Larkin’s: Craftsman Cottage with Stylish Soul Food in Eagle Rock [CLOSED]

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Restaurant Los Angeles

Not many restaurants can compete with Larkin's historic charm.

It’s been over a year since my last review, and now that Larkin Mackey and Joshua McBride’s “joint” is running full throttle, it’s only fair to post an update, especially since the last time I wrote about the Eagle Rock soul food restaurant, it wasn’t even officially open for business yet.

It’s still hard to imagine that this beautifully restored circa 1911 Craftsman house was a used car dealership less than three years ago.

Restaurant Los Angeles

My friend and I sat near the window, bathed from light that came streaming through stained glass windows, eating off a glass-topped table that was once a door.

Fried Chicken Los Angeles

Good Ole Fried Chicken ($10) was lightly breaded and expertly fried. Dark meat retained its moisture while barely betraying a hint of grease. The crust couldn’t have been more than a millimeter thin, and skin was virtually fat-free.

The side: Aunt Carolyn’s Potato Salad, inspired by a version from Larkin’s aunt, “sweet and spicy,” studded with chunks of red and green pepper. The menu claims the potatoes inspire diners to “slap yo’ mamma.” My mamma was nowhere in sight, and my friend was bigger than me, so I’ll have to save the slapping for next time.

Southern Food Los Angeles

Spicy Sautéed Greens ($5) sautéed in a skillet with tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and cayenne were totally devoid of the bitterness that pervades lesser greens.

Sausage Sandwich Los Angeles

My friend suggested Larkin’s for lunch just so he could finally try Mama’s Meatloaf Sandwich, but the “hot link sandwich” special proved too difficult to resist. The spicy tomato sauce-slathered link came piled with peppers and onions. He was happy.

Macaroni And Cheese Los Angeles

The idea of fried Mac & Cheese Balls ($5) is positively gluttonous. The surprising reality: Larkin’s lightly breaded and fried side had a paper thin crust that added nice texture.

While low-grade mac & cheese too often relies on processed or unnaturally orange cheese, Larkin uses white cheese that looks like it actually came from a cow. Larkin won’t reveal which three cheeses he uses, but combined, they’re subtle and silky.

After spending four years eating Southern food off plastic trays at Nashville meat n’ threes, the idea of eating soul food off of porcelain is still a bizarre concept. Still, with Larkin producing such refined, flavorful versions just minutes away, I guess I’ll have to get used to it.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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