To make sure I do this Compton restaurant justice, I visited 3 times during April/May before even contemplating a write up.
Jazz Brunch at Ella Mae’s, Circa June 2008
Let there be no doubt, this restaurant is as soulful as it gets. Ella Mae was the grand dame of the family. Any restaurant named after the cooking grandma’s got soul. It behoove us to visit neighborly restaurants such as Ella Mae’s and Bludso’s. And yes, the 2 restaurants know each other. That’s how they roll in Compton.
Ella Mae’s was founded around May of ’08. I started visiting approximately a month before they 1 year anniversary. Shirley’s daughters man the front of the house, which consists of a long stainless table used for Sunday brunch buffets which they host.
The room, while spartan, is extremely large and airy by Compton standard. If Bludo’s Preservation Hall, Ella Mae’s Taj Mahal. Entire establishment is clean, with quaint hip hop / R&B playing, and a separate room where the kitchen is located, and a room from which the food is served. It’s hard to describe. Kinda reminds me of the dining hall-esque restaurants in Southside of Chicago. See pix below.
Shirley said she wants to feed the local residents healthy food, hence there are turkey burgers and vegetarian “meat” loaf on the menu. Do not expect chic farmers market menu here, but do expect a rich butter laden peach cobbler the size of your palm. It’s an unbeatable sugary value. Prices are comparable to sit down restaurants nearby, but with semi-cafeteria order style, tipping seems to be abandoned.
While the shrimp potatoes are highly touted on Yelp, they weren’t mentioned on any menu during my April-May visits. I liked the turkey meatloaf, and the fried chix was quite nice. Is it earth shattering cuisine? Absolutely not. Would I support this local business if I resided in the 90220? Definitely yes. Now maybe they can send some of their cornbread over to Bludso’s down the street… I’d kill two birds and save some gas.
515 West Compton Blvd
Compton, CA 90220