For a place known for great banana pudding and happy Sunday brunch, the Eagle Rock restaurant is oddly controversial, distrusted by people expecting cheap soul-food and snobs looking for haute cuisine, by big fellas looking for Roscoe's-size portions and Southerners skeptical of the trace of fresh mint in the jelly jars of sweet tea. Chef Larkin Mackey, a shy, slender African-American man who rarely leaves the kitchen, sometimes calls his restaurant a modern juke joint. There is Fats Waller on the stereo and faded Southern commercial art on the walls, tables made of old doors in the dining room and picnic benches in the garden out back. Every dish on the menu is probably somebody's best recipe: The creamy potato salad is credited to Aunt Carolyn; the ground-beef-intensive chile verde to chef Mackey's grandpa; the caramelly-tasting banana pudding to Mama. But one thing is beyond argument: Mackey's fried chicken, tender-crusted and juicy, golden and singing with the taste of clean oil, is about as good as it gets in Los Angeles restaurants. See full review.
Cuisines: American, Soul Food, Southern
Entertainment: Live Entertainment