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.
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.
Feet are in good hands at The Runners Forum. The entire staff is composed of specially trained athletes who hold degrees in wellness-related fields such as exercise physiology and nutrition. When it comes to footwear, the team strives for a perfect fit, assessing customers' gaits in-store and testing out different styles and brands before settling on a shoe. Shelves display the latest wares from renowned footwear brands including Asics, Mizuno, and Adidas, as well as Runners Forum–brand apparel and running accessories. In addition to running gear, the shop also offers swimwear and bike maintenance, repair, and fittings.
Regardless of which of the hundreds of Target Portrait Studio locations you meander into, you can always count on a similar experience. Tucked into Target retail locations throughout the nation, each studio boasts a staff of professional photographers, premium lighting equipment, and advanced digital cameras. The seasoned crew takes pains to customize photo sessions to suit each customer's vision, setting up desired backgrounds and props before guiding families and high-school seniors through a mélange of poses. Afterward, customers will work with a professional to personalize their portraits with different special effects and styles, such as black and white or sepia tone. They then pick up their physical portraits at the studio in 7–10 days. If they don't feel like holding their breath that long to see the final products, they can access the images in an online gallery within 24 hours of the session, at which point they can order extra prints for gifts, collages, and greeting cards.