Damn good—Oh, sorry, Ma’am. DARN…yeah, that’s the word…DARN good Soul Food in the Valley.
You’ve seen what I’ve written, you see how I roll. I try to go everywhere and eat everything my body can handle (sans peanuts and fish). My Godparents are Chinese, so I feel more than a little at home eating Mandarin or Cantonese food, as well as Scheuzuan and Hunan.
But by birth, I’m African-American. Those are flavors and tastes my Mom served to me at the Family Dinner Table.
Anyway, a show I listen to on a regular basis has a thing were you can donate some money and sit down for lunch with the Host. One of the guys on the station was talking about how this place has the best Fried Chicken in Los Angeles. That got my curiosity up, and I think I know where the place is, but still…the best Fried Chicken in Los Angeles?
This is the one area in which I remain, hopelessly, shamelessly prejudiced. I’m sorry…I’m African-American, and I’ve had Fried Chicken that wasn’t properly kicked up a notch.
I’m not having it again. Even.
Still traumatized by my Lucille’s experience.
Now, you don’t have to be African-American actually standing over the food. It helps, but you don’t have to be. You just need an African-American recipe, or at least an African-American Auntie standing over your shoulder.
I know. I sound terrible, but I’ve been down this road before. I’ve taken that bite of ill-prepared, barely spiced Fried Chicken, and wondered if the plate it was sitting on would taste better.
That is not a problem you’re going to have at Mom’s.
Let’s put things up front. Mom’s is not an attractive place. It kind of reminds of me of Sapp’s Coffee House in Hollywood in that regard. It’s just not attractive on the outside or the inside, but that’s not the point is it? It’s what’s coming out of the kitchen that matters. And boy, do these folks put on a show.
Gastronomically speaking, that is.
I had me a nice, nice place for Fried Chicken. It was Stevie’s Creole Cafe. It was awesome. They used to serve you a big plate of food for just a couple of bucks. But now, Stevie’s is gone. Looks like Mom’s won this round.
Well, good thing for me…and good thing for you…since the folks at Mom’s know what the hell…sorry, heck…they’re doing.
I can’t curse around Mom. What kind of a guy do you think I am?
Menu’s up on the wall. It looks like it hasn’t changed since it opened. And it’s not just Fried Chicken. It’s got barbecue. It’s got wings. It’s got those good sides. Mom’s has got everything you need. Get in there and give her some business.
Not that she needs you too. Even on a Weekday, that place was mighty crowded.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: The Fried Chicken Lunch plate. Comes with a side, and it comes poppin’ fresh out of the fryer. It’s not the most slevete, slimming and heart-healthy of meals, but who the [BLEEP] cares, right?
Oh, did I say [BLEEP] out loud? I’m…I’m sorry, Mom.
I just cannot curse around Grandma.
I didn’t stop there. I also go the Hot Link, because…I ain’t going into a Barbecue place without evaluating their sausages. I gotta say, the sausage felt hand packed, and was edible like a Tamale. Still…I liked it. And I got a taste of their sauce, which wasn’t bad. It was tangy and smokey, near Texas quality, but…maybe just a hair short.
Finally, one cannot evaluate the quality of a fine, fine African-American establishment without evaluating the quality of their Collard Greens. One needs greens to survive if you’re eating proper southern. These were really good. But it’s going to take repeated, and frequent visits to Mom’s to evaluate just how good in the spectrum of Southern cooking available in Los Angeles.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Look, you’re going to walk in and wonder what hit the place. The decor is old school. The seating is tight. It looks like it doesn’t take Credit Cards.
It takes Credit Cards. But seating can be scarce.
PARKING: Parking can be just about as scares. Mom’s sits in the corner of a small strip mall complex in Van Nuys. Parking is tight as the other businesses are open and doing stuff. There may be one or two spots open at any given time. If you see them, JUMP ON THEM. Failing that, I don’t know what else to tell you. Street parking looked scarce in and of itself.
Mom’s Bar-B-Q House
14062 Vanowen St.
Van Nuys, CA 91405
Tel: (818) 786-1373
Tuesday-Thursday: 11:00 am – 9:30 pm
Friday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday: 12:00 – 10:00 pm