It can be difficult to replicate the comforts of home. No seat is as relaxing as a living-room armchair, no library book is as pleasant as a personally dog-eared copy. The cooks at Shabazz work to emulate the catfish fillets, roasted chickens, fried shrimp, and slices of peach cobbler that you might find arrayed in a home kitchen or listed in the verse of an Elvis song. Freshly made strawberry lemonade and more time-tested beverages pair with turkey burgers and the parade of other foods.
A little corner of Mississippi stands in southeast Inglewood. An unassuming space on Crenshaw hosts M&M Soul Food, which recreates a huge menu of southern favorites from 8 a.m. through dinnertime seven days a week. Chefs load up plates with meatloaf, smothered pork chops, barbecue ribs, and fried seafood, among other soul-food staples. Then, of course, there are the sides—three of them per dinner plate, not counting the plump corn muffins. The menu also incorporates many dishes that can be hard to find outside a southern grandma's kitchen, such as liver and onions, chitterlings, ox tail, turkey wings, and oyster loaf. Cakes, cobblers, banana pudding, and potato pie obliterate the danger that someone might accidentally walk out with a little belly space left empty. In addition to standard combinations of grits, pancakes, and omelettes, breakfast hours hold out less-common dishes such as eggs with catfish or smoked beef links.
Few cities are as celebrated for their cuisine as New Orleans, a fact the chefs at Bourbon Street Fish relish in as they grill fillets of red snapper and fry up tender wings of chicken. Po'boys stuffed with spicy sausage, shrimp, and oysters call to mind the tapestry of cultures that influenced Louisiana, while multicolored beads and Mardi Gras finery evoke images of costumed krewes, blaring Dixieland jazz processions, and tourists pretending to know the words to "Iko, Iko". Catering packages bring feasts of fish, French bread, and gumbo to client's doorsteps, while events such as Steve Harvey's Hoodie Awards and New Orleans Saints viewing parties draw accolades from visiting foodies and crowds of homesick Louisianans.