Bertha's Soul Food Cafe
reviving an old thread...
i was in LA this past weekend and finally got to try bertha's. i had the fried chicken, collard greens, and mac and cheese; my friend's order was basically the same except that he got the yams with pinto beans. both dishes were also sided with rice topped w/gravy.
we both thought the food here was very good. the fried chicken was far better than i've had in recent memory at any soul food restaurant in nyc (where i'm from). the skin had a nice crispiness to it (not excessively crunchy nor too limp) without being too greasy or salty, while having a nice, peppery flavor. meanwhile the meat, even on the breast, was juicy and flavorful. after one bite, i was hooked.
the piping-hot cornbread was also quite good, and while i wasn't as crazy about the sides, they were still above average. my main complaint was that the collard greens were a tad saltier than i prefer, but it's a small quibble. and while the mac and cheese didn't wow me, it was perfectly fine.
next time i'm in LA i'm definitely going to return to this place to try some of the other dishes recommended here. also, i got a kick out of seeing the big painted "bertha's soul food" sign on the side of the building; brings back memories of randy newman's "i love la" video from the early '80s (although after looking at the video on youtube, it appears that the restaurant was housed in a different building back then).
Bertha's is really good and the people that run the place are so very friendly. Great Greens, and the fish is outrageous. I personally didn't like the gumbo all that much. It's only available on Saturdays, I think, maybe Sundays too, and while pricey, there's enough bits of meat to feed a bunch. But still...it's a little too greasy. Try it on rice, if you must, but if you like Gumbo, Harold and Belle's has better gumbo -- 2920 W Jefferson Blvd, just west of Crenshaw