The Top 5 Dishes in Leimert Park

Ackee & saltfish at Ackee Bamboo | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Leimert Park is a planned community from Walter Leimert that primarily sprouted up during the Depression. Thankfully, a pair of Supreme Court decisions – Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) and Barrows v. Jackson (1953) - helped to strip away racist housing restrictions, and the neighborhood gradually became a thriving African-American community. A wave of development is now escalating interest in the neighborhood, with 8.5 miles of Crenshaw/LAX Line track extending from the Expo Line through Inglewood to the Green Line and LAX. Locals are anxious to see what Leimert Park’s next iteration looks like. Sadly, the original Phillips Barbecue from Foster Phillips is no longer in business, but you can still find serious comfort. Discover five notable Leimert Park dishes.


Ackee & saltfish at Ackee Bamboo | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Ackee Bamboo

Jamaica native Marlene Sinclair opened Ackee Bamboo in 2006 and added Adassa’s Breakfast Cafe across the courtyard in 2011, naming the latter for her late mother. At both establishments, you’ll find Jamaica’s national dish: ackee & saltfish. This popular breakfast plate features creamy fruit reminiscent of jackfruit sautéed with salted cod chunks, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. The dish is seasoned liberally with pepper and plated with fried plantains, flaky fried festival bread (similar to a hushpuppy), rice folded with red kidney beans, and sautéed callaloo (minced greens that are a cross between collard greens and spinach). Weekends add yams and hearty dumplings to the mix.

Remmi’s Favorite at Brooklyn Deli & Mini Market | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Brooklyn Deli & Mini Market

In 2014, Brooklyn native and former Bad Boy Records exec Hakeem Dolphin teamed with Nigeria born-wife Remmi on Brooklyn Deli & Mini Market in Leimert Park. They use Boar’s Head meats and cheeses to craft New York-style deli sandwiches. It’s tough to choose a favorite signature creation, but we’ll go with Remmi’s Favorite. Sliced maple turkey breast joins honey mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, piquant banana pepper, creamy avocado, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar on sweet, wholesome wheat bread.

Gumbo at Delicious Southern Cuisine | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Delicious Southern Cuisine

In 2012, chef-owner Vidal Cortes and daughter Adriana founded Delicious Southern Cuisine, a cafeteria, bakery, and catering company in a mini mall. Steam bins showcase a la carte dishes like baked salmon, meatloaf, oxtails, and the occasional Cornish game hen topped with a scoop of cornbread stuffing and beef gravy. Delicious Southern Cuisine’s gumbo is particularly noteworthy. The family’s dark, peppery stew is crafted with the classic Cajun trinity of onion, celery, and bell pepper and loaded with skin-on chicken chunks, sweet shrimp, Andouille sausage, crab legs and abdomen. Each fortifying order comes with a cup of white rice and a choice of garlic bread or sweet cornbread muffin.

Chili dog at Earle’s on Crenshaw
Chili dog at Earle’s on Crenshaw  |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Earle’s on Crenshaw

Duane Earle and brother Cary started Earlez Grille as a Venice Beach hot dog cart in 1983 and sold enough franks to fund a Leimert Park restaurant in 1992. Crenshaw/LAX Line construction forced the family to move in 2013, but they re-emerged as Earle’s on Crenshaw in 2017. The brothers are still going strong, and their mother Hildred is even on the scene at their new Crenshaw Square location. Don’t call this fast food. They prefer “good food fast.” Their Kosher beef dog is the star, featuring grilled, scored links served on toasted buns with an array of toppings. Pile on ingredients like chipotle sauce, pico de gallo, kraut, or basic ketchup and mustard. We’d suggest teaming stomach-warming beef chili with cooling shredded cheese, crunchy raw onion, and spicy jalapeño.