Serving Spoon

Coffee shop | Diner | Meat-and-Three | Soul Food
Memorable
One of the best
Save

A list of house rules posted at the Serving Spoon includes admonitions to relinquish a table when you’ve finished so others have a chance to eat and “if you encounter a celebrity sighting, give them the respect of allowing them to complete their dining experience should you decide to approach them.” The rules make sense: the Serving Spoon is so popular that it’s common to wait for a table; and it is a magnet for a cadre of Los Angeles glitterati. For all that, it is tremendously friendly. New arrivals are greeted at the door by a host who is nothing but hospitable.

On a podium up front, a sign says if there will be a wait for a table and how long it might be. When the time comes, you will be directed to a booth or table or armchair seat at a long diner-style counter. ESPN plays on a few overhead TVs, but unless an important event is on, it is totally drowned out by an ebullient room that bustles with conversation, music, and good vibes. Everyone who eats here seems very happy to be doing so; and that good cheer is amplified by a staff who all seem equally happy to be on the job. My waitress fretted terribly when I didn’t finish all my fried chicken, insisting I take it with me in a to-go box along with veggies and cornbread that I hadn’t polished off.

The menu features such homespun items as chicken and waffles, pork chops, catfish, and vegetables galore. In fact, on a recent visit, I forewent an entrée altogether and enjoyed a four-“vegetable” plate that included sweet potatoes spiced like Christmas and tender, clumpy collard greens that were as satisfying as meat. Also on the plate were that beloved southern-style vegetable, mac ‘n’ cheese, which was spicy, soft, and satisfying, and a bowl of thick, brightly-spiced, beanless chili con carne. On the side came a slab of cornbread nearly as sweet as pound cake; and the meal concluded with syrupy peach cobbler.

Notes: *As limited as seating may be, parking can be even scarcer. *Serving Spoon’s location makes it an ideal first or last stop on the way from or to LAX.

What to Eat
Serving Spoon, Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese
Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese
Must-Try
The noodles in mac 'n' cheese have been cooked long enough that they are almost indistinguishable from the rich custard that envelops them.
Serving Spoon, Chicken & Waffles
Chicken & Waffles
Must-Try
That's a warm-syrup glaze on top, making chicken and waffles a sweet-savory delight.
Serving Spoon, Collard Greens
Collard Greens
Must-Try
Collard greens strike a nice balance of bitterness and sweetness. They are long-cooked to a point of such supreme softness that it is easy to sever off a clump with the edge of a fork.
Serving Spoon, Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Must-Try
Sweet potatoes are brilliantly seasoned, reminiscent of a holiday-time sweet potato pie.
Serving Spoon, Pork Chops
Pork Chops
Must-Try
Buffetbuster writes: Thickly coated and highly seasoned, fried pork chops were the star of our meal. Sides included rice & gravy plus excellent bitter collard greens.
Serving Spoon, Chili
Chili
No beans in Serving Spoon chili, which is beefy with a wee bit of kick.
Serving Spoon, Corn Bread
Corn Bread
Corn bread is big and sweet, nice for crumbling atop greens.
Serving Spoon, Peach Cobbler
Peach Cobbler
After a fine soul food meal, I found the peach cobbler a bit of a let-down, more about syrupy sweetness than fruit.
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday9 am - 5 pm
Monday7 am - 3 pm
Tuesday7 am - 3 pm
Wednesday7 am - 3 pm
Thursday7 am - 3 pm
Friday7 am - 3 pm
Saturday7 am - 3 pm
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Apple Pan

    Los Angeles, California

    A Los Angeles landmark, serving great burgers and fries since 1947. Apple Pan’s pies are the best, baked daily and from-scratch excellent.

  • Canter’s

    Los Angeles, California

    A vintage Jewish deli open all night, Canter’s offers classic deli sandwiches and comfort food, a personality-plus waitstaff and celebrity clientele.

  • Pann’s

    Los Angeles, California

    Pann’s is a beautifully maintained Southern California coffee shop dating back to 1958. It serves breakfast all day and a full menu of lunch counter classics.

  • Uncle Bill’s Pancake House

    Manhattan Beach, California

    By the Ocean in Manhattan Beach, Uncle Bill’s is known for eggs, pancakes, and waffles; we love the hash brown scramble known as potatoes Stroganoff.

  • The Chori-Man

    Los Angeles, California

    Chori Man is an out-of-the-way shop serving burritos in which chorizo sausage stars. The hard-to-find green chorizo version is worth a long detour.

  • OB Bear

    Los Angeles, California

    OB Bear is a family-owned Los Angeles bar serving chicken wings with a cult following and traditional Korean pub-grub, with baseball on the tube.