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Camarones borrachos at Coni’Seafood
Cathy Chaplin

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7 Delicious Things to Eat in Inglewood

Eater editors talk about the best dishes to order in the LAX-adjacent city

Welcome to a new series about the best dishes to eat in various neighborhoods across Los Angeles. Today we’re heading to Inglewood, a city better known for its iconic giant doughnut and in-progress football stadium than for its for culinary prowess. However, insiders know just where to find something great to eat. From Mexican seafood to Southern barbecue, here now are Eater editors’ favorites in the neighborhood.

Lamb at Banadir Somali Restaurant

A plate of Somalian food with rice, meat, and a side salad.
Lamb at Banadir Somali Restaurant
Mona Holmes

Somalia isn’t the first country Angelenos think of when considering East African restaurants. Unlike Ethiopian cuisine’s vegetarian-friendly dishes, Somali menus are built on saucy halal meats and huge portions, which means it’s best to land at Banadir Somali Restaurant with a group. It’s likely that one of the owners will be on-site and offer a friendly handshake upon entry, before pointing at the menu board detailing the mainstays of the house. Though owner Hussein Mohamed might steer diners towards the popular goat, don’t miss the lamb. It’s marinated, then slow oven-roasted for three hours before served with a side of basmati rice, a delightful and simple salad, and bas bas, an electric-colored green sauce with basil, jalapeno, and cilantro. As you might expect, it packs heat to a beautiful, hearty dish. 137 W. Arbor Vitae, Unit C, Inglewood.—Mona Holmes

Cornbread at Serving Spoon

A white plate with a slice of toasted corn bread with a packet of honey on the side.
Cornbread at Serving Spoon
Cathy Chaplin

The Serving Spoon is a full-service diner serving Southern classics in a brightly-lit and energetic room. From fried chicken and waffles to crisp-golden catfish, everything on the menu is carefully made and delicious. The best part is that the complimentary cornbread comes with every main course. Buttered, toasted, and served with a packet of honey, the cornbread boasts sweet Yankee flavors and beautifully caramelized edges. After 30 years in the business, The Serving Spoon is still serving up some of the tastiest Southern cooking in the Southland. 1403 Centinela Ave., Inglewood. —Cathy Chaplin

Texas French toast at Pann’s

Googie style architecture makes the exterior of Pann’s especially eye-catching.
Wonho Frank Lee

Googie diner legend Pann’s sits across the street from Inglewood, technically, but that hasn’t stopped locals from claiming the colorful corner location as their own for generations. The restaurant’s rich history, not only of longtime diners and fans but of appearances across film and television, mirrors its equally rich food. Expect loads of patty melts and diner-style omelettes, plus rotating dinnertime specials, long Formica counters filled with heavy coffee cups on weekend mornings, and pancakes and pie galore. If there’s one star of the show, it’s the Texas French toast — thick slices of syrupy goodness coated in powdered sugar and served with piles of butter. This is a diner, after all. In a city so used to getting everything new and cool, keeping it old-school is sometimes the perfect antidote. 6710 La Tijera Blvd., Los Angeles. —Farley Elliott

Jerk chicken at Blessed Tropical Cuisine

A styrofoam take-out container filled with chicken, plantains, rice, and a salad.
Jerk chicken at Blessed Tropical Cuisine
Matthew Kang

There’s a stark contrast between the looming NFL stadium construction and the humble strip mall across the street featuring Jamaican restaurant Blessed Tropical Cuisine. It’s one of a number of Jamaican restaurants that populate South LA, though sadly Inglewood icon Front Page Grille closed earlier this year. While the sleek white stadium comes into shape, the vibe at Blessed Tropical Cuisine is a lot slower, with thick summer heat moving around the dining room thanks to a large floor fan. It’s a fitting setting to enjoy a delicious plate of jerk chicken, blackened properly and sporting a smoky aroma. A worker will ask if you want jerk sauce on the side or laced onto the chicken, but she’ll also warn that it’s incredibly spicy. How spicy? The first few tastes of the oily, spice-laden sauce are intensely hot and sweat-inducing. But after the initial heat settles in, the sauce becomes irresistible, almost essential to the meal. Draped over the beans and rice, the jerk sauce helps the dish become a complete experience. Bites of crunchy slaw and sweet plantains add the final elements to an excellent taste of Jamaica here in fast-changing Inglewood. 901 S. Prairie Avenue, Inglewood. —Matthew Kang

Drunken shrimp at Coni’Seafood

Drunken shrimp at Coni’Seafood
Cathy Chaplin

The camarones borrachos, or drunken shrimp, at Connie Cossio’s Inglewood mariscos spot seduces with a garlicky punch followed by a slow, lingering burn. With his deft understanding of flavors and ingredients, Sinaloan chef Sergio Penuelas transforms shrimp, fresh garlic, cilantro, crushed red pepper, and a generous pour of tequila into something otherworldly. The head-on camarones soak up the seasonings like a dream. The best part is the fiery red sauce beneath the shrimp that pairs like a dream with rice. 3544 W. Imperial Hwy, Inglewood. —Cathy Chaplin

Smoked meat at Woody’s Bar-B-Que

A paper boat filled with saucy ribs and white bread at Woody’s Bar-B-Q
Smoked meat at Woody’s.
Farley Elliott

Woody’s Bar-B-Que remains one of the true stalwarts in greater South LA smoked meat cooking. The restaurant closes in on a robust 45 years of selling ribs, hot links, and loads of chicken across four locations, beginning with the original off Slauson. The Inglewood location off Market is small but mighty, turning out lunch through dinner plates packed to the brim with heavily-sauced meats and Southern sides like cornbread and greens. Don’t skip the extra-sweet desserts. 475 S. Market St., Inglewood. —Farley Elliott

7-Up pound cake at Sweet Red Peach

A huge bundt cake frosted in white icing.
7-Up pound cake at Sweet Red Peach
Sweet Red Peach

It’s a bit of a shock when visiting Sweet Red Peach with the $5 billion NFL stadium right across the street. It’s a huge and awesome sight, and the Prairie Avenue strip mall has a front seat to the construction. As the Rams’ and Chargers’ stadium moves towards completion, Sweet Red Peach owner Karolyn Plummer keeps cranking out scratch-made cobblers, cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. She has one item that’s a rare find in Los Angeles: 7-Up cake. Just imagine a pound cake made with a can of 7-Up, sugar, eggs, and ample amounts of butter. The 7-Up adds a pleasant moisture and stickiness to the cake, which Plummer frosts in a gorgeous glaze. 1035 S. Prairie, Inglewood. —Mona Holmes

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