Who said you can't have wings for breakfast? To be fair, those wings do come with eggs or waffles. At R&J Southern Home Cooking Restaurant, a prominent southern influence springs forth starting with the first meal of the day. It carries through the afternoon and culminates at dinnertime, when cooks presents diners with an eclectic spread of seafood and soul food. A quick peek at their cookbook reveals the source of this inspiration; rather than using the generic recipes found as prizes in cereal boxes, the restaurant relies on time-tested family favorites, including some recipes that originated in Louisiana and Arkansas. Those guidelines now fill the menu with authentic southern eats, including entrees such as smothered steak, catfish filets, and gumbo.
Chef Anthony's family spent generations perfecting the recipes for their Mississippi seafood. So when he moved to Los Angeles, he couldn't just leave the fruits and fried dishes of their labor behind. Instead, he serves their recipes daily at Delta Pride Fish Grill. For true Southern flavors, he fries up catfish, salmon, and shrimp to serve with rice or to incorporate into po'boys. But for healthier takes on these dishes, he instead grills the fillets in a choice of three styles: Californian with lemon, Cajun with spices, or blackened. But serving entrees alone doesn't constitute a proper Southern meal or cover up rough drafts of poetry written on the tablecloth. That's why the staff pairs seafood with homestyle sides such as okra succotash, red beans and rice, or crispy hush puppies. Chicken is also available fried, grilled, or smothered in gravy over garlic butter rice, macaroni and cheese, green beans, and cornbread.
Elite Restaurant might seem like strictly dim sum and seafood at first, but regulars know that the real specialty is the egg custard tarts. Crispy on the outside with a not-too-sweet crust, the custard has inspired a cult following, according to LA Weekly.
At Tarascos, owner Antonio Garcia and his chefs blend the comfortable and familiar with the slightly out of the ordinary. A chalkboard-scrawled menu lists Mexican classics such as enchiladas alongside lesser-known dishes such as huaraches, large, oblong tortillas stacked with charbroiled meats. Plates of barbacoa feature the seasoned beef wrapped in maguey leaves and slow-steamed until tender. Likewise, the tap menu mixes Mexican imports such as Pacifico and Modelo Especial with Tarascos's own home-brewed organic beers.
Patrons can dine inside or outdoors on a beer garden–style patio shaded from weather and warmed with gas heaters. On the patio, Tarascos also regularly holds cooking classes, such as a tamale class that was featured on ABC 7.
Borne from founder Aharon Klein's love of grilling and seasoning ocean-fresh seafood, Fish Grill sizzles a menu of wraps, pastas, and sandwiches starring juicy fillets of fish amid old-fashioned nautical d?cor. Chefs seal in succulent flavors by searing every fillet over smoky mesquite at a clean 1,000 degrees?roughly the temperature at which oceans melt. Each tasty dish of trout, tuna, salmon or ahi arrives tailored to the diner's tastes and prepared under the 3,300-year-old guidelines of kosher dietary law.
Cooks at Pescado Mojado Seafood Grill prepare the menu of fresh seafood in Sinaloan style, stacking half avocados with fresh-fish ceviche, frying whole tilapia, and stuffing soft tortillas with spicy shrimp. Diners dive into burrito dinners and quesadillas while seated at the blue and white booths and checking a wall mural of the ocean for the Dawn Treader.