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Where can I find some good southern/soul food?

  • t

I have been craving some smothered pork chops, rice and cabbage. Any recommendations on where I could get some?

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  1. M & M soul food
    Harold and Belles
    Aunt Kizzy's
    Several places at Manchester and LaBrea
    Several places on Crenshaw near Adams

    1. “Me and you go to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles on me. Think about it now. That ‘Scoe’s Special, smothered in gravy and onions. Side of red beans and rice, some greens. Thats some good eatin.” From the script of “Jackie Brown.”

      Roscoe’s House of Chicken and waffles

      8 Replies
      1. re: JeetJet

        Has Roscoe's started making REAL gravy? Like, opaque? Instead of that watery brown substance? You can drown stuff in that, but never "smother" it, Jackie Brown's testimony notwithstanding.

        1. re: Will Owen

          I do not get the gravy at Roscoe's. I just like that line from Jackie Brown. I go for the Scoe’s Special w/out the gravy. IMO, that fried chicken is almost as good as the best in L.A. made at Pann's. For me Roscoe's in Pasadena is closer than Pann's and their fried chicken is excellent soul food. I wish they sold it by the bucket. Since they don't I order that Scoe’s Special with extra butter on the waffles. Every time I have those waffles they remind me of the flavor of churros and it makes me want to go some place and have some fresh hot churros but dip them in maple syrup.Now that might not be Soul Food but it would sure feed the soul and with some of Roscoe's fried chicken it would be some good eatin.'

          1. re: JeetJet

            Roscoe's in Pasadena is walking distance for me, but frankly I find their chicken usually overcooked and dry. I like mine succulent. The only thing at Roscoe's that forcibly removes my hosiery is the mac'n'cheese, which I worship.

            1. re: Will Owen

              I've never had the mac 'n' cheese there but also don't like their "usually overcooked and dry" chicken. Hmm. Do you by chance know if any good BBQ place is within a few blocks of a Roscoe's location? Get my drift?

              1. re: Mel Gee

                Big Mama's is supposed to be good, though we haven't tried it. About half a mile north of Roscoe's on Lake, just north of Washington, west side of the street. Of course they might have just about everything you want anyway. There's another self-proclaimed soul food place on Washington just west of Lake, owned and run by an Armenian woman who insists she does it right. Again, I haven't checked it out, but she brought food to a neighborhood political gathering that was gone by the time we got there, and everyone was going on about how good it was. And of course there are two soul-style fish joints, one in the strip mall at Lake and Mountain, the other half a block east of Lake on the south side of Washington.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  do you happen to have address or the name of the armenian joint that serves soul food?! that's very interesting.

                  1. re: kevin

                    M & M Soul Food
                    (626) 795-0059
                    755 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104

                    Two reviews on Yahoo Local, one SHOUTING ITS DISLIKE AND DISGUST, the other effusively glowing. The shouter seems to have a problem with Armenians... I guess I'll just have to go see for myself.

        2. re: JeetJet

          roscoe's is a poor excuse for fried chicken let alone good southern food.

        3. Has anyone ever tried Marilyn's soul food? There is one on pico and I think one on crenshaw. It is cheap southern food. Just wondering if it is any good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Tari

            Marilyn's is excellent and authentic soul food. I've eaten there on many occasions. The catfish is fried to perfection. The smothered pork chops are heavenly. I also recommend The Creole Chef behind the Balwin Hills mall.

            1. re: foodfever

              i thnk the creole chef is now long gone.

          2. If you're in the san fernando valley, Les Sisters on Devonshire just east of Topanga does a good smothered porkchop. I also love their hot pups.

            4 Replies
            1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

              You could certainly get some in Angelena's, in Alhambra, CA. I've been there once when they first opened. I don't know if it has improved since. Chowhounds????

              Angelena's Southern Cuisine
              33 W. Main St
              Alhambra, CA 91801

              (626) 284-7685

              1. re: BCM

                I personally have been disappointed there twice myself, but I have not gone in over a year. I had high hopes, my better half is Texan. I love all the side orders like greens, okra, hush puppies, and these are not good to me, and the main entrees now I can't think of, but were also not enjoyable. Plus both times, we were among very few diners, and every time I go by there it does not seem to be busy. Maybe it does well at lunch during the week or something.

                1. re: BCM

                  Angelinas..... WOW. STAY AWAY. I went once when they first opened, and it was pretty horrible. But i chalked it up to the opening jitters. Went back about a year later, and it still was horrible. The Chicken was hot, which was a good thing, but my mac and cheese was soggy and gummy, and COLD! The Greens were cold, with cold pieces of Bacon in them. The Service was horrible, and both times i went we were the only diners in there. But i think thankfully they closed. But if they are still open, stay away.

                2. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                  I second Les Sisters. Good fried chicken too.

                  21818 Devonshire St
                  Chatsworth, CA 91311
                  (818) 998-0755

                3. You can get pork chops, gravy, rice, and very tasty greens (but, to my knowledge, no cabbage) at the four Johnny Rebs restaurants. (See: johnnyrebs.com.) It's just like when ma' made 'em down-home, Jeb, I mean Tari, except there's no leftover plain rice for the cereal bowl next morning. Most particularly, Johnny's hushpuppies are tender, moist, and crusty when fresh and hot.

                  Over time I've found that some of their dishes are very good, others are, er, not so good. I don't like the country ham, for example, which is a shame, because the real stuff is so hard to find in Southern California. (Johnny Rebs' ham is real, but it's foul.) Despite a few mishits and the hokey hillbilly decor, however, the place is always enjoyable.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: sbritchky

                    Mom's Bar-B-Q House
                    14062 Vanowen St. Van Nuys, CA 91405 818-786-1373
                    (S.East corner of Vanowen and Hazeltine)

                    Mom's offers smothered pork chops with rice and gravy (or stuffing) on Fridays and Saturdays. They also feature your basic gamut of soul food staples ... corn bread, greens, cabbage, black-eyed peas, fried chicken, ribs, sausage, catfish and the occasional gumbo.

                    Not exactly exceptional grub but definitely acceptable and affordable.

                    1. re: Steve2 in LA

                      I am southern raised and have to say the closest to the real mccoy of soul food is Chef Marilyns on Crenshaw. I believe she opened a new place. If you want real soul food, that is as close as it gets. Not to mention everything is $.99 with the exception of a fried chicken breast. She even has 7up cake.

                    2. re: sbritchky

                      The bbq is just ok at Reb's, but the mashed potatoes and that country gravy is delish. Had the fried chicken last night, 4 pieces of nice and crispy chicken fried to order...stayed unbelievable hot throughout the meal. I'll have to try the hushpuppies.

                      1. re: groover808

                        JR's is one of those small chains where the individual locations seem to vary significantly in both food and service, Bellflower being my favorite, Victorville my least favorite. The last time I had the pork ribs (I forget which location -- probably Orange), they were chewy, gnarly, and grisly, but I do remember a pulled-pork plate a year ago that was good. The dark-meat chicken isn't bad -- moist + crisp -- if not drowned in that strong sauce. (Request it on the side.) For me, however, JR's is a place to go for whatever, as long as I can get their hushpuppies and greens. Hint: If the hushpuppies are cold, send them back. They make a phase-transition from glory to ball-bearing when allowed to sit around.

                        P.S. to JazzBeau down the thread: Yes, their sweet ham is good, but, darn it, I want country ham!

                    3. Pann's is soulful, if not Southern. They have a large menu, including the OP's smothered pork chops, but last night I had fried chicken with mashed potatoes and brown gravy. Three of the four chicken pieces were outstanding -- fine crust (not as heavy as the Golden Bird I always enjoyed at the old Porky's) covering moist, tasty meat. The fourth piece -- the breast -- had the same crust, but the meat was not nearly as moist. Chicken breast always suffers when it isn't given special treatment by the kitchen.

                      The biscuit was wonderful (isn't it always?), but the real surprise was the New England clam chowder, often a dud at homey cafes, with oversized, overcooked vegetables suspended in library paste. At Pann's, the broth was flavorful and creamy, and it held nothing but a few potatoes and onions and lots of really good clams -- not a tough one in the bunch tonight. However they were obtained and prepared, the clams seemed to be absolutely fresh and were barely cooked to a tender turn.

                      As always, I had seriously friendly service from a very nice waitress. It was one of the best meals I've had at Pann's.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: sbritchky

                        Both the chicken and waffles are far better at Pann's than Roscoe's. Roscoe's has limp and soggy waffles. Pann's are huge and crusty belgian waffles, much prefer theirs. I guess their pea soup is supposed to be good too. Fun place for the "googie" architecture too.

                        1. re: groover808

                          I saw some of those waffles go by with huge chicken wings on top (no biscuits, of course), and they looked great, but I've never had them at Pann's, for the same reason that I haven't tried the bouillabaisse w/garlic toast, their Friday night special. The thought of not having Pann's biscuits makes me shudder. In fact, I apologize for even mentioning the possibility.

                          1. re: sbritchky

                            All Roscoe's are not created equal. I only dine at the Long Beach location...usually order the Scoe's Special (smothered) and both the chicken AND waffles have been great.

                            Re: M&M
                            Some M&M's were franchised and their was no consistency between locations....and it's gotten worse since the Vennie Mac (the guy who started M&M's was murdered).

                            Re: Johnny Rebs
                            Note that they have two different hams on the menu (at least for breakfast). The sugra cured ham is always great...but the other one truly is foul !

                            And The Creole Chef is terribly over-priced...and not even half as good as Harold & Belle's (who's clam chowder rivals that of the Los Al Fish Company !!)

                            1. re: JazzBeau

                              Wholeheartedly agree.

                              I used to frequent the M&M on Manchester Blvd, and they became quite inconsistent from day to day.

                              Johnny Rebs is great. I usually go to the Long Beach location. I usually get hot links and eggs fro b-fast with the "yankee spuds. For dinner all I really care about is the greens, I LOVE their greens. I like their pulled pork and their catfish is pretty tasty. Love the fried okra too.

                              Panns is just outstanding. I've never had a bad meal there.

                      2. I'm a transplant from Louisiana, and my personal fave is Miss Peaches. It's in North Hollywood, on Lankershim near Oxnard. Yummy hot links, the veggie plate is awesome and the red velvet cake...it's like you can taste the butter. :-) So bad, but sooo good!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Murmur21

                          M&M Soul Food in Lakewood is wonderful. Just went there today and the BBQ chicken, the fried chicken, the succotash, the yams, and the greens were all great. I used to go to the one in Carson, but the Lakewood one is better, except for the free sweet tea,

                        2. bertha's soul food cafe needs some love on this post! If it had half the movie quotes as roscoe's (swingers, jackie brown), it would have double the hype...near century and western

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: papajoel747

                            I agree about Bertha's.

                            I was just there recently, and while I'm no Soul food expert, I really enjoyed their fried chicken and meatloaf. And, if you like cakey-dessert like cornbread, order up.


                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              thx for adding the link, and the back-up..do you know of any other good fried-chicken spots, even if slightly more high-end, as i think the fried chicken was a tad weak at bertha's (but the other sides and the cornbread muffins were outstanding)

                              1. re: papajoel747

                                Big Mike's (definitely not more high-end).

                                Big Mike's
                                17845 Clark Ave
                                (562) 866-6967

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                i thought a lot of the dishes at bertha's was overly salty, and i love salt.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  Really? Which dishes did you have?

                                  I've only had the meatloaf and fried chicken. And the cornbread certainly did not taste salty to me.

                                  Curious as to your experiences.

                            2. Flossie's in Gardena/Torrance on Redondo Beach Blvd
                              M & M's in Long Beach on Carson St & Paramount, adjacent to the Bowling Alley.
                              You can't go wrong with either spot!

                              DUTC Grill in Gardena is good - but only the meats are cooked fresh to order. The side dishes are prepared in advance and reheated per order. Sometimes they are refrigerator cold in the center.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Estrogirl

                                When I think "soul food" I think of the "meat'n'threes", or plate-lunch places, in Nashville, a category which includes both Caucasian and African-American ownership/emphasis. Service is typically from a steam-table line, cafeteria-style, and table service if any is for topping up water and iced tea. The kinds of vegetables and meats served are those that don't suffer from sitting around, and in some cases they actually improve, though cooking continues through the mealtimes to replenish the pans. Needless to say, the only sides that are likely to be cold are the salads and Jell-O dishes kept on ice!

                                I would be very happy to find such a place around here, though it doesn't seem too likely. Clifton's Cafeteria comes close, just because their range is so wide you probably could assemble a credible "Southern" meal from their serving line. No greens or field peas, though, and forget the cornbread.