South by South of the Border Soul Food (Gravy Ep. 26)

The offerings at Delicious Southern Cuisine in Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.

Black-eyed peas and collards. Fried chicken and peach cobbler. Customers at Delicious Southern Cuisine in Los Angeles come for these soul food staples, a taste that reminds some of their Southern roots. But: there’s a different narrative going on in the kitchen… one with a Latino flavor.

Vidal Cortes, owner of Delicious Southern Cuisine. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.
Vidal Cortes, owner of Delicious Southern Cuisine. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.

When Southerners leave the South, their food comes too. Hence, the density of soul food restaurants in cities that were destinations for African Americans during the Great Migration, cities like Los Angeles. But there have been many other migrants to Southern California… And that makes for mash-ups of Southern food and other cuisines. In this episode of Gravy, Lena Nozizwe takes us to two restaurants that serve up an edible version of the demographic shifts of in their Los Angeles neighborhoods.

Customers at Delicious Southern Cuisine. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.
Customers at Delicious Southern Cuisine. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.

You can find Delicious Southern Cuisine here.

Eddie Oliphant. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.
Eddie Oliphant. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.

You can find Hambone’s here.

The brisket taco at Hambone's. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.
The brisket taco at Hambone’s. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.
Hambone's. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.
Hambone’s. Photo by Lena Nozizwe, copyright 2015.

To learn more about the relationship between African Americans and Latinos in this part of Southern California, you can read Black and Brown in Los Angeles: Beyond Conflict and Coalition, which is edited by Josh Kun and Laura Pulido.