With a quick glance at the menu, it's easy to see how L.A. Chicken Caffe got its name. Chicken is the staple protein here, taking many forms under the influence of Italian, bistro, and American cuisine. The cooks whip up poultry-based dishes that range from baked chicken penne to caesar chicken wraps to savory barbecue chicken sandwiches. Though chicken is their specialty, the cooks also satiate cravings with veggie wraps, california burgers, and salads, such as the Italian combo salad, tossed with mortadella, salami, and provolone. Guests can wash bites down with an espresso, latte, or smoothie made with fresh fruit and served in a freshly picked cup.
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.
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.
Qdoba's burrito baristas handcraft a catering menu of Mexican-inspired cuisine, customizable with a panoply of fresh ingredients for a taco, nacho, or burrito bar. Qdoba's culinary crafters craft succulent fillings for burritos, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas, including protein-packing choices, such as slow-roasted pulled pork, adobo-marinated grilled steak or chicken, and spiced shredded or ground beef, with vegetarian options also available. Taste the gooey flavor accents of the signature queso sauce, a three-cheese blend with roasted poblanos, tomatoes, and jalapeños, the pinto or black beans simmered in cumin and onion, or the creamy, hand-smashed guacamole that's ideal for filling up Queen Elizabeth's diamond-studded guacamole chalice. Tortilla chips with salsa bar and desserts complete each catered event, and customers can opt for burrito-boxed lunches and any add-ons.
Since 2000, the baker at Sweet Red Peach has been churning out a mélange of treats from scratch, including custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and pies, with accolades such as an appearance on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars and winning third-place in the LA Cupcake Challenge. Cake flavors include white confetti, red velvet, german chocolate, and 7-Up—a bakery specialty featuring buttery, lemon-tinged pound cake. Southern-inspired desserts include peach cobbler, sweet potato pie, and banana pudding—a menu standout made with fresh bananas, homemade custard, fresh cream, pudding extract, and vanilla wafers. The bakery also doles out cookies in varieties that include chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, and classic sugar.