photo courtesy of Zagat
We have a new president and for the first time in a longtime there is hope, but as hopeful as I am, we are still in a pandemic. As we enter Black History Month it weighs heavy on my heart that much of our Black community continues to face injustice and hardships in this country. We have to make moves that push us forward toward positive change and support one another during these unprecedented times.
When I was a flight attendant I frequently flew to number of the Southern cities. It was during those stops and layovers that I fell in love with the “Soul food of the South.” Some of my favorites were Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Shrimp and Grits, Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey, and Mac and Cheese. Can’t forget the best homemade Biscuits with lots of honey butter!
I am the proud owner and founder of ALONG CAME MARY Events, which has been operating for some 40+ years. As a caterer myself, I want to support Black-owned restaurants (especially this month) to make sure they stay in LA for generations to follow.
My top three favorite Black-owned restaurants are:
1. Post & Beam
Post & Beam will be 10-years old this year. The restaurant is located in the back of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw plaza. They have great Southern food, and pre pandemic there was always great music too. The restaurant focuses on “California comfort food.” It was featured by Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold on his 101 list. While Restaurateur Brad Johnson and chef-consultant Govind Armstrong have both left, the restaurant has stayed in local hands with the chef, now owner, John Cleveland taking over.
My first visit to Post & Beam was 2 years ago when lots of family stopped in for dinner before going to the Queen concert at the Forum. Boy were we in for a surpise! I haven’t had Buttermilk Fried Chicken that good since my visits to the South. My other favorite dishes were the Angus Beef Short Ribs, Shrimp ‘n’ Grits, and sIow-cooked Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey. I’m so excited to stop back in to Post & Beam now that outdoor dining is back in LA.
Simply Wholesome has been open on Slauson since the early 1980s and continues to offer a safe and welcoming space for the community. The owner originally opened Simply Wholesome, because he was tired of having to leave his neighborhood for a nourishing meal. The low-profile counter service restaurant offers healthy options with a Caribbean spin and caters to both omnivores and vegans. The food and service is great! It is just a perk that they are Black-owned as well. I recommend trying their Jamaican patties. Make sure to ask for extra spicy Vegan dipping sauce.
Founded by Herb Hudson, a Harlem native, the Hollywood, California-based soul food restaurant chain has been around since 1975. Hudson’s friends in Motown and TV helped spread the word and now people don’t even question the strange combination anymore. Roscoe’s is THE Los Angeles institution. I know I’m supposed to be eating better after all the See’s chocolates and cakes over Christmas, but I can’t say no to Chicken and Waffles. Plus Obama visited the one in Mid-City and he was one of my favorite presidents. He is the first to have his own dish on the menu, the “Obama Special” (3 wings with waffle, potato salad or french fries).
Let me know some of your favorite Black-owned restaurants and chefs that I should add to my list this month.
Make sure you order directly from these restaurants or wherever you are ordering from this month and always. Try not to order on third party apps like Postmates or Doordash. They take such high percentages from the restaurants. Now that outdoor dining is available, that is also a great option too. If you eat out make sure to follow the rules. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay 6 feet away. Stay safe!