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Between The Forum, the new SoFi Stadium (home of the NFL’s Rams and Chargers) and the Intuit Dome (the 2024 home of the NBA’s Clippers), Inglewood is properly making good on its “City of Champions” nickname.
So where to eat before or after a game or concert?
At SoFi Stadium, chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Jon & Vinny’s are consulting on the culinary program. They recently worked with Jimmy Kimmel on creating a special, limited-time roast beef sandwich for the Dec. 18 Jimmy Kimmel L.A. Bowl.
And next year the 300-acre Hollywood Park, in which SoFi is located, will debut an outdoor mall with a slew of new dining spots. These will include a new location of Sky’s Gourmet Tacos, led by restaurateur Barbara “Sky” Burrell; a new offering from Lynne Weaver, the co-founder of Inglewood’s Three Weavers Brewing Company; and a restaurant to be called Lovefull, from Peace Love Reedburg, the South Los Angeles entrepreneur behind Grilled Fraiche restaurant in Hyde Park.
In the meantime, here are 11 Inglewood restaurants to try now.
Banadir Somali Restaurant
137 Arbor Vitae Street
HBO’s Insecure creator and star Issa Rae has praised Banadir Somali Restaurant and not without reason. Individuals looking for some unique East African food experiences will love the rice platters with meat options including chicken, lamb, goat and fish. All of the main entrees come with a banana and tea as well.
450 E. Manchester Blvd.
There’s nothing guilt-free about Bruno’s Burgers, a classic California burger joint. Besides favorites like the Colos Burger, which features a beef patty and pastrami, the chili cheese fries are divine.
3544 W. Imperial Highway
For a little over 30 years, Coni’Seafood has been considered the most unique seafood restaurant offering in Inglewood. Come for dishes (including the ceviche appetizers) inspired by the Mexican state Nayarit.
Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen
202 E. Manchester Blvd.
Though Dulan’s On Crenshaw may have attracted celebrities and politicians alike, the original Inglewood location is still popular among locals. As with anything bearing the Dulan’s name, soul food in Los Angeles County doesn’t get any better than this, from the fried chicken to the collard greens and black-eyed peas.
Little Belize Restaurant
217 E. Nutwood St.
Popular dishes at Little Belize include the panades, tamales and the oxtail stew, with salad and fried plantains on the side.
Martin’s Cocina y Cantina
162 N. La Brea Ave.
The Martin family has several Mexican eateries in the city, including its more upscale Martin’s Cocina y Cantina, with classic dishes served alongside sushi and steaks.
According to Christian Martin, they’ve seen spikes due to both Sofi Stadium games as well as performances from The Forum. “We saw a huge spike from our traditional traffic who come during the week but we already practiced when The Forum was opening and we would be slammed at the other restaurants,” said Martin. “We knew what we were getting into but we didn’t know with both The Forum and Sofi Stadium opened.”
Once the Hollywood Park shopping center project is complete sometime next year, the Martin brand will open Antojitos Martin, a grab-and-go dining concept, there.
Randy’s Donuts & Chinese Food
210 N. Market St.
Some of the area’s best cheap Chinese food can be found at Randy’s, from fried rice to chicken sticks.
The Serving Spoon
1403 Centinela Ave.
The Serving Spoon is so popular that when it nearly closed last year because of the pandemic, Rams player Andrew Whitworth and his wife, Melissa, donated $50,000 to help keep it open, along with other donors. Both breakfast and lunch menus offer incredible portions for a reasonable price. Shaquille O’Neal and Magic Johnson are also fans, and even Stevie Wonder has a drink named after him there.
Stuff I Eat
114 N. Market St.
Stuff I Eat owner-chef Babette Davis Amaechina, who was featured in an episode of HBO’s Insecure, offers vegan takes on traditional soul food and Tex-Mex, plus beet lemonade and plant-based kids’ menu.
1122 Centinela Ave.
Jino’s Pizza had a 50-year history in Inglewood, but after owner Ahmad Bashirian retired, his children Sol and Ghazi rebranded it as Italian eatery Sunday Gravy, spotlighting ingredients sourced from Inglewood. Since SoFi opened in September, says Sol, “We’ve seen a lot more foot traffic.”
“What we see more is during concerts than anything and understandably so,” he continues. “Since it’s a new stadium, I think many people want to try the food that’s available there. I will say that when there are concerts at the Forum we see a lot of individuals coming before the show. If a football game ends earlier we will get some foot traffic as well.”
The Wood BBQ & Sports Lounge
129 N. Market Street
This story first appeared in the Nov. 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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