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Smothered pork chop and sides at Ms B’s M & M Soul Food
Michael N./Yelp

12 Essential Southern and Soul Food Restaurants in LA, 2018 Edition

Barbecue, fried chicken, jambalaya, and more

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Smothered pork chop and sides at Ms B’s M & M Soul Food
| Photo by Michael N./Yelp

There is much to love about soul and Southern food. A plate of pork chops or chicken smothered in salty, thick gravy. Impeccable regional barbecue. The soft, chewy bread on a New Orlean’s po’ boy. Or the comfort of a bowl of jambalaya. Southern and soul food have a special place in the American food canon. While there are some restaurants that have been doing the traditional soul or Southern in Los Angeles for over 20 years, a handful of newcomers have taken their versions in offbeat and sometimes modern directions. With that, here are LA’s ten essential Southern and soul food restaurants, presented from west to east.

Added: Harold & Belle’s, Soul Food Renaissance in LBC, Les Sisters, Ms B’s M & M Soul Food

Removed: Orleans & York, Barbara Jean

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Les Sisters Southern Kitchen & BBQ

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21818 Devonshire St
Chatsworth, CA 91311
(818) 998-0755
Visit Website

Out in Chatsworth is Les Sisters Southern Kitchen and Barbecue, a simple southern New Orleans restaurant that overlooks decor while focusing on crawfish ettoufe, collard greens, po’ boys, fried chicken, and hush puppies. Don’t skip the barbecue and be sure to wash everything down with Les Sisters bottomless sweet tea or lemonade.

Les Sisters Southern Kitchen & BBQ
Fan H. via Yelp

2. The Serving Spoon

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

The exterior of the Serving Spoon is a little underwhelming, but the regulars know to overlook the outside. Serving Spoon has been serving a soulful breakfast and lunch since 1982. Weekdays are an ideal choice, because the weekend wait is downright long, especially on Sundays after church. The savory, salty options are endless, like cheese grits with catfish and eggs, collard greens, candied yams, and chicken and waffles. They pay homage to black celebrities on the menu, with the Raphael Saadiq good morning special, or Mo’nique special.

The Serving Spoon oxtail platter
Facebook

3. Ms. B's M & M Soul Food

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801 E Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90301
(310) 412-2800
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Owner Beverly Brinson is from Mississippi, and her friendly manner is part of the brand that is Ms. B’s M & M Soul Food. Her collection of license plates and customer photos adorn the walls, and the equally warm staff prepare Brinson’s signature oxtails short ribs, mac, greens, cornbread, and chitterlings.

Ms. B’s M & M Soul Food
Liz Kuball

4. Soul Hollywood Restaurant & Bar

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7046 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 962-7685
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Soul Hollywood is a relative newcomer to LA’s soul food landscape, and it took nearly ten years to finally come alive. Chef Giulian Jones has been making Soul’s menu that includes fried catfish, buttermilk cornbread, and house ground brisket burger, with an occasional live band and a strong whiskey punch at the bar.

Soul Hollywood’s spicy chicken benedict
Facebook

5. Phillips Bar-B-Que

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2619 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 731-4772

Phillips is old school barbecue done right in the heart of South LA. The flavor is spicy, the meat is tender to the bone, and the sauce is righteous. What more could one want from barbecue? Before the newer barbecue places opened up, Jonathan Gold considered this one of the best smoked meat joints in town.

Phillips Bar-B-Que
D.M.

6. Chef Marilyn's, Queen of Down Home Southern Goodies

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2638 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 737-8101
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Expect a line outside of Chef Marilyn’s, Queen of Down Home Southern Goodies. There’s no seating, so select a traditional southern plate of collard greens, mac and cheese, candied yams or baked chicken, and take it to go. Her fried chicken sells out quickly, but so does most of Marilyn’s inventory, so plan on arriving early.

Chef Marilyn's, Queen of Down Home Southern Goodies
Becky V.

7. Dulan's On Crenshaw

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

LA-native Gregory Dulan opened Dulan’s on Crenshaw over 25 years ago. This is traditional soul food, and Dulan is well-known for shockingly large portion sizes of smothered pork chops, fried fish, smothered chicken, or oxtails, served with mac and cheese, greens, stuffing, and gravy.

Dulan's On Crenshaw cornbread muffins
Dulan’s

8. Harold & Belle's

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

Harold & Belle’s dining room got a much-needed makeover in early 2016. That was the only change at the 40-year-old restaurant, and the menu remains the same. It’s filled with respectable options that LA residents depend on, including fresh oysters, po’ boys, fish platters, jambalaya, a $10 Sazerac cocktail, and liver and onions that deserves consideration.

Harold & Belle’s
Frank Wonho Lee

9. Uncle Darrow's New Orleans Grill

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21720 S Avalon Blvd #102
Carson, CA 90745
(424) 570-0531
Visit Website

There’s nothing kitschy about Uncle Darrow’s in Carson. Rather than line the walls with fake wood and old road signs, the restaurant keeps a mostly modern fast-casual look at its corner location, turning out New Orleans staples like po’ boys, gumbo, and lots of fried catfish to anyone that comes calling.

Uncle Darrow’s po’ boy
Quoc H.

10. Preux & Proper

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840 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 896-0090
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Preux & Proper’s split-level Southern restaurant takes their cues from the best pickings of California produce to plates like braised collards, a cast iron gumbo pot, or dungeness crab hushpuppies. There’s a downstairs area with a daiquiri bar inspired by Bourbon Street, with Southern mint juleps, sazeracs, and sticky sweet hurricanes.

Outside Preux & Proper, Downtown LA
Matthew Kang

11. The Little Jewel of New Orleans

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207 Ord St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 620-0461
Visit Website

Marcus Christiana-Beniger and Eunah Beniger-Kang opened their New Orleans deli in 2014 in Chinatown of all places. The husband and wife team’s Big Easy menu was an instant hit, with authentic muffalettas, po’ boys, in-house smoked sausages and meats alongside fried catfish, jambalaya, and gumbo. There’s even beignets and chicory coffee for breakfast.

Little Jewel of New Orleans
Wonho Frank Lee

12. Soul Food Renaissance

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6617 Cherry Ave
Long Beach, CA 90805
(562) 422-3606
Visit Website

It’s all about the portion size at Soul Food Renaissance in Long Beach. Formerly LBJs Fine Foods, the restaurant is a longtime Long Beach staple that generously piles food onto plates. Crowd favorites include the lemonade, yams, turkey chops, and cornbread, but the smothered pork chops continues to draw locals and far-away customers.

Soul Food Renaissance platter
Stephanie S. via Yelp

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1. Les Sisters Southern Kitchen & BBQ

21818 Devonshire St, Chatsworth, CA 91311
Les Sisters Southern Kitchen & BBQ
Fan H. via Yelp

Out in Chatsworth is Les Sisters Southern Kitchen and Barbecue, a simple southern New Orleans restaurant that overlooks decor while focusing on crawfish ettoufe, collard greens, po’ boys, fried chicken, and hush puppies. Don’t skip the barbecue and be sure to wash everything down with Les Sisters bottomless sweet tea or lemonade.

21818 Devonshire St
Chatsworth, CA 91311

2. The Serving Spoon

1403 Centinela Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302
The Serving Spoon oxtail platter
Facebook

The exterior of the Serving Spoon is a little underwhelming, but the regulars know to overlook the outside. Serving Spoon has been serving a soulful breakfast and lunch since 1982. Weekdays are an ideal choice, because the weekend wait is downright long, especially on Sundays after church. The savory, salty options are endless, like cheese grits with catfish and eggs, collard greens, candied yams, and chicken and waffles. They pay homage to black celebrities on the menu, with the Raphael Saadiq good morning special, or Mo’nique special.

1403 Centinela Ave
Inglewood, CA 90302

3. Ms. B's M & M Soul Food

801 E Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301
Ms. B’s M & M Soul Food
Liz Kuball

Owner Beverly Brinson is from Mississippi, and her friendly manner is part of the brand that is Ms. B’s M & M Soul Food. Her collection of license plates and customer photos adorn the walls, and the equally warm staff prepare Brinson’s signature oxtails short ribs, mac, greens, cornbread, and chitterlings.

801 E Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90301

4. Soul Hollywood Restaurant & Bar

7046 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Soul Hollywood’s spicy chicken benedict
Facebook

Soul Hollywood is a relative newcomer to LA’s soul food landscape, and it took nearly ten years to finally come alive. Chef Giulian Jones has been making Soul’s menu that includes fried catfish, buttermilk cornbread, and house ground brisket burger, with an occasional live band and a strong whiskey punch at the bar.

7046 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

5. Phillips Bar-B-Que

2619 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Phillips Bar-B-Que
D.M.

Phillips is old school barbecue done right in the heart of South LA. The flavor is spicy, the meat is tender to the bone, and the sauce is righteous. What more could one want from barbecue? Before the newer barbecue places opened up, Jonathan Gold considered this one of the best smoked meat joints in town.

2619 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016

6. Chef Marilyn's, Queen of Down Home Southern Goodies

2638 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Chef Marilyn's, Queen of Down Home Southern Goodies
Becky V.

Expect a line outside of Chef Marilyn’s, Queen of Down Home Southern Goodies. There’s no seating, so select a traditional southern plate of collard greens, mac and cheese, candied yams or baked chicken, and take it to go. Her fried chicken sells out quickly, but so does most of Marilyn’s inventory, so plan on arriving early.

2638 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016

7. Dulan's On Crenshaw

4859 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90043
Dulan's On Crenshaw cornbread muffins
Dulan’s

LA-native Gregory Dulan opened Dulan’s on Crenshaw over 25 years ago. This is traditional soul food, and Dulan is well-known for shockingly large portion sizes of smothered pork chops, fried fish, smothered chicken, or oxtails, served with mac and cheese, greens, stuffing, and gravy.

4859 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90043

8. Harold & Belle's

2920 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
Harold & Belle’s
Frank Wonho Lee

Harold & Belle’s dining room got a much-needed makeover in early 2016. That was the only change at the 40-year-old restaurant, and the menu remains the same. It’s filled with respectable options that LA residents depend on, including fresh oysters, po’ boys, fish platters, jambalaya, a $10 Sazerac cocktail, and liver and onions that deserves consideration.

2920 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018

9. Uncle Darrow's New Orleans Grill

21720 S Avalon Blvd #102, Carson, CA 90745
Uncle Darrow’s po’ boy
Quoc H.

There’s nothing kitschy about Uncle Darrow’s in Carson. Rather than line the walls with fake wood and old road signs, the restaurant keeps a mostly modern fast-casual look at its corner location, turning out New Orleans staples like po’ boys, gumbo, and lots of fried catfish to anyone that comes calling.

21720 S Avalon Blvd #102
Carson, CA 90745

10. Preux & Proper

840 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Outside Preux & Proper, Downtown LA
Matthew Kang

Preux & Proper’s split-level Southern restaurant takes their cues from the best pickings of California produce to plates like braised collards, a cast iron gumbo pot, or dungeness crab hushpuppies. There’s a downstairs area with a daiquiri bar inspired by Bourbon Street, with Southern mint juleps, sazeracs, and sticky sweet hurricanes.

840 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

11. The Little Jewel of New Orleans

207 Ord St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Little Jewel of New Orleans
Wonho Frank Lee

Marcus Christiana-Beniger and Eunah Beniger-Kang opened their New Orleans deli in 2014 in Chinatown of all places. The husband and wife team’s Big Easy menu was an instant hit, with authentic muffalettas, po’ boys, in-house smoked sausages and meats alongside fried catfish, jambalaya, and gumbo. There’s even beignets and chicory coffee for breakfast.

207 Ord St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

12. Soul Food Renaissance

6617 Cherry Ave, Long Beach, CA 90805
Soul Food Renaissance platter
Stephanie S. via Yelp

It’s all about the portion size at Soul Food Renaissance in Long Beach. Formerly LBJs Fine Foods, the restaurant is a longtime Long Beach staple that generously piles food onto plates. Crowd favorites include the lemonade, yams, turkey chops, and cornbread, but the smothered pork chops continues to draw locals and far-away customers.

6617 Cherry Ave
Long Beach, CA 90805

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