hog Heaven near Centenial Park, OMFG!

                    1. re: prainer

                      I was looking to stay within the parameters requested. If we're gonna inlclude all of S.California then the field opens considerably. By the way, isn't there an M&M Soul Food in the Kodak Center in Hollywood?

                    2. Big Papi's Rib Shack
                      10626 Burbank Blvd
                      North Hollywood, CA 91601
                      (818) 506-7960‎
                      Not a Southern place per say, but a BBQ joint (mostly takeout) run by a family from Louisiana in the old (and much missed) Atlas Sausage Factory storefront. They have really tasty greens, and peach cobbler and a hella' good cue.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: KimcheeBreath

                        Has Big Papi's closed? I thought it was closed last time I drove by.

                        1. re: KimcheeBreath

                          I'm 99% sure that this has been closed for a year or more.

                            1. re: KimcheeBreath

                              Here's a link of a brief review I recently wrote espousing the fried chicken at Mom's BBQ here in Van Nuys:


                              Hope this helps...


                              1. re: CucumberBoy

                                Holy cow!! Thanks so much for all of the suggestions everyone!!! I had gumbo at The Gumbo Pot on Saturday but I will be slowly but surely trying all of your suggestions!!

                                Mmmmm....I'm so hungry now!! :)

                        2. The original comment has been removed