It seems fitting to always devote the first post of the year to soul food. Soul food isn’t too big in LA. You don’t have ex-Manhattanites shitting themselves over gumbo like they do over a plate of shredded chicken and rice.
Hopefully, some form of cosmic balancing must be achieved through this post. Parrain’s is run by a cook from ex-Louisana. You’ll see him on the fryer when you come in during lunch. This is because the only lunch special officially listed at Parrains is the 2-piece chicken dinner. But there’s also Creole here. Witness the weekend-only gumbo (which officially is on offer by noon on Friday).
Coming here just makes me feel good. There’s so much pride in this restaurant despite the awkward layout that wastes too much space, despite the lack of a real sign, despite the dinginess of the neighborhood. I’ve been here a few times now, and every time they’ve treated me nicely, warmly, just like Bludso’s did back in 2007, just like Hambone’s did back in ’13. Relative to the curt experiences typicall being dished out by the SGV carb houses, every customer ought to feel like a king here.
The menu isn’t perfect just yet. There are only dinner portions, unlike majority of soul food restaurants hanging out between the 605 and the 405 (but always south of the 10). The dinner portions feed me for two meals. The specials, however, are key here. Sometimes it will be fried turkey chops, sometimes it’ll be shrimp poboy. Always ask as they are often a bargain. But turkey chops.. Wow! Does it get more Southern than this in LA? How many other restaurant in LA serves a fried turkey chop? (Carolyn’s, Mama Joan’s, etc.) And how many serves a fantastic BEP to go with one of the best corn breads in Los Angeles?
Parrain’s Soul Food
Also, in addition to still not eating any Huy Fong, it is necessary that I do not frequent any restaurant featuring “bespoke”, “artisanal”, “designer” $100 denin aprons that looks anything like this:
Unless you’re a furniture wood worker, or a machinist, don’t wear denim aprons. They don’t absorb for shit, so please don’t pass the cost of $10000 in custom denim to us eaters. I’m OK if every server in every restaurant just wear $12 gap polos and $25 Levi’s. It doesn’t take $100 denim to make my food/dining experience better. Really. Bugger off with that craziness. No one at Parrain’s is wearing a $100 denim apron.