Celebrating black-owned restaurants in Los Angeles
Living proof: I got here throughout @blackOWNfoodla on Instagram over a yr in the past. Tiffany Hinton Jefferson created the account shortly after the pandemic started.
Most of her movies start with Jefferson standing in entrance of a restaurant, gesturing for viewers to comply with. “Who desires some wings?” She says in a single voice. “I do! Comply with me to eat on these streets of Los Angeles.”
I’ll, I believed.
Jefferson’s Instagram account is devoted to highlighting Black-owned eating places. When she launched the account, she had lately been laid off from her gross sales job at a funeral residence. She was lately divorced and dwelling at residence with a brand new child.
“It has been so much, however I would not be on this place to assist carry these firms up if it did not all occur,” she stated.
Even earlier than the pandemic, Jefferson stated she was utilizing varied meals TV collection as a information to assist her plan her weekend journeys.
“I make myself the black model of Anthony Bourdain and Man Fieri,” she stated. “I needed to do it in Los Angeles, a foodie theme however overlaying black-owned eating places.”
Now, she’s turned her love of meals right into a part-time enterprise, serving to out among the eating places she’s featured on Instagram along with her social media accounts and different advertising and marketing.
I lately caught up with Jefferson for lunch at Joyce Soul and Sea downtown, one of many eating places she’s highlighted on her social channels. She was on her lunch break from her full-time job in funeral gross sales.
Sizzling Fried Catfish Rolls in Nashville and Convey Again Pok Pok in Joyce
The restaurant, situated on the backside of the eighth and luxurious condo complicated, is a pleasant place. It’s named after co-owner Prince Riley’s mom, who grew up within the South. It is also the center identify of the daughter he shares with co-owner Athena Riley.
At lunchtime, the eating room is bathed in sunshine and bustling with diners from close by workplace buildings, lots of whom are tucking into lobster rolls, burgers and seafood platters.
Co-owners Chef Sami Mansour and Beverage Director Cassadee Wiggins, who’re additionally married, are those behind the menu and cocktails.
Jefferson led me towards Nashville’s scorching fried catfish rolls.
The sandwich consists of two lengthy slices, peeled and sprinkled with a spicy Nashville-style seasoning that performs extra with the chili than its chew. The fish is cooked correctly, and as juicy as a chunk of darkish rooster meat.
“That is the most effective catfish I’ve ever had in L.A.,” Jefferson says, nonetheless chewing. “This proper right here. Should you take a second chew, you realize it is good.”
The fish is positioned in a toasted and buttered brioche bun, barely seen beneath the fillets. It takes some maneuvering to maintain all the pieces within the cake, which is able to inevitably cut up. Should you can squeeze the fish into the bread, and put some anchovies, dill pickle flakes, and slightly shaved iceberg into every chew, you may be handsomely rewarded.
One other favourite is Convey Again Pok Pok, impressed by Mansour’s love of Andy Ricker’s now-closed Pok Pok restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Ricker opened a location in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, nevertheless it ended up being only a short-lived blip in a endless journey. Sea Slots LA. I nonetheless miss the fish sauce rooster wings, primarily based on a recipe from a Portland worker named Ich Truong. Mansour misses them too.
He coats a fried rooster breast with a sweet-and-tart glaze with ginger, chili peppers, honey, and fish sauce. It is paying homage to poke poke wings, topped solely with recent herbs and sliced jalapenos. However what makes the sandwich is a thick layer of crunchy, crunchy peanuts topped with nuts, fried bits of onion and garlic, and many chili peppers. I’ll purchase this spice in a jar.
Garlic noodles with fried catfish and jollof with brief rib at Two Hommés
I additionally need to thank Jefferson for my new favourite restaurant, Two Hommés in Inglewood. It’s uncommon for each dish ordered to be fascinating, and on a menu it’s not possible to specify.
Abdoulaye Balde, aka Chef AB, and Marcus Yao, aka Chef Mando, opened Two Hommés out of the Consolation LA house on La Brea Avenue within the fall of 2022. The 2 describe the restaurant as an “African-focused restaurant,” however the menu veers into Culinary passages from world wide.
Berber Honey Hen items are all juicy and crunchy, glowing with an Ethiopian spice mix. The ceviche is recent, tart and candy, vibrant with pickled onions and keenness fruit taste alongside completely fried tostadas. Thyme zucchini is tender and crunchy, served over a creamy cheeto-infused, earthy, smoky Ghanaian chile sauce.
You’ll be able to combine and match a base of garlic noodles or jollof rice with completely different proteins. My garlic noodles arrive right into a tangled mountain with a big fillet of catfish draped excessive. The garlic noodles are vibrant, garlicky and barely candy. It rivals those everybody was loopy about at Crustacean within the 90s. The fried catfish is among the finest fish on the town, with a agency exterior and really crispy across the tender flesh within the center.
I’ve to suggest the Jollof with beer braised brief rib as properly. The slab of brief rib is marinated in root beer cooked till virtually caramelized. The meat is definitely divided into two components utilizing a spoon. With Ghanaian jollof rice, a bowl of “Azz Bomb” black beans, some bananas and a pile of arugula salad, it is a hearty dish you will be thrilled about.
I intend to return a number of instances with a bunch of individuals to order the complete menu.
Turkey fillets in Solo Kitchen
Chef Derek Bivens cooks in half the kitchen house at Lokels Solely restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. He has devoted half of his menu to his in style burgers from Billionaire Burger Boyz meals vehicles and eating places. The opposite half of the menu comprises steaks (pork and turkey), wings, blackened or fried seafood, grits, and any sides you would like to search out at a soul meals restaurant.
Turkey chops are the way in which all turkeys must be ready, with a evenly fried, peppery, and crunchy coating. The juices seep out if you minimize a chunk, and blend it with the rice and broth beneath. It is extra satisfying than any Thanksgiving turkey that is been brined and marinated repeatedly.
I opted for the macaroni and cheese, which is available in a scoop of well-seasoned tacky shells, and in addition with a facet of candied potatoes. The potatoes are splendidly wealthy, tasting of butter and brown sugar. It isn’t too candy, and the proper texture is near tender.
One meal is sufficient for 2 individuals. And almost definitely there will likely be leftovers.
The place to eat now
Joyce Soul & Sea, 770 S. Grand Ave., #A, Los Angeles, (213) 395-0202, Joycela.com
Two Hommés, 902 N. La Brea Ave., Englewood, (424) 227-6266, twohommes.com
Solo Kitchen, 635 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, (424) 844-7001, Chefsoulo.com