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Chicken and waffles from Serving Spoon in Inglewood, California
Chicken and waffles from Serving Spoon
Cathy Chaplin

24 South LA Restaurants Available For Takeout or Delivery, Winter 2021

A guide to one of the largest regions in LA County

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Chicken and waffles from Serving Spoon
| Cathy Chaplin

Uncertain times call for sure picks when ordering takeout in any part of the city. Thankfully South LA restaurants continue to crank out some of the best dishes anywhere during the coronavirus pandemic.

The massive area (seriously, it’s larger than Manhattan) is filled with smaller cities and independent neighborhoods that represent a giant cultural cross-section of what Los Angeles has to offer, from old school spots in Inglewood and Compton and Lynwood to newer restaurants in West Adams and Crenshaw. Within these communities, it is entirely possible to dine very well from dozens of different cuisine types, making South LA one of the best places to eat in Southern California, bar none.

Here now, 24 great places to drink and dine in greater South LA, with one nod to Mid-City as well.

Added: Belizean Paradise Cuisine, Hotville Chicken, M’Dears, Swift Cafe, Tacos Avalos Birria de res estilo T.J., Tacos El Poblano Compton

Removed: Belizean Fish Market, Comfort LA, Post & Beam, Stuff I Eat, Worldwide Tacos

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Belizean Paradise Cuisine

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1271 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 937-7710
Visit Website

Open since 2012, Belizean Paradise Cuisine boasts an easy menu with stewed beef, curried chicken, or fried plantains accompanied by traditional peas and rice. Every portion is generous, while reasonable prices might garner a pleasing double-take.

2. Alta

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5359 W Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 571-4999
Visit Website

Chef Keith Corbin is the captain of the Alta ship, which has the adjacent and comfy daytime Adams Coffee Shop. Every dish is still tasty to-go with black-eyed pea fritters, and the delightfully tender and flavorful oxtails and rice. Make sure to pick up a bottle of wine with selections by certified sommelier Ruben Morancy.

Oxtails from Alta Adams restaurant in West Adams, California
Oxtails
Wonho Frank Lee

3. Harold & Belle's

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2920 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018
(323) 735-9023
Visit Website

Harold & Belle’s still rocks a menu of Louisiana favorites to a large and loyal local clientele. And for the record, gumbo and jambalaya taste even better as leftovers.

Harold & Belle’s
Harold & Belle’s
Facebook

4. CJ's Cafe

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3655 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 292-9221
Visit Website

The second outlet of a Pico Boulevard favorite, CJ’s Cafe on La Brea is a reliable option for Mexican-American or soul food diner fare. That might include big wet burritos for dinner, chorizo and eggs in the morning, chilaquiles any time, or the solid fried chicken and grits.

Fried chicken from CJ’s Cafe in Los Angeles, California
Fried chicken and eggs from CJ’s Cafe
Mona Holmes

5. Holbox

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3655 South Grand Avenue #C9
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 986-9972
Visit Website

Chef Gilberto Cetina has had plenty of success just south of Downtown, first with Chichen Itza, and with Holbox. The seafood-centric spot covers the bases with ceviches, tostadas, and even simpler preparations of Yucatanean and Baja-based specialties, like blood clams. When sit-down dining returns, it’ll be a welcome sight to watch these mariscos being made before your very eyes.

Holbox’s sea urchin ceviche in Los Angeles, California
Urchin ceviche
Mona Holmes

6. Earle's Grill

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3864 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 299-2867
Visit Website

Earle’s Grill is a South LA institution found along Crenshaw Boulevard. And though sit-down dining is still prohibited, they’ve streamlined the to-go process that include vegan dogs, excessively decadent chili dogs, and so much more.

A chili dog from Earle’s Grill
Earle’s Grill
Farley Elliott

7. Hotville Chicken

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4070 Marlton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 792-4835
Visit Website

Kim Prince’s Hotville Chicken was barely open for four months until the pandemic changed everything. But she’s established herself as one of Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw’s notable spots where Nashville hot chicken rules the day.

Hotville chicken on a tray with checkered paper and pickles.
Hotville Chicken
Matthew Kang

8. Tire Shop Taqueria

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4069 S Avalon Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90011

The much-hyped Tire Shop Taqueria continues to fire on all cylinders during the pandemic, and serves until midnight. After all, who doesn’t love hand-pressed tortillas and the sweet smell of wood-burning meat?

Tire Shop Taqueria in South Los Angeles
Tire Shop Taqueria
Matthew Kang

9. Swift Cafe

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4279 1/2 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 815-4418
Visit Website

Chef Kyndra McCrary’s daytime spot sits right in Leimert Park, where she keeps churning out a healthier spin on grilled jerk chicken, sea bass with roasted cauliflower, and the occasional vegetarian chili or gumbo. Her menu changes regularly, so check her Instagram for the latest offerings.

The interior of Swift Cafe in Leimert Park, Los Angeles
Swift Cafe
Sheldon Botler

10. Ackee Bamboo

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4305 Degnan Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 295-7275
Visit Website

Named after Jamaica’s national fruit, Ackee Bamboo keeps an all-day menu that’s been running since 2001. The food is traditional Jamaican, and dives deep on items like ackee sautéed with salted cod, jerk chicken, oxtail, goat, and plenty of seafood, including a fried whole red snapper with Jamaican spiced vinegar sauce.

11. Dulan's On Crenshaw Soul Food Restaurant

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4859 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90043
(323) 296-3034
Visit Website

Soul food restaurants don’t get much more famous than Dulan’s on Crenshaw. The banquet hall/restaurant/community gathering point has been at it for decades, turning out massive portions of fried and smothered chicken and fish to pork chops, oxtails, and the usual run of incredible sides.

12. Tacos Los Guichos

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320 W Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90003
(323) 971-1937

Tacos Los Guichos is one of the most versatile taco stops around, with a killer late night al pastor spit and room for lots of delicious carnitas on weekends. Both are equally fantastic, making this a must-stop for anyone with a serious taco craving.

A taco plate from Tacos Los Guichos
Tacos Los Guichos
Matthew Kang

13. Woody's Bar-B-Q

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3446 W Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90043
(323) 294-9443
Visit Website

For some of Inglewood’s best smoked meats, Woody’s Bar-B-Que is the place to be. While there are other locations for this LA institution, the Slauson location first opened 45 years ago. Nab a lunch or dinner plate with hot links, ribs, sliced beef, and chicken packed with mac and cheese, beans, greens, cornbread, and arguably some of the city’s best potato salad.

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

14. Jade Siam Restaurants

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2570 Slauson Ave
Huntington Park, CA 90255
(323) 589-8391
Visit Website

Jade Siam’s colorful interior is an oasis from the strip mall parking lot. The restaurant has been churning out quality pad se ew, pineapple fried rice, or panang curry for years, operating as one of the few Thai restaurants in the neighborhood that borders Vernon in Huntington Park.

15. Simply Wholesome

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4508 W Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90043
(323) 294-2144
Visit Website

Many mistakenly refer to Simply Wholesome’s fare as soul food, but owner Purcell Keeling insists that Simply Wholesome’s menu focuses on healthy food with a Caribbean spin that appeals to both omnivores and vegans alike. Pro-tip: order by phone in advance.

16. C W & Chris

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6512 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90047
(323) 750-9403

The fried fish scene is as strong as ever in South LA, with stalwarts like CW & Chris leading the charge. This is the place for fried white fish, but don’t sleep on the chicken wings either.

Fried chicken and french fries from C W & Chris
C W & Chris
C W & Chris website

17. Court Cafe

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5496 W Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Court Cafe is the the delicious collective restaurant from Taco Mell’s Jermelle Henderson, Bleu Kitchen’s Calvin Johnson, and Keith Garett of All Flavor No Grease. Together, they combine their unique South LA food-style like the taco omelette, waffles with brown sugar butter, and the crowd-pleasing lobster and waffles.

18. The Serving Spoon

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1403 Centinela Ave
Inglewood, CA 90302
(310) 412-3927

Those in the know are acutely aware of the Serving Spoon’s history and food. The owners have served a soulful breakfast and lunch since 1982, and recently received a financial boost from the LA community to stay in business. Always required are the cheese grits with catfish and eggs, collard greens, candied yams, or chicken and waffles.

Fried fish from Serving Spoon in Inglewood, California
Fried fish
Cathy Chaplin

19. M'Dears

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7717 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90047
(323) 759-2020
Visit Website

All COVID-19 protocols are in place at this Southern spot just off Western and Florence. Order the fantastic fried chicken, mac and cheese, and greens, and the 7-Up cake before it sells out.

20. Banadir Somali Restaurant

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137 Arbor Vitae St
Inglewood, CA 90301
(310) 419-9900
Visit Website

Banadir Somali Restaurant is among the only Somali restaurants in Los Angeles. It’s a friendly spot, with humble owner Hussein Mohamed will always provide recommendations. He’ll always suggest the goat or lamb platters, but all of the halal meats are marinated, then slow oven-roasted for three hours and served with a side of rice, a simple and delicious salad, with a side of bas bas. This traditional, bright green-colored green sauce is made with basil, jalapeño, and cilantro. It packs a delicious punch.

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

21. Tacos Avalos Birria de res estilo T.J.

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10107 Compton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90002
(323) 371-7218
Visit Website

Birria is worth all the current hype, but one must choose wisely. Head to Compton for Tacos Avalos Birria de res estilo T.J., where not only birria tacos are available, but birria ramen.

22. Jim Dandy Fried Chicken

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11328 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90044
(323) 779-5567
Visit Website

The longstanding Jim Dandy is pandemic-ready, with a permanent walk-up window on Vermont near the Imperial Highway. It’s a true throwback with the 1970s sign, cash-only policy, and chicken in a delicious grease-stained bag.

23. Coni' Seafood

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3544 W Imperial Hwy
Inglewood, CA 90303
(310) 672-2339
Visit Website

One of LA’s best Mexican seafood restaurants rests comfortably in Inglewood, as Coni’ Seafood continues to wow weary LAX travelers and locals alike. The marlin tacos alone are worth the trip, but it’s the big platter of pescado zarandeado that really turns heads.

A seafood platter from Coni’ Seafood
Coni’ Seafood
Crystal Coser

24. Hawkins House of Burgers

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11603 Slater St
Los Angeles, CA 90059
(323) 563-1129
Visit Website

Endless fans still flock to Hawkins in Watts, beguiled by the towering burgers that come fresh off the grill. The space across from Nickerson Gardens carries few frills, but that’s hardly the reason to keep anyone from going.

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1. Belizean Paradise Cuisine

1271 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Open since 2012, Belizean Paradise Cuisine boasts an easy menu with stewed beef, curried chicken, or fried plantains accompanied by traditional peas and rice. Every portion is generous, while reasonable prices might garner a pleasing double-take.

1271 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

2. Alta

5359 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Oxtails from Alta Adams restaurant in West Adams, California
Oxtails
Wonho Frank Lee

Chef Keith Corbin is the captain of the Alta ship, which has the adjacent and comfy daytime Adams Coffee Shop. Every dish is still tasty to-go with black-eyed pea fritters, and the delightfully tender and flavorful oxtails and rice. Make sure to pick up a bottle of wine with selections by certified sommelier Ruben Morancy.

5359 W Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016

3. Harold & Belle's

2920 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
Harold & Belle’s
Harold & Belle’s
Facebook

Harold & Belle’s still rocks a menu of Louisiana favorites to a large and loyal local clientele. And for the record, gumbo and jambalaya taste even better as leftovers.

2920 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018

4. CJ's Cafe

3655 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Fried chicken from CJ’s Cafe in Los Angeles, California
Fried chicken and eggs from CJ’s Cafe
Mona Holmes

The second outlet of a Pico Boulevard favorite, CJ’s Cafe on La Brea is a reliable option for Mexican-American or soul food diner fare. That might include big wet burritos for dinner, chorizo and eggs in the morning, chilaquiles any time, or the solid fried chicken and grits.

3655 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90016

5. Holbox

3655 South Grand Avenue #C9, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Holbox’s sea urchin ceviche in Los Angeles, California
Urchin ceviche
Mona Holmes

Chef Gilberto Cetina has had plenty of success just south of Downtown, first with Chichen Itza, and with Holbox. The seafood-centric spot covers the bases with ceviches, tostadas, and even simpler preparations of Yucatanean and Baja-based specialties, like blood clams. When sit-down dining returns, it’ll be a welcome sight to watch these mariscos being made before your very eyes.

3655 South Grand Avenue #C9
Los Angeles, CA 90007

6. Earle's Grill

3864 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008
A chili dog from Earle’s Grill
Earle’s Grill
Farley Elliott

Earle’s Grill is a South LA institution found along Crenshaw Boulevard. And though sit-down dining is still prohibited, they’ve streamlined the to-go process that include vegan dogs, excessively decadent chili dogs, and so much more.

3864 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008

7. Hotville Chicken

4070 Marlton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90008
Hotville chicken on a tray with checkered paper and pickles.
Hotville Chicken
Matthew Kang

Kim Prince’s Hotville Chicken was barely open for four months until the pandemic changed everything. But she’s established herself as one of Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw’s notable spots where Nashville hot chicken rules the day.

4070 Marlton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90008

8. Tire Shop Taqueria

4069 S Avalon Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90011
Tire Shop Taqueria in South Los Angeles
Tire Shop Taqueria
Matthew Kang

The much-hyped Tire Shop Taqueria continues to fire on all cylinders during the pandemic, and serves until midnight. After all, who doesn’t love hand-pressed tortillas and the sweet smell of wood-burning meat?

4069 S Avalon Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90011

9. Swift Cafe

4279 1/2 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008
The interior of Swift Cafe in Leimert Park, Los Angeles
Swift Cafe
Sheldon Botler

Chef Kyndra McCrary’s daytime spot sits right in Leimert Park, where she keeps churning out a healthier spin on grilled jerk chicken, sea bass with roasted cauliflower, and the occasional vegetarian chili or gumbo. Her menu changes regularly, so check her Instagram for the latest offerings.

4279 1/2 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008

10. Ackee Bamboo

4305 Degnan Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

Named after Jamaica’s national fruit, Ackee Bamboo keeps an all-day menu that’s been running since 2001. The food is traditional Jamaican, and dives deep on items like ackee sautéed with salted cod, jerk chicken, oxtail, goat, and plenty of seafood, including a fried whole red snapper with Jamaican spiced vinegar sauce.

4305 Degnan Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008

11. Dulan's On Crenshaw Soul Food Restaurant

4859 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90043

Soul food restaurants don’t get much more famous than Dulan’s on Crenshaw. The banquet hall/restaurant/community gathering point has been at it for decades, turning out massive portions of fried and smothered chicken and fish to pork chops, oxtails, and the usual run of incredible sides.

4859 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90043

12. Tacos Los Guichos

320 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90003
A taco plate from Tacos Los Guichos
Tacos Los Guichos
Matthew Kang

Tacos Los Guichos is one of the most versatile taco stops around, with a killer late night al pastor spit and room for lots of delicious carnitas on weekends. Both are equally fantastic, making this a must-stop for anyone with a serious taco craving.

320 W Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90003

13. Woody's Bar-B-Q

3446 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90043
A paper boat filled with saucy ribs and white bread at Woody’s Bar-B-Q
Woody’s Bar-B-Q
Farley Elliott

For some of Inglewood’s best smoked meats, Woody’s Bar-B-Que is the place to be. While there are other locations for this LA institution, the Slauson location first opened 45 years ago. Nab a lunch or dinner plate with hot links, ribs, sliced beef, and chicken packed with mac and cheese, beans, greens, cornbread, and arguably some of the city’s best potato salad.

3446 W Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90043

14. Jade Siam Restaurants

2570 Slauson Ave, Huntington Park, CA 90255

Jade Siam’s colorful interior is an oasis from the strip mall parking lot. The restaurant has been churning out quality pad se ew, pineapple fried rice, or panang curry for years, operating as one of the few Thai restaurants in the neighborhood that borders Vernon in Huntington Park.

2570 Slauson Ave
Huntington Park, CA 90255

15. Simply Wholesome

4508 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90043

Many mistakenly refer to Simply Wholesome’s fare as soul food, but owner Purcell Keeling insists that Simply Wholesome’s menu focuses on healthy food with a Caribbean spin that appeals to both omnivores and vegans alike. Pro-tip: order by phone in advance.

4508 W Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90043

Related Maps

16. C W & Chris

6512 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90047
Fried chicken and french fries from C W & Chris
C W & Chris
C W & Chris website

The fried fish scene is as strong as ever in South LA, with stalwarts like CW & Chris leading the charge. This is the place for fried white fish, but don’t sleep on the chicken wings either.

6512 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90047

17. Court Cafe

5496 W Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Court Cafe is the the delicious collective restaurant from Taco Mell’s Jermelle Henderson, Bleu Kitchen’s Calvin Johnson, and Keith Garett of All Flavor No Grease. Together, they combine their unique South LA food-style like the taco omelette, waffles with brown sugar butter, and the crowd-pleasing lobster and waffles.

5496 W Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90045

18. The Serving Spoon

1403 Centinela Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302
Fried fish from Serving Spoon in Inglewood, California
Fried fish
Cathy Chaplin

Those in the know are acutely aware of the Serving Spoon’s history and food. The owners have served a soulful breakfast and lunch since 1982, and recently received a financial boost from the LA community to stay in business. Always required are the cheese grits with catfish and eggs, collard greens, candied yams, or chicken and waffles.

1403 Centinela Ave
Inglewood, CA 90302

19. M'Dears

7717 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90047

All COVID-19 protocols are in place at this Southern spot just off Western and Florence. Order the fantastic fried chicken, mac and cheese, and greens, and the 7-Up cake before it sells out.

7717 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90047

20. Banadir Somali Restaurant

137 Arbor Vitae St, Inglewood, CA 90301
A plate of Somalian food with rice, meat, and a side salad.
Banadir Somali Restaurant
Mona Holmes

Banadir Somali Restaurant is among the only Somali restaurants in Los Angeles. It’s a friendly spot, with humble owner Hussein Mohamed will always provide recommendations. He’ll always suggest the goat or lamb platters, but all of the halal meats are marinated, then slow oven-roasted for three hours and served with a side of rice, a simple and delicious salad, with a side of bas bas. This traditional, bright green-colored green sauce is made with basil, jalapeño, and cilantro. It packs a delicious punch.

137 Arbor Vitae St
Inglewood, CA 90301

21. Tacos Avalos Birria de res estilo T.J.

10107 Compton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90002

Birria is worth all the current hype, but one must choose wisely. Head to Compton for Tacos Avalos Birria de res estilo T.J., where not only birria tacos are available, but birria ramen.

10107 Compton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90002

22. Jim Dandy Fried Chicken

11328 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90044

The longstanding Jim Dandy is pandemic-ready, with a permanent walk-up window on Vermont near the Imperial Highway. It’s a true throwback with the 1970s sign, cash-only policy, and chicken in a delicious grease-stained bag.

11328 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90044

23. Coni' Seafood

3544 W Imperial Hwy, Inglewood, CA 90303
A seafood platter from Coni’ Seafood
Coni’ Seafood
Crystal Coser

One of LA’s best Mexican seafood restaurants rests comfortably in Inglewood, as Coni’ Seafood continues to wow weary LAX travelers and locals alike. The marlin tacos alone are worth the trip, but it’s the big platter of pescado zarandeado that really turns heads.

3544 W Imperial Hwy
Inglewood, CA 90303

24. Hawkins House of Burgers

11603 Slater St, Los Angeles, CA 90059

Endless fans still flock to Hawkins in Watts, beguiled by the towering burgers that come fresh off the grill. The space across from Nickerson Gardens carries few frills, but that’s hardly the reason to keep anyone from going.

11603 Slater St
Los Angeles, CA 90059

Related Maps