Although Jave and I try not to eat out too much, when we do, we like to push ourselves to try new restaurants as opposed to constantly resorting to our usual faves. It’s a gamble, because God knows there’s nothing foodies like us hate more than spending a lot of money on a mediocre meal. So we’re always elated when we try new restaurants where we end up loving the food. What’s even better is when we try new black-owned restaurants where we end up loving the food!
In celebration of Black History Month, I thought I’d share some of my favorite black owned restaurants here in L.A. so that if you’re ever in town, you’ll know where to go to support a local black owned business with the added benefit of indulging in a delicious meal.
The Jerk Spot
9006 Venice Blvd.
310.815.1160 | Website
The Jerk Spot is our relatively new go to spot for Jamaican food. I’m not exaggerating when I say that with the exception of The Jerk Spot, L.A. doesn’t have any good Jamaican restaurant options. I find that many Jamaican restaurants in L.A. tend to offer an eclectic mix of cuisines, and to be honest, if I see jerk chicken and fettuccine Alfredo on the same menu at a Jamaican restaurant, that’s a red flag that the unfocused menu will likely produce unfocused flavors.
So Jave and I were thrilled when we first ventured to The Jerk Spot several months ago and found that the menu is as basic as a Jamaican restaurant menu should be – escovitch fish, curry chicken, brown stew chicken, curry goat, oxtails, and of course sides like rice and peas, plantains, and reggae bread (i.e., festival). The food at The Jerk Spot is as authentic as it gets with the owners hailing from Montego Bay and Ocho Rios (I think??).
Every time we go to The Jerk Spot – whether dining in or carrying out – the food is consistently on point. Plus, the prices are very reasonable with most entrees costing less than $10. Whatever you do, don’t forget to order a side of reggae bread – it’s some of the best I’ve ever had in Jamaica or elsewhere.
My Two Cents
5583 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles (Mid-City)
323.938.1012 | Website
Although it’s been in business for about 3 years, I only recently discovered Chef Alisa Reynolds’s My Two Cents, and I already love everything about this restaurant whose motto is “From the Soil to Your Soul.”
The food at My Two Cents definitely has soul food roots, but with a contemporary, health conscious twist. Now, I’ve been to a soul food fusion restaurant before that got its flavors all the way wrong! But My Two Cents hits the nail on the head with menu musts like the Creole shrimp and corn grits (O.M.G.!!), the black eye pea stew (yes!), and the BBQ fried chicken. I already have my eye on the oxtail tacos, the gluten free mac and cheese, and the seafood gumbo for my next sit down at My Two Cents.
What I love most is that the food isn’t heavy and you won’t leave feeling like you need a good nap. I also love the prices with entrees ranging from $10-$16. You can’t beat that!
Post + Beam
3767 Santa Rosalia Dr.
Los Angeles (Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw)
323.299.5599 | Website
I recently visited Post + Beam for the second time (the first was years ago to celebrate my cousin’s graduation) and I have to say that the food is even better than I remember.
Post + Beam is a kind of casual upscale dining spot next to the Crenshaw Mall. It’s owned by seasoned restauranteur, Brad Johnson, and renowned chef Govind Armstrong is the executive chef. During my first visit to Post + Beam after it just opened, I recall seeing Chef Armstrong on the line in the open kitchen plating up orders. During our most recent visit, Chef Armstrong wasn’t around, but his signature bold flavors could be tasted in every bite.
Recently, I ordered the short ribs with a side of mac n’ cheese while Jave ordered the super moist and flavorful cast iron olive oil poached chicken with a side of black eye peas and buttered bay leaf rice. Let me tell you – every last bite of each of our dishes was a symphony in our mouths. And the slice of pecan praline sweet potato pie we shared for dessert was the perfect ending to a perfect meal.
The entrée prices at Post + Beam are higher than the other restaurants on this list, but it’s the perfect spot to go to for a special occasion or to simply treat yourself to a deliciously approachable gourmet meal.