With vaccinations rolled out and CDC protocols allowing cities to open their lobbies again for dine-in service, you can finally support these Black-owned restaurants in Los Angeles who have been trying their best to remain afloat.
Historically, the opportunities for Black-owned businesses to thrive have been limited and their success has been constrained within the confines of systemic discrimination. Now that the after effects of the pandemic have taken an even bigger economic toll on businesses and restaurants across the globe, it’s important to support our local businesses, especially those owned by POC and in marginalized communities.
Even though the pandemic has made it incredibly difficult for small-town and locally-owned restaurants/cafes to stay afloat, there is a bulk of good eateries in LA still waiting for hungry customers. Flavors that infuse the styles of multicultural cuisines mixed with contemporary approaches highlight the diversity of California across many parts of the city. From the most delicately seasoned oxtail stew to a variety of soul food dishes – you may find your next favorite meal at any one of these Black-owned restaurants in Los Angeles.
Although you can only find Caribbean Gourmet on the weekends at Crenshaw and Atwater Village Farmers Markets, locals come from around the city to experience Guyanese chef Yonette Alleyne’s take on the rich and savory flavors that make up modern Afro-Caribbean cuisine.
In efforts to adapt to the pandemic, the pop-up offers a variety of premade boxed meals for take out that easily reheat at home. A popular favorite is their oxtail stew, with thick, tenderized pieces of oxtail infused with an array of spices including ginger and garlic and served with peppers on a bed of coconut rice alongside peas and fried plantains. Another low-priced staple prepared fresh is a Jamaican-style beef patty; a ground turkey patty enclosed in a flaky crust that holds the flavors in with every bite.
PIPS on La Brea
Thanks to Derrick Pipkin, a well known Southern California event producer, PIPS has been one of the only jazz clubs in Los Angeles for over 10 years now. With attention to detail on renovations and entertainment, the owner has won over the hearts of jazz enthusiasts and foodies that visit on a weekly basis.
Reservations are made online with an eight person party limit, and PIPS serves an impressive menu by executive chef Luis Carrizo Salvat; an Argentine culinary genius that has a passion for Southern American, Mediterranean and Argentinian cuisine. This unique dine-in is on the pricier side, but what you get is a full menu of Chef Salvat’s prestigious cookery and some legendary blues acts that’ll make you want to come back.
Pips provides diners with a newly-renovated patio and nights that involve the sweet sounds of live jazz instrumentals. Things like “Winedown Wednesdays,” the lively jive entertainment and the chef’s signature Churrasco steak, a traditional Argentinian grilled sirloin steak with a homemade chimichurri sauce on a bed of baked potatoes and veggies, make the restaurant a memorable spot to visit.
Calling themselves the “Home of Real California Barbecue,” Hambones and their Pitmaster Chef Keenan Handy have spent over 20 years developing the secret behind their aromatic woods and spices which flavor their meats. Because they’ve dedicated so much time to their secret spice blend, the flavors you can expect at Hambones are unlike any other BBQ joint in the city.
Come ready to chow down on slices of high quality cuts of tenderized meats like Angus beef, while dipping an assortment of their homemade all-natural barbecue sauces. Try their perfectly smoked barbecue chicken legs or baby back rib platters that will feed at least three to four people, depending on how big your appetite is. Their menu is definitely on the larger side, so if you don’t know what to get, go for one of their eight BBQ dinners; a selection of a little bit of everything on the menu.
Billionaire Burger Boyz
Known for their juicy, Instagrammable burgers and sandwiches, Billionaire Burger Boyz strives to pack a ton of flavor into each bite. Each burger is hand-pressed using only fresh, never frozen beef right on the truck. With a couple trucks serving the community, the Billionaire Burger Boyz have officially added a brick-and-mortar restaurant set in Compton.
You’ll see people standing in line for hot items like their “Ragin’ Cajun Surf N Turf,” an Angus patty topped with deep fried jumbo shrimp and lobster tail or their “Shmackin’ Hot Chicken Sandwich,” a deep-fried chicken breast flavored with a spicy Nashville rub. You don’t have to eat beef to enjoy their lineup – all burgers can sub a turkey or veggie patty. Although they’re known for their delectable burgers, their chicken wings are also making waves. As Kevin Durant put it, “them wings tho…”
Poppy and Rose
Founded by husband and wife duo Chef Michael and Kwini Reed, this elevated country kitchen restaurant is located in the Flower District in the heart of Los Angeles. This California-inspired American brunch restaurant has become a local favorite for their comfort food made with high-quality seasonal ingredients and their floral-themed ambience.
Poppy and Rose has been crafting original recipes from scratch since 2014, and with the owners frequently supporting hospitals, children’s organizations and other community organizations, the restaurant is well known in the area.
The food is elegantly plated to highlight the artistry and delicacy the chefs put into each dish, so expect the plates to be refined and picture-ready. The Fried Chicken Mary has made its name for itself by Chef Michael; a unique take on a Bloody Mary with housemade mix and a crispy fried chicken piece as an accent.
If you’ve never tasted authentic roti, Bridgetown Roti is the place to start in Los Angeles. With flavors that embody the essence and flavors of the West Indies, Chef Rashida Holmes imparts the traditions and history of Caribbean cuisine into her menu.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rashida embraced the home pop-up concept and was able to supply the community with the food of Barbados; a diverse influence of Indian, African, Creole and Portuguese food. Whether it’s curry chicken roti wraps, rich oxtail or turmeric-laced patties, Bridgetown Roti is everything you’d taste if you were to visit the Caribbean and its bright island flavors.
The Seafood Xperience
Serving what they call “oceanic comfort food,” the Seafood Xperience offers a wide-range of seafood on Florence Ave for takeout and delivery. Although they’ve been struggling with sales during the pandemic, owner Charles Grant told Spectrum News, “We ain’t going nowhere. You can order us through GrubHub, UberEATS, or any one of those delivery services. Call in, pickup, and we’re here.”
Expect to get your hands a little dirty as they pile up the southern-style fried seafood. The Seafood Xperience has everything from giant pieces of snow crab and jumbo shrimp to fresh salmon, shucked oysters and more. The portions at this spot are on the larger size, so invite some friends to share in the feast.
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