Food & Drink

How to Celebrate Black Restaurant Week in LA

Support these Black-owned businesses around the city.

Comfort LA
Courtesy of Comfort LA

Now in its fifth year, Black Restaurant Week returns to Los Angeles from Friday, August 7 through Sunday, August 16. Founded by Warren Luckett, Falayn Ferrell, and Derek Robinson, Black Restaurant Week celebrates African-American, African, and Caribbean cuisines by introducing communities to their local Black-owned restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and catering businesses. 

Black Restaurant Week is typically celebrated with outdoor festivals, live panels with culinary experts, tastings, and other events that bring communities together around food. With the COVID-19 pandemic and recent resurgence around the Black Lives Matter movement, Black Restaurant Week has shifted its approach, instead focusing on providing digital resources that help Black-owned culinary businesses remain profitable beyond the pandemic. 

This year, the usual $200 registration fee was waived so that more businesses could participate. The event schedule has been adapted for an online format, including a virtual bartending competition with Maker’s Mark and a series of digital panels to share COVID-19-related resources. The culinary initiative hopes to create a Black food marketplace that will provide online listings for spices, recipes, cookbooks in addition to a database of Black bartenders and sommeliers.   

Many of the participating restaurants are responding to COVID-19 with an assortment of community-oriented offerings. When diners choose to support these small, Black-owned food institutions, they can rest assured that these businesses are paying it forward in their communities.  

Here’s a list of this year’s participating restaurants along with tips on what (and how) to order. For more information about Black Restaurant Week, visit their website.

Comfort LA
Courtesy of Comfort LA

Comfort L.A.

Downtown and Inglewood
What began as a late-night pop-up restaurant has since expanded into two brick-and-mortar locations in Downtown LA and Inglewood. ComfortLA takes a holistic approach to Southern comfort food, only using fresh, organic ingredients that have been locally sourced and opting for healthier cooking methods. The restaurant prides itself on Midwest hospitality and even during a brief curbside pickup, they strive to make customers feel at home. 
Cost: $8 lunch special, $12 dinner special and $10 brunch special on Sundays only
Order this: The dinner special with the organic, clean mean greens (vegan) and Cousin Kina’s mac and cheese on the side. 
How to order: Via ChowNow or Grubhub.

Sky's Gourmet Tacos
Courtesy of Sky's Gourmet Tacos

Sky’s Gourmet Tacos

Mid-city and Marina Del Rey
Since 1992, Sky’s Tacos has been serving up flavors they describe as “Mexican with a splash of soul.” The restaurant menu boasts a variety of meat and vegetarian options, all bathed in Sky’s signature “Sassy Sauce,” which is equal parts tangy and spicy. While Sky’s flagship location on Pico Blvd folds around 1,000 tacos per month, their less-trafficked Marina Del Rey location includes a marketplace with freshly prepared grab-and-go meals, groceries, and a full deli counter. 
Cost: $5-20
Order this: Sky’s Signature Shrimp Taco
How to order: Via Seamless, ChowNow, or Postmates

Post & Beam

Baldwin Hills
When Chef John Cleveland and his wife Roni took the reins at Post & Beam restaurant in 2019, they never could have imagined what was in store for their first year of business. After multiple curveballs, the restaurant continues to prove their adaptability and commitment to their local community. At the beginning of the pandemic, they partnered with local Councilman Marqueece Harris Dawson on the Emergency Senior Meal Program, which allocated funds to provide meals to senior citizens. When the program ended on June 12, the restaurant added an option to their delivery service that allows customers to donate a meal to a local senior for just $15. 
Cost: $45 for the prix-fixe menu
Order this: The prix-fixe includes a build-it-yourself personal pan pizza or Angus short ribs with a side and a slice of classic pound cake for dessert.
How to order: Via ChowNow

Juice by Chuck

Everywhere
What began as a personal project in response to a friend’s cancer diagnosis has now evolved into a thriving cold-pressed juice delivery service for busy creatives and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. All of the juice recipes are crafted by owner Chuck Allen and all ingredients are responsibly sourced. In response to local protests, Juice By Chuck held a Juneteenth Freedom Hike to honor African-American ancestors and raise awareness about community building through small business ownership. Follow them on Instagram to stay updated on future events.
Cost: $22.50 for a 4-pack of wellness shots
Order: Signature Juice with beet, apple, cucumber, and lemon
How to order: Deliveries on Sundays and Mondays via website.

Harriet's Cheesecakes
Courtesy of Harriet's Cheesecakes

Harriet’s Cheesecakes

Inglewood
An Inglewood establishment since 1983, Harriet’s Cheesecakes Unlimited is a Black-owned, family-owned business with over 65 flavors available by the slice or whole pies. Because Ms. Harriet is high-risk for COVID-19 and can’t be in the shop as often, she’s been busy behind the scenes creating and testing new recipes to add to their already-extensive menu. Every cheesecake is hand-mixed to perfection with fresh ingredients and Harriet has adjusted the sugar content of her cheesecakes to allow for diabetics such as her son to have an occasional piece. The dessert company plans to donate cheesecakes to essential workers in the COVID-19 unit at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica and is looking to do the same for a facility in Inglewood. 
Cost: $8.25 for a slice and $33 for 8” cheesecakes that are baked daily 
Order this: The Praline is their most popular cake, but the Apple N Spice is Ms. Harriet’s favorite
How to order: Call 310-419-2259 for curbside pickup.

Billionaire Burger Boyz

Compton
The tagline “You don’t have to be a billionaire to eat like one,” couldn’t be more true. Billionaire Burger Boyz elevates comfort food with menu items that include lobster tail burgers, honey butter chicken sandwiches, and jambalaya french fries. In addition to their Compton storefront and food trucks, Billionaire Burger Boyz also offers catering which includes a tasty wings menu and they’re planning on adding pizzas to their menus soon. Since the pandemic began, they’ve supported their community by feeding those living in Skid Row, donating food to front-line workers at local hospitals, grocery stores, and post offices, as well as donating to Compton’s Community Fridges. The food truck is in LA on the weekdays and in Lancaster, San Diego, San Bernardino on the weekends. Follow them on Instagram for truck location updates..
Cost: $10 burgers and $5 sides
Order this: Jambalaya fries 
How to order: Via website

Undergrind Cafe

La Cienega Heights 
For those who miss hunkering down in a coffee shop with their laptop, Undergrind Cafe has a cozy outdoor area where you can work in peace over a refreshing cold brew and people watch at a distance. The all-day breakfast cafe experienced a boom in business about two months ago when Ariana Grande documented her visit and recommended fans follow suit. Undergrind Cafe is supporting health care workers with an ongoing 25% discount on any order.
Cost: $3-5 coffee drinks and $8-12 food items
Order this: The Southern Comfort open-faced buttermilk biscuits and gravy with a Filthy Chai on the side
How to order: Takeout and delivery via Seamless, walk in for outdoor dining.

Simply Wholesome

Windsor Hills
Simply Wholesome has been serving the LA community since 1984 with their restaurant and health food store. Their restaurant menu features unique, Caribbean-inspired flavors including blackened fish and Caribbean tacos and enchiladas while their health food store has everything from vitamins, juices, and teas to natural hair care products and skincare items. Most recently, the storefront was included on Beyonce’s web directory of Black- and African-owned businesses. Simply Wholesome has updated their website to advise customers of longer wait times and recommends that orders be placed in advance over the phone.
Cost: Under $15
Order this: Spicy Cajun Tacos
How to order: Takeout and curbside pickup via phone 323-294-2144.

Orleans & York
Courtesy of Orleans & York

Orleans & York

Downtown LA, Crenshaw, Carson, and Windsor Hills
True to name, Orleans & York satisfies your sandwich craving with New Orleans-inspired ‘po boys and New York-inspired hero sandwiches. They’ve quickly expanded since opening their first LA deli in 2013 and have plans to launch more locations across Southern California and nationwide. Orleans & York is a favorite for Cajun and Creole cuisine, even serving muffuletta sandwiches, which are unique to the Italian community within New Orleans. 
Cost: $15-20
Order this: Gumbo Mumbo Sandwich
How to order: Curbside pickup via ChowNow

Simply D’Licious Southern Creole Cuisine

Mid-city
Serving up Creole cuisine since 1984, Simply D’Licious is a great option for anyone who wants to go all out with their Sunday dinners. The menu features entrees like beef oxtails, catfish fillet, seafood gumbo, and shrimp Creole fettuccine, all made fresh to order. The restaurant recently opened a food truck and will soon launch a new location in Las Vegas. 
Cost: $12-20
Order this: Wet oxtail burrito
How to order: Curbside pickup and delivery via website.

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Danielle Dorsey is a contributor for Thrillist.