What you're getting: Gumbo
Okay, so someone who just moved to LA from NoLa might house this gumbo from the beloved longtime Farmer's Market stand and be a little let down -- the flavor's not as deep as it can be in the actual South, and the spiciness just doesn't have the expected kick. That said, though, in a land where there's not a ton of options, this is the best of them. Plus, the collard greens are fantastic.
What you're getting: Biscuits and gravy
This Agoura restaurant is NOT a Southern food spot -- in fact, the chef is from Germany, about as far away as you can get. But he's versed in sausage, and the little chunks of the protein are the key to this creamy, buttery, crazy-good dish.