Support Black-Owned Businesses and Treat Yourself by Ordering Some of the Best Take-Out in L.A.

The Team from Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken at LA Times Food Bowl. Photo by Elise Thompson.

While dining rooms are closed, we need to do everything we can to keep restaurants afloat, especially ordering take-out and delivery. It’s a good time to try new places, return to former stomping grounds, and support black-owned businesses. Here is a list of some of our favorites, including updated  information as of March 27, 2020. You may still want to contact restaurants in advance regarding any potential updates on hours during shelter-in-place mandates. Also, the internet has marked some businesses closed that are still open for takeout.

If possible, order directly from the business for pick-up so the delivery services don’t take a bite. If you must, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Caviar are currently delivering for free or reduced prices.

Ackee Bamboo – Leimert Park

Dinner Plate from Ackee Bamboo. Photo by Elise Thompson.

A favorite of locals and a darling of restaurant reviewers, Ackee Bamboo on Degnan helps to alleviate LA’s need for good Jamaican food. Kingston-born proprietress Marlene Sinclair and her husband Delroy serve up generous portions to the hungry customers who are often making a special pilgrimage to Leimert Park just to try her jerks and curries. The oxtails and short ribs are also exceedingly tender. Ackee Bamboo starts off with excellent cuts of meat, treats them well, and spices with a delicate hand. Goat meat can lean towards toughness, and is an easy dish to ruin. But the care and long braise it receives here yields a much more tender result. The jerk chicken is served with an excess of the traditional paste of ground peppers, herbs and spices. The paste acts as a sauce, so the chicken is almost stewed, rather than the more common dry finish we usually see on jerks in the United States. They also offer a refreshing pineapple ginger juice.

Ask about the special of the day for only $11 95. And grab some extra patties just in case! Closed Mondays, Tuesdays through Thursdays 11 a.m. -8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sundays 1130 – 6 p.m. Order by phone (323) 295-7275. 4305 Degnan Blvd #100. Los Angeles, CA 90008.

Big Chicken – Glendale

Big Chicken Dirty Fries, mac and cheese, and Chicken Sandwich. Photo by Elise Thompson.

We may have found a chicken sandwich that is even better than Popeye’s, right across the street from The Americana in Glendale. One of only two locations (The first one is in Vegas), Big Chicken, owned by Shaquille O’Neal, touts itself as combining “childhood favorites with bold new flavors.” It’s all about the fried chicken sandwiches here, although you can get grilled chicken upon request. The standard “M.D.E.” comes with pickles and shaq sauce, which is basically a combo of BBQ Sauce and Ranch Dressing. My favorite is the “Shaq Daddy” with Swiss cheese, country ham, and Carolina honey mustard BBQ sauce. There are also some vegetarian side items and one sandwich, The Charles Barkley, which is vegetarian, albeit weird, consisting of mac & cheese, crispy onion, and roasted garlic bbq aioli. Another weird dish, the stoner food-ish “Dirty Fries” topped with cheese, bacon, banana peppers, and BBQ ranch, is better with the sauce on the side. But we need to talk about the potatoes! I took one look, and said, “Oh my God! Those are Pomme de Terre Soufflées!” Because that’s how foodies talk. The French technique of slicing potatoes very thin and frying quickly causes they to puff up and fill with air while getting extra crispy on the outside. They are worth the trip alone. My only question is, why isn’t it called The Big Chicken Shaq? That question haunts me.

Open Daily 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. for take-out, curbside pick-up and delivery from Uber Eats. Order here. 252 South Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91204. (818) 245-6886.

Big Man Bakes – DTLA

Raspberry Dream cupcakes. Courtesy of Big Man Bakes Instagram.

We first had these delicate cupcakes at a festival in Exposition Park and couldn’t get them out of our minds. We were thrilled to discover the storefront ensconced in a parking structure across the street from the Regent Theater. Post-gig cupcakes rock! William “Chip” Brown, the 6’4″ “Big Man,” discovered his talents while studying to be a physician, and had some transferable chemistry skills to apply to his baking. Big Man’s cupcakes are classic and rich, but not overly sweet. And if the cupcakes don’t cheer you up, the cheerful and jovial Chip Brown definitely will! Standard cupcakes include Red Velvet, Lemon, Caramel Apple and Mounds, a chocolate cupcake with coconut buttercream frosting. Follow @therealbigmanbakes on Instagram for daily specials like Raspberry Dream, Strawberry, and Oreo.

The hours have been adjusted due to the closure of many DTLA businesses. The shop is now open from 11 a.m until 9 p.m., and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Available for takeout and delivery through Postmates. 413 S Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. (213) 617-9100.

Bludso’s BBQ – Fairfax District 

In 2008, Kevin Bludso, a Compton native with deep roots in Texas BBQ pits, teamed up with popular LA gastropub Golden State to cook up possibly the best Texas BBQ in LA. The first location of Bludso’s BBQ was in his hometown of Compton. It is now located on La Brea Boulevard, with a small stand at the Proud Bird Food bazaar near LAX. Brisket is the measure of Texas BBQ, and you can order yours either lean or fatty. I have to say, it is certainly the best fatty brisket I have found outside of Texas. The pork ribs are smoked to perfection, as is the pulled pork and links. If you are feeling wild, you can go for Buffalo-style Rib Tips. Texas Cheese Fries topped with rib meat are also an indulgent treat. They have an interesting assortment of drinks, including Cheerwine and Stumptown Coffee. If you are stocking up, or have a big crew, you can order whole smoked briskets, chickens, racks of ribs, and pans of sides and desserts. You can even order your meats frozen if you have a big freezer.

Bludso’s will be open until 3 p.m. for takeout and delivery from 3rd party apps, including Grubhub. No cash payments, and they strongly recommend that you order online. You can call (323) 931-2583 when you arrive for curbside pickup. The Proud Bird Food Bazaar location is closed during the Stay Home Order. 609 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Chef Marilyn’s Queen of Downhome Southern Goodies – West Adams

Vegetable plate from Chef Marilyn’s. Photo by Elise Thompson.

It’s easy to find Chef Marilyn’s Soul Food. Just head south off the 10 at Crenshaw and look for the line that stretches out the door. It’s easy to be tempted away by the smoke from Phillips Bar-B-Que across the street (currently closed), but Chef Marilyn’s has a line for a reason. Advertising “99-cents and up”, the tiny cafeteria-style eatery sells food a la carte (or a la Chinese buffet). The prices range from 99-cents for dishes like lima beans, neck bones and links, to $8 for oxtails. The menu rotates, with checkmarks on the chalkboard next to items in that day’s hot buffet. Chef Marilyn was brought up in Louisiana on creole and Cajun food. It especially shows in her cornmeal-crusted catfish, perhaps their best dish. With main dishes, you can’t go wrong with anything smothered or fried. Know what you want and don’t dawdle. Service is friendly, but there are 15 people behind you. This is a place to pick up your plate and go home, or enjoy it on the hood of your car. Remember, there is no shame in eating on your bumper.

Currently open from 11:30 am – 4 pm, and as always, it’s take-out only, but at this time they are only allowing three people into the little restaurant at a time. Closed Wednesdays. 2638 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. (323) 737-8101.

Earle’s on Crenshaw – Leimert Park

Chicken Sausage from Earle’s on Crenshaw. Photo by Cue the Critic. Used with permission.

Customers greet each other by name as family members run the till and brisk business at the Lotto counter turns the cafe into something akin to the general store. Carey and Duane Earle’s hot dog joint is easily recognizable on Crenshaw Boulevard by the immense sign saying CHILI. The room is spacious, with a cafeteria-style line serving up a diverse menu of burgers, dogs, chili bowls, tamales, Jamaican beef patties, and even vegan dogs, chili, cupcakes, and delicious-looking “chili cheese fries.” The split and grilled beef dog is just a little spicy, like a bratwurst without being too fatty. The chili is fantastic and definitely something to base a reputation on. The tamales seem to be filled with the meat base for the chili, a light masa, rice (!), chili, pickles and hot peppers. The ultimate drunk food. No matter when you visit, you know the hotdogs are going to be the exactly same, the standards will be high, and somebody behind the counter will be waiting with an easy smile.

New Hours: Closed Sunday, open 11 am – 8 p.m. Monday – Saturday. Call 323-299-BUNS for takeout or delivery through Postmates and Grubhub. 3864 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90008.

Fred’s Downhome Burgers – Hyde Park

Double King Turkey Burger from Fred’s. Photo by Cue the Critic. Used with permission.

Fred’s little burger stand on West Slauson has a big reputation. The Gramma turkey burger is a thing of legend. The patties are thick and you can get your burgers topped with their family recipe chili. The Royal, with two patties, egg, bacon, and pastrami could feed a family. They also have vegetarian patties, sausage patties, tacos, killer thick-cut fries, and pineapple milkshakes. Don’t forget the banana pudding, either. for takeout. While you’re there, stop in Mama’s Chicken next door and pick up some chicken and frozen sausages if they’re open. I can’t get them on the phone.

Open their regular hours Mon – Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., and Sundays 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.  2524 W Slauson Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90043. (323) 298-7762. 

Georgia’s – Long Beach

The Fried Green Tomatoes served family-style for a special press preview dinner at Georgia’s Restaurant at the Long Beach Exchange in Long Beach, Tuesday, July 16, 2019. Photo by Monique A. LeBleu

Georgia’s “Southern-inspired comfort food” has enjoyed a loyal following in the Anaheim Packing District and Long Beach Exchange. The businesses have been a labor of love for Gretchen “The Hugger” Shoemaker and her family, whom everyone calls Nana Gretchen. The menu is full of standard soul food fare, executed flawlessly. The fried chicken uses dark meat only, and is juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside, due to a 12-hour brine followed by a buttermilk dip and generous layer of Nana Gretchen’s grandmother’s special coating recipe. The Red beans and rice are moist and have a good zing. The jambalaya is chock full of shrimp, sausage, chicken and is spicy and flavorful. The beef ribs fall off the bone, with a sweet and tangy sauce. The real standout is their catfish, hot, flaky and moist with the same coating as the chicken. The fried green tomatoes are juicy and succulent, cornbread muffins are moist and just the right amount of sweet, due to the batter being folded and not stirred. If you have enough room for peach cobbler, it is tender and firm at the same time, with mildly sweet peaches topped with a crisp, cinnamon pastry. Georgia’s soul food will leave you satisfied and happy, just what Nana Gretchen and her family are shooting for. – Christy Kane

Both locations are offering Curbside Pickup all day until close, and delivery through Grubhub. Georgia’s Anaheim is also available for delivery through DoorDash and Uber Eats. Check out the website for special family meals. Open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 440 S Anaheim Blvd #209A, Anaheim, CA 92805. (714) 906-1900.

Harold and Belle’s – Jefferson Park

Harold and Belle’s catfish

If Los Angeles had a Galatoire’s, it would have to be Harold and Belle’s. The decor is reminiscent of New Orleans’ fancier restaurants, with warm wood, brass fixtures, etched glass, and starched white tablecloths. Harold and Belle’s is still run with pride by the third generation of the Legaux family. This is the place to indulge your creole craving with Crawfish Etouffe and Fish Suzette. The fried catfish fingers are cut into big chunks, unlike the thin filets so common at Cajun restaurants. You can also feed your jones for red beans and rice, jambalaya, and their famous gumbos.

Takeout available 11:30 a.m. –  9 p.m., Call (323) 735-9023. Delivery via Grubhub and Uber Eats. 2920 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018. (323) 735-9023.

Harriet’s Cheesecake Unlimited – Inglewood

Harriet’s Sweet Potato Cheesecake. Photo by Cue the Critic. Used with permission.

Conveniently located next to the (currently closed) Phillip’s BBQ on Centinela, Harriet’s Cheesecakes Unlimited sells over 60 flavors of fresh, homemade cheesecake either whole or by the slice for only $6.50. The Praline, the Banana Pudding, and Key Lime will drive you wild. Harriet Parks started baking as a hobby while she raised her five children, and the mother’s love shows. A dry-erase board features the day’s flavors – usually around 30 or so. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

Hours are currently 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Call to check on flavors for whole cheesecakes. 1515 Centinela Ave., Inglewood, CA. (310) 419-2259

Honey’s Kettle Fresh Fried Chicken – Culver City

Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken. Photo by Liseth Salgado. Used with permission.

A favorite of the beloved late food critic Jonathan Gold, and often considered the best fried chicken in LA, Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken has won countless awards. The Culver City restaurant was opened in 2000 by husband and wife team Vincent and Arlene Williams. Master chef, Vincent Williams, fries up the all-natural hand-dipped chicken in pure peanut oil. They also serve pancakes, sandwiches, fish and chips, and my favorite–blackened catfish. On the side be sure to order their fantastic mac and cheese, not-too-sweet maple-glazed yams, sweet crispy peppers and home-baked drop biscuits with local honey.

Open for Takeout and delivery via DoorDash, Postmates, Grubhub, Ubereats and Chownow. You can also pick up some mix to make their popular biscuits at home. Sundays – Thursdays 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. 9537 Culver Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232. (310) 202-5453.

Hotville Chicken – Baldwin Hills

Hotville Beer Belly Pop-up. Photo courtesy of Hotville Chicken. Used with permission.

Nashville hot chicken has taken Los Angeles by storm, with popular joints like Gus’ World Famous Chicken and Howlin’ Ray’s slinging chicken as fast as they can. But there is a new game in town, and it is also the oldest. Kim Prince is Nashville chicken royalty, continuing the tradition her family started in the 1930s. It is believed that her family started the craze with their BBQ Hot Chicken Shack, later known as Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. After becoming popular with pop-ups at places like Dulan’s on Crenshaw, she opened up her own place on Marlton near Baldwin Plaza. The chicken is offered with four different heat levels: West Coast Plain, Cali Mild, Music City Medium, and Nashville Hot. They also have hot fried fish! There is a full roster of sides like baked beans and mac and cheese, and banana pudding that will get me in the door.

Open Tuesdays – Sundays 11 a.m. -8 p.m. Closed Mondays. Take-out only. 4070 Marlton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90008. Call (323) 792-4835.

Lou The French On The Block

Native Parisians Chef “Lou” and his wife Karima opened this small French Patisserie/coffee shop on a bustling block of the Burbank /Toluca Lake area in 2016. Former owners of a popular catering company, they focus on simple but exquisite pastries, cakes, and sandwiches. Along with a variety of croissants, tarts, eclairs and sugar-topped pastry puffs called Chouquettes, they offer an authentic Pain au chocolat like the one my French-Canadian mother made for me whenever she baked bread. So they have my heart. For around $10 you can score sandwiches on freshly baked baguettes with fillings like Wild-Caught smoked Salmon, Creamy Boursin, and Cucumbers, or French Brie, Avocados, Tomatoes, and Spinach. They also serve salads, and naturally, quiche. They also produce gorgeous platters that will impress everyone at the office. The friendly welcome you receive at the little take-out counter will leave you smiling all the way home with your bag of goodies.

Hours are: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 3pm for take-out only.

Mom’s BBQ House/Mom’s Haus – Van Nuys

Mom’s BBQ House. Photo by Elise Thompson.

Tucked into the corner of a nondescript Van Nuys mini-mall between a 7-11 and a Mexican Restaurant, Mom’s BBQ is easily overlooked. Still, it is a beacon to the faithful, especially on Fridays, which is gumbo day. The kitchen of this small family business runs smoothly under the watchful eye of matriarch Genevia, the “mom” of Mom’s.  Miles from the epicenter of soul food in Los Angeles, this little valley restaurant has been serving up Louisiana-style cooking for over 30 years. The menu features red beans and rice, boudin, and other Crescent City favorites. Still, the foundation lies in Southern standards – ribs,  fried chicken and catfish. The ribs are marinated, smoked, and then slathered with a homemade and multilayered BBQ sauce. The kitchen works their magic on the greens, there is a little heat and barely a hint of bitterness so you can shovel them into your mouth with abandon. The mac and cheese is made with slices of American cheese, giving it a marked sweetness. Each meal comes with two slices of white bread and margarine, hallmarks of authenticity in the land of soul food.

Mom’s accepts all major credit cards and closes on Sundays and Mondays. They are open for takeout and delivery via Grubhub. 14062 Vanowen Street, Van Nuys, CA 91405. (818) 786-1373.

[Update 6/02/20 Genevia has retired, and her kids have changed the name to “Mom’s Haus”]

Orleans and York – View Park-Windsor Hills

Orleans and York Catfish po’boy. Photo by Elise Thompson.

You can’t be all things to all people. But Orleans and York, as the name suggests, is making an effort to at least cover two of the most food-focused cities in America. Sami Othman was something of a deli prodigy, working at his family’s New York sandwich shop at the age of ten, and opening up his own deli in 1977 at only 16. His first Los Angeles area deli was in Pasadena, and in 2013 he opened Orleans & York Delis in Inglewood, Baldwin Hills, and Downtown L.A, soon followed by locations in Carson and on Slauson in the View Park/Windsor Hills neighborhood. I cannot attest to the authenticity of the New York subs, because I’m all about the po’boys. When I took my first bite of their shrimp po’boy I honestly felt like all of the other sandwiches might as well just give up and go home. You can even order additional shrimp or oysters, not that you need to. They will grill your shrimp instead of frying it upon request, and serve it in a nice mayonnaise-hot sauce. They offer five different muffulettas and a po’boy based on gumbo ingredients. With the wall of Zapp’s Potato Chips and desserts like Banana Pudding and Red Velvet Cake, the Southern culture does seem to overshadow the New York heroes. Grab your own sides and sodas, which include the cult favorite Faygo, and order at the counter.

Open regular hours for takeout. Delivery vis Grubhub. 4454 W Slauson Ave, View Park-Windsor Hills, CA 90043. (323) 291-8800. Also  Carson, DTLA, Inglewood, and Crenshaw/Leimert Park.

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles – Hollywood

SCOE’S 1/4 Chix Smothered with Gravy & Onions and Waffles at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, Hollywood, California, February 13, 2018. Photo by Monique A. LeBleu.Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles – Hollywood

If any place can be called an L.A. institution, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles is definitely on the short list. Founded by Herb Hudson in 1975, the comfortable restaurant on Gower has had a line out front for as long as I can remember. There are now six other locations fanned out across Los Angeles, with varying results. When Anthony Bourdain visited Roscoe’s during Season 3 of No Reservations, he loved the food, but tripped out on the eponymous combination. Having grown up with it, eating chicken with waffles is natural to Angelenos. In fact, Mildred Pierce, the subject of James M. Cain’s 1941 novel “Mildred Pierce,” becomes successful serving a “chicken-and-waffle dinner” at her Glendale restaurant. But for us, Roscoe’s is the original and the gold standard that all other Chicken and Waffles will be compared to. There is an extensive list of menu items with combinations of chicken, eggs, chicken liver, giblets, grits, waffles, and biscuits, and people will fight you over which one is the best. I personally go for Scoes #1: 1/4 Chicken prepared southern style with two waffles. Some will argue that I am missing out by not getting the Scoe’s #2 with gravy, but I like to smother the chicken in maple syrup. If you aren’t in the mood for chicken, their peppery chicken sausage patties are also a thing of legend.

Open regular hours for takeout only. Delivery available via Postmates, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub. Locations in West L.A., South L.A., Pasadena, Long Beach, Inglewood (LAX), and Anaheim.

Sal’s Gumbo Shack – Long Beach

Sal’s Gumbo Shack. Photo by Elise Thompson.

This little corner diner on Long Beach Boulevard is owned by Sally Lewis and staffed by friends and family. They serve one of the best shrimp po’boys in town and a dark, rich gumbo with sausage and crab legs. Not only do they have the spicy, buttery BBQ shrimp like Pascal’s Manale in the Garden District, they even serve Acme’s Boo Fries. The skin-on fries are covered with cheese, gravy and roast beef debris. The only question is, why isn’t everyone making Boo Fries? Wednesdays and Sundays are Soul Food Days with additional entrees like fried chicken, turkey necks and oxtails.

Open for takeout, curbside service and delivery through Postmates. 6148 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90805. (562) 422 8100.

The Serving Spoon – Inglewood

Fried catfish from The Serving Spoon. Photo by Elise Thompson.

The Serving Spoon is located in a comfortable old-school diner on Centinela. Since 1982 they have been serving huge portions of their delicious breakfast and lunch specials. Along with your eggs you can order the usual meats or salmon croquettes, catfish whole, filet or nuggets, red snapper, pork or turkey chops, Rib-eye steak or chicken. The pancakes and waffles are out of this world, but I am obsessed with their thick slabs of French toast, alongside some fried chicken, naturally. For lunch it is catfish, catfish, catfish. But that’s just me. Some people cannot wait for Tuesdays, when the special is smothered turkey wings. All plates come with their famous cornbread and sides like Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas, Candied Yams, Red Beans & Rice, and Mac & Cheese, along with the usual diner-style vegetable and potato choices. It’s so good I used to work in an office nearby one day a week just so I could eat there. And yeah, it was on Tuesdays.

The internet searches say it is closed. IT IS NOT CLOSED. I have spoken to them twice this week, including this morning. Currently open from 8 am – 2 pm. daily for takeout only and delivery on the Serving Spoon app. 1403 Centinela Ave., Inglewood, CA 90302. (310) 412-3927.

Simply Wholesome – View Park/Windsor Hills

Simply Wholesome. Photo by Elise Thompson.

Simply Wholesome resides on the corner of West Slauson and Overhill in a huge Googie-style building. The restaurant/health food store was first opened by Percell Keeling in 1984 and relocated to its current location in 1995. The Jamaican-inspired lunch counter is always hopping, and for good reason. People with special diets can find delicious food that accommodates them, and everybody else can enjoy the healthy food, whether vegetarian or not. Some of their most popular dishes, in fact, are the standard-sounding tuna salad sandwich and the chicken sandwich. The Simply Lite Plate comes with peas and rice, greens flavored with garlic and Accent seasoning, and something amazing called Macaroni and Cheese Pie. Dense Mac and Cheese is sliced into perfect meatloaf-sized slices, which seems like an impossible feat, and grilled. The fresh juices are also a big deal here, not too sweet and really refreshing. You can have a delicious meal and still feel light and ready to go. Don’t forget to grab some patties for the trip home.

Open for takeout only Monday – Saturday: 8:30a.m. – 10:00p.m. Sunday:
10:00a.m. – 9:00p.m. 4508 W Slauson Ave Windsor Hills, CA 90043. (323) 294-2144.

New Orleans Snoballs – Park-Windsor Hills

New Orleans Nectar Snoball. Photo by Elise Thompson.

The Snoball Shop is conveniently located on the same corner as Orleans and York Deli. As far as I know, it is the only place to get an authentic snowball in LA. A snoball is grated ice is doused with syrup. It looks like a snow cone, but instead of hard grainy chunks, the ice is shaved into flurries as light as air. It is more like Hawaiian shaved ice. There are lots of fruit and dessert flavors. There is one flavor particular to snowballs called nectar. People are only able to describe it to me as “sweet.” The red syrup kind of reminds me of cream soda. You can also order the snowball topped with sweetened condensed milk, like they do in Louisiana.

Currently still open and operating at the same hours. 11-7 everyday. 452 W. Slauson Ave., Windsor Hills. (323) 292-3145.

South L.A. Café – Exposition Park

Building community in South LA through coffee, culture and connection.

South LA Cafe is on a mission to “build community through coffee, culture and connection”.  The founders, Celia and Joe Ward-Wallace, are long time LA residents that wanted to do their part in bringing “fresh, affordable and healthy food options” to South LA for themselves and their neighbors.  The space they’ve created near the corner of MLK and Western is perfect for their mission; it’s spacious, welcoming, and has strong Wi-Fi. Not to mention great coffee and food to go along with it. On a recent visit I enjoyed a lovely cup of strong iced coffee accompanied by a decadent coffee cake.  If you’re in the area consider getting your next cup of coffee (they can work with your usual order from Starbucks) and you’ll be supporting the community along with it. – Michael Jenkins

During the COVID-19 crisis, they’re offering the following services:  Open 7 days a week, 8 am – 1 pm taking orders from the Joe Coffee App. When you check out make sure to select “curbside delivery” and they will bring it to your car, you don’t even need to get out!  1700 Browning Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90062; (213) 260-0633. – Michael

Stevie’s Creole Cafe – Faircrest Heights

The Shrimp and Grits at Stevie’s Creole Cafe, Los Angeles, California, February 11, 2020. Photo by Monique A. LeBleu.

As a Louisiana transplant of nearly 50 years, it was both thrilling, and embarrassing, to discover that the best place for Gumbo this side of the Sabine River had been in L.A. during much of that time. Learning that it was also a favorite of the late L.A. Times food writer Jonathan Gold’s as well, made it also. The cafe’s paper menu will tell you that child Actor and Restaurant Owner, Stephen Perry, opened his first restaurant in 1986 out of a passion for cooking, and that this is the second incarnation of his restaurants that has a colorful, long list of celebrities who frequent it.

The mustard gold cafe, with its long green shade awnings and vintage boxed bulb marquee and neon signs, stands out against a sea of Jewish delis, dry cleaners, hair salons, and repair shops which share space in this Pico section of Faircrest Heights. First facing from the door is a giant blackboard wall densely and colorfully chalked with Stevie’s extensive menu. On an adjacent white wall is “LOVE is Gumbo Po’Boys Naked Chicken”—and it is not wrong about that. Despite the abundance of choices, ordered were three items, as narrowing them down further was just impossible. The glistening and piping hot Shrimp Mac and Cheese—the ultimate of comfort food—was loaded with giant, juicy shrimp, richly sauced and creamy and topped and broiled with melted cheddar and other cheeses on top of large elbow macaroni. The Shrimp and Grits, so densely packed with the same large, butterflied, tail-on shrimp and crisp French onion topping, that you could barely see the generous amount of smooth and creamy grits hiding beneath.

Stevie’s World Famous Seafood Gumbo lives up to its name. Both a stew and a soup, the art of a good Gumbo is in its rich roux, along with a trinity of seasoning vegetables. With it, the same tender shrimp, along with cut crab leg, chicken, sausage, and a pinch of filé, making this Gumbo the most authentic and worthy of the very top of your bucket list. The Peach Beignets couple their crisp, puff pastry version of the donut with a fresh peach compote that will simply just curl the toes. Some of the cafe’s additional classic New Orlean’s style Creole southern fare and comfort soul food also includes Fried Catfish, chicken with rice and gravy, fried chicken and waffles, assorted etouffees, pasta dishes, shredded short ribs, and the enticing sounding Naked Chicken, with additional desserts like Sweet Potato Pie, Banana Pudding, Vanilla Pudding, and their signature Peach Cobbler of that same singular compote.

Considering the pending Armageddon, this is a bucket-list must eat. Stevie’s Creole Cafe hours during delivery/take-out-only mandates are Daily 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., 5545 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90019. (323) 413-2494. – Monique A. LeBleu.

Stone’s Grocery & Market – Hyde Park

Stone’s Grocery and Market at the Long Beach Blues Festival. Photo by Elise Thompson.

After a trip to Jamaica in the late 80s, the mission was on to find real Jamaican food in Los Angeles. Everybody recommended Stone’s on Crenshaw out by the cemetery. The take-out only restaurant is located in an unmarked cinderblock building behind what used to be a radiator shop. The radiator shop is now a little grocery specializing in Caribbean imports, which makes more sense, although you lose a certain underground speakeasy cachet. The oxtails are served in a rich, dark sauce and falling off the bone. The curry sauce on the goat is better than any curry I have ever had, but their goat, as most goat does, tends to be tough. Make sure to grab the authentic, fresh beef patties for the road. One caveat: You do not go to Stone’s for the customer service. The people working the counter at the grocery store are nice enough, and when you catch them at a festival, they are as friendly as could be. But the ladies behind the restaurant counter don’t seem particularly happy to see you. That is a real testament to how good their food is. Everybody knows that, but they go there anyway.

Takeout open 12 Noon until 8 p.m. The grocery store is open regular hours. 6700 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90043. (323) 751-5526.

Woody’s BBQ on LaBrea – Inglewood

Woody’s smoked pork ribs (No Sauce). Photo by Elise Thompson.

In spite of the recent loss of its founder, Woody, the family carries on the tradition at the window of the little BBQ shacks. The location on LaBrea is right under the LAX flight path, which adds an extra thrill to the wait. There is a little room with six booths inside to dine in, but most people order their ribs and sliced beef to go. A short menu also offers links. standard sides are sweet BBQ beans and a fantastic potato salad, although you can order greens and cornbread on the side. your choice of three heats of BBQ sauce are generously slathered on the meats.

All locations are open during their regular hours for pickup. No delivery. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, closes at 10 p.m. on weekends. Closed Sundays. 475 S Market Street, Inglewood California 90301. (310) 672-4200.

Unfortunately we couldn’t fit all of the deserving restaurants in this post due to time constraints. We also wanted to only include quality places where we have eaten ourselves. Please comment with your favorite place and any info you have on them. Thanks for input from Cue the Critic, Brenda Terry, Valentino Herrera, Eddie North-Hagar, Michael Jenkins and Chef Jason Fullilove.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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4 Responses to Support Black-Owned Businesses and Treat Yourself by Ordering Some of the Best Take-Out in L.A.

  1. Michael Michael says:

    Wow! I’m moving several of these to the top of my “must eat soon” list. 😀

  2. belle says:

    You mentioned Dulan’s on passing but didn’t give them their own listing. Other Inglewood-ish favorites: Stuff I Eat (great vegan, and I’m a huge carnivore); Red’s (hate to make this place more popular than it already is, but social responsibility, sigh).

  3. Darren Davis says:

    Sky’s Gourmet Tacos 5303 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, 90019 skystacos.com Barbara Sky Burrell owner 29years. 833 sky taco. 323 932 6253

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