Things Are Going South

if you're in the mood for some down-home southern cooking, you need look no further than the Beverly Center at 3rd and LaCienega! Right in the Beverly Grove area lies Yardbird, an homage to classic southern cooking. Cocktails abound here as well and if you're a bourbon fan, you've come to the right place! With over 60 different types of bourbon, you're sure to find one that you like. Service is quick and friendly and we look forward to returning soon!

Start off with some Mama's Biscuits-with honey butter and house-made jam or some Sweet Corn Hush  Puppies with Creole remoulade. The skillet cornbread is sweet and cakey and we devoured it! The Iceberg Wedge comes with two huge half-heads of baby lettuce, house-smoked bacon, charred corn, tomatoes, avocado, and house-made buttermilk ranch dressing. It's enough for two and was delicious. The Lewellyn's Fine Fried Chicken includes 1/2  chicken served with honey hot sauce or bourbon maple syrup. Go with the maple syrup; it's awesome. Chicken is moist and flavorful and fried to perfection. You can request all white or dark meat as well. Mac and Cheese is served with crunchy breadcrumbs and is rich and cheesy. If you save room for dessert, choose between Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie, Bacon Butterscotch Cake, or a Banna Split Brownie Sundae. There are more options too, but these just scream "yummy" to me.

Yardbird 8500 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles  Hours: M-Th 11am-10pm Fri, Sat, Sun: 11am-11pm

if you're craving some buttermilk fried chicken, you've come to the right place. We love Fritzi Coop and you will too! Neal Fraser (Redbird) brought this dream come true to life in the original Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax. The highest quality ingredients are combined to make the perfect fried chicken sandwiches. The Bold Classic is the sandwich to start with. White meat  chicken is fried to perfection then placed on a brioche-type bun with house-made pimento cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sliced pickles. This sandwich is huge so be prepared Even though, you won't want to share. You can request spice levels from entry level to inferno! I prefer the chicken with no heat at all. We also love  the chicken and waffle combo served with wing bites and Belgian waffles, warm melted butter and genuine maple syrup! You can also get chicken by the piece, curly fries, tater tots, and southern-style slaw. Order it all-you'll be glad you did!

Fritzi Coop 6333 West 3rd Street Stall #742 Los Angeles 323-936-9436

Hours: M-F 9am-9pm Sat. 9am-8pm Sun 10am-7pm

Seldom does a bbq restaurant come along that requires my immediate attention. Just days old, Maple Block Meat Company fits into this category. Though it's only open for lunch, (dinner's starting in September) this authentic North Carolina bbq is probably the best to hit LA in quite a while. Here's the scoop. Brand new to Culver City, Chef Adam Cole (The Bazzar, ink,)brings brisket, pulled pork, spare ribs, and turkey to a new level. Sandwiches and three salads are available too. This authentic bbq uses peach wood to smoke its meats giving them a nice sweet flavor. You'll be greeted by a friendly host at the door who'll tell you how to order. That's the easy part. Deciding what to order is the challenge! Meats are sold by weight and consist of Beef Brisket ($5.75 for 1/4/ lb and $23 for 1 lb), Pork Shoulder ($5/$20), Turkey Breast ($5.50/$22) Pork Spare Ribs ($20 lb), and chicken ($16 lb). The brisket is definitely "not your mother's brisket." There's a perfect amount of fat to meat and it's amazingly delicious and juicy! Chopped Pork is tender and flavorful. Spare Ribs are big and meaty. For a side I enjoyed the creamy mac and cheese ($2). For dessert hand pies ($4.50) are available in strawberry-peach. Enjoy a cup of Bar Nine Cold Brew Coffe and a homemade soda too! My advice: Get in this place while you can! Maple Block Meat Company 3973 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City (310) 313-6326 Hours: M-Sat: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Recommended Dishes: Seriously? Everything!

I know, I know, it's on the Venice boardwalk, but seriously, this place rocks my world. So, I justify eating here by walking from my house to the boardwalk, then walking down about halfway. You can't miss Big Daddy's, now in its 16th year in Venice. The place is bursting with color and energy. If anyone remembers the old Beverly Hills haunt Larry Parker's Beverly Hills Diner (1982-1997) you might be familiar with Larry Parker who opened Big Daddy's in 1999. Parker has since passed but his legend lives on. Walk up to the window and you can order such delacacies as Fried Pizza ($3.75), Sweet Tooth Sally's Funnel Cake ($4.99), Fried Oreos ($3.99), Apple Pie Fries (3.99), and of course the amazing crispy fried chicken. Order by the two piece basket ($5.95) or and get a buttermilk biscuit for good measure. You receive a wooden nickel to take around the corner where you pick up your order. I can only let myself indulge in Big Daddy's food once a week, but hey, I still have the walk home afterwards! Big Daddy & Sons Pizza 1425 Ocean Front Walk, Venice. (310) 396-4112 Hours: Daily 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.

I love good soul food and I don't mind heading east, and I mean really east on Manchester for what might be some of the best fried chicken in our fair city. It's a good thing to visit other parts of LA and Carolyn's is a great reason to step outside your daily routine. Enter the family style cafeteria restaurant about a block from South Central and you'll immediately smell the wonderful delights. The menu is posted on a wall so you'll have to decide what to order beforehand. But don't worry because I'll give you a few suggestions! Get in line and peer over the counter. Fried Chicken Wings ($11.50) will scream out your name. You should answer them immediately! Though only wings are available, they are huge and meaty, crispy and crunchy, perfectly seasoned, with a hint of garlic. I had mac and cheese and buttery green beans as my sides. Both were fabulous. I felt like I was really in the south! For the same price, my husband had the Roasted Chicken Wings. He is a Chicken Wing connoisseur and proclaimed that these were the best he's tasted. I tried them too, and would have to agree. For dessert we had the Butter Cake ($4.50). Super moist cake is served with a buttery caramel sauce that hardens around it. You have to taste it to believe it! Service is friendly and everything is made to order. The wait can be 20 minutes or so, but every minute's worth it! Carolyn's Kitchen 853 E. Manchester Avenue, Los Angeles. (323) 585-1660 Hours: Daily: 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

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