This Black History Month, let’s spice up Valentine’s Day by diving into the heart of Black culture and heritage with an ingredient everyone loves: food. Los Angeles boasts an impressive lineup of Black-owned restaurants that offer meals of history, love, and the driving essence of entrepreneurship. Embark on a flavor-filled journey that satisfies your taste buds and honors the legacy of Black excellence.
From the soul of New Orleans in South LA to the freshly sourced taste of the Caribbean, here are three dining experiences where the stories of legacy and love are delivered side by side.
Harold & Belle’s offers a romantic backdrop perfect for Valentine’s Day, with white tablecloths, candlelight, and live music setting the ambiance. Their extensive menu features authentic New Orleans Creole dishes, including shrimp étouffée and jambalaya, making it a must-visit for those wanting to indulge in Southern hospitality.
Lodged in the core of South LA, Harold & Belle’s has remained a beacon of Creole cuisine since 1969. Founded by Harold Legaux Sr. and his wife, Mary Belle, this restaurant has evolved from a small kitchen serving po-boy sandwiches and gumbo into a refined dining haven under the guidance of owners Ryan and Jessica.
Ryan and Jessica are VSEDC clients who used our support to renovate and remodel to meet contemporary expectations. Expanding the brand and introducing modern concepts like their food trailer and the Peacock Lounge ensured that Harold & Belle’s remains a cultural and culinary pillar in South LA. This Valentine’s Day, let the ambiance and exquisite Creole flavors at Harold & Belle’s transport you and your loved one to the French Quarter and dine on crawfish étouffée with a side of romance.
Hours of Operation:
- Sunday – Thursday: 11:30 am – 9:00 pm
- Friday & Saturday: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
- Sunday – Thursday: 11:45 am – 8:30 pm
- Friday & Saturday: 11:45 am – 9:30 pm
Venture to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, and you’ll find Post & Beam, which merges Californian cuisine with soul food influences.
The restaurant’s sleek mid-century modern decor, complemented by an open garden patio and live music, sets the stage for a romantic evening. Their brunch and dinner menus, featuring shrimp and grits and pan-seared scallops, cater to various tastes and dietary preferences.
Chef John Cleveland’s vision for Post & Beam as a space where community and cuisine unite is realized through the restaurant’s commitment to local sourcing and creating a welcoming atmosphere. Whether it’s a weekend brunch or a romantic dinner under the stars, Post & Beam embodies the essence of California chill. Couples need only to visit to experience a Valentine’s Day filled with culinary exploration and soulful connection.
Hours of Operation:
- Dinner: Wednesday – Saturday: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Happy Hour: Wednesday – Friday: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
- Saturday Brunch: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
- Sunday Brunch: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Cornered on the vibrant streets of Leimert Park, Wah Gwaan Jamaican Kitchen & Bar serves as a culinary gateway to the rich flavors of Jamaica. Established by Deandrea Jones, who transitioned her successful catering enterprise into this bustling eatery, Wah Gwaan offers an authentic taste of Caribbean delights.
From the fiery zest of jerk chicken to the hearty warmth of oxtail stew, each dish at Wah Gwaan Jamaican Kitchen & Bar is a tribute to traditional Jamaican cooking methods, mingling seamlessly with the freshest local ingredients. Amid its colorful decor, love and culture intertwine, inviting guests on a flavorful journey that transcends borders.
This Valentine’s Day, expand your adventure beyond the confines of the dining table. Take a romantic stroll through the heart of Leimert Park with your Wah Gwaan plantains in hand. Wander and immerse yourselves in the vibrant energy of the neighborhood’s Black-owned businesses, where ambient street art and soulful melodies form a captivating atmosphere. Let your culinary exploration become an immersive experience, beautifully culminating a day dedicated to love, discovery, and support of local heritage.
A recipient of VSEDC’s CDFI, Wah Gwaan’s journey to the establishment was championed by the South LA BSC, which provided Deandrea with a guiding compass along her path.
Hours of Operation:
- Monday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
- Friday-Saturday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Saturday Brunch: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
This Valentine’s Day, make your celebration meaningful by dining at establishments that stand for culinary excellence and represent stories of ambition, heritage, and triumph.