Fine Southern Cooking in Marina Del Rey, hopefully somewhere else in the near future.
After living in New York City for two years, I grew accustomed to getting the good stuff as far as Southern Cooking was concerned. I could stay in my neck of the woods near NYU, and hit the once and former Pink Tea Cup, or I could take the Subway on up into Harlem for the immortal Sylvia’s.
My first experience in L.A. came at Aunt Kizzy’s Back Porch, and it’s full of fond memories for me. It’s not the best Southern Kitchen in L.A., but it is by no means the worst. It’s a really good, more than solid, really fun, and a good time. It proved to me that the Black Community had their places to eat, they were damn good, and they weren’t all in Crenshaw or South Central, making the trek across town about ten minutes shorter for me.
The only drawback is that Kizzy’s in a strip mall, so parking can be a challenge at times, and that the space itself is small. But once you get in (Sunday Brunch can be a challenge) you’ll have a good ol’ time. You’ll get served in old jelly jars like my relatives use to rely on down in Texas and Louisiana. The Waitstaff when I last went there was really friendly and welcoming and…
…and now that I write this, I really want to go back again.
If you’re in the Valley, it is a heckuva trek to get there. But it’s close to the water, so you get a little bit of the sea in the air, and that’s never a bad thing.
I certainly recommend doing the Sunday Brunch, but be clear…you’re going to be waiting in line. Kizzy’s, like most Southern places, don’t take reservations.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I really, really liked Cousin Willie Mae’s Smothered Pork Chops, despite the fact that Willie Mae was my Grandmother’s name. I think I have tried Uncle Wade’s Baked Beef Short Ribs, and Aunt Johnnie’s Fried Chicken.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just know going in, odds are you’re going to be waiting in a line to get in. That’s just how Aunt Kizzy’s rolls.
UPDATE: April 3, 2012. According to their own website, the 523 Washington Location is closed. Here is what they say on their website:
Our 523 Washington Blvd location is closed, while we are securing another location for your dining pleasure. We are catering our delights for your enjoyment. Please call (310) 578-1005.
PARKING: The good news is that Aunt Kizzy’s is located in a open-air Mall/Plaza with plenty of parking. The bad news is that that’s no guarantee you’ll be getting a place close by. It’s a busy Plaza, with a Grocery Store nearby, and…well, prepare to walk a bit. You won’t need a Sherpa or a guide, but…
Aunt Kizzy’s Back Porch (former location)
523 Washington Blvd.
Marina Del Rey, CA