Last summer (’07), LA Times published an article on Mdme Katherine Banks and the beloved restaurant she owned with her husband (until 1991).

In between chasing rib tips and other soul food, Naka’s was forgotten in the background; figured it ain’t going nowhere. Then I read a Yelp thread that went full f-tard, remembered a random burger joint mentioned in this Chowhound thread, and set forth on my red Italian iron steed while wearing green jacket (for the a total CYA effect ya know). As a point of reference, Naka’s Broiler is across Centennial High School:

centennial high school (compton)

The result? Holy mother of god.. how did I miss this place? You have your tasty burger shacks ala Mom’s, Master’s, The Burger Stand, Fred’s Downhome, etc, and then you have this: an actual ‘hood diner! Please note the usage of ‘hood, and not ‘ghetto. There is nothing ghetto about Naka’s. It’s a self-respecting joint. Mr. Fisher, who bought the place in ’91, runs a tight/clean/neat ship. He brushes and wipes the broiler between grillin’ and the there’s nary a dribble of graffiti in the vicinity.

The cook is the “daddy” and the visiting diners are all “playahs”. You know some hip hop artist grew up eating Naka’s. You know the LA Riots didn’t touch Naka’s. It’s an institution. However! Some doofus decided to order a turkey burger with turkey bacon. Who does that! In Compton! Yes turkey burgers is the preferred ‘hood burger of choice but.. turkey bacon!#$@%@ Ugh!! My bad. Really. It’s a solid burger tho. Not spectacular ala Mom’s, but hand formed patty on a Wonderbread-esque bun, topped with crisp Iceberg, tomato, wayyyyy too much raw white onion and a wee bit of mayo.

A full breakfast menu is also served all day. And yes, you can sub turkey bacon for regular bacon with your eggs and grits…

Naka's Broiler on Urbanspoon



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