On The Menu: The Original Coleys brings taste of Jamaica to Sherman Oaks

Rachel Brown Image
Saturday, December 2, 2023
On The Menu: The Original Coleys brings taste of Jamaica to the Valley
Craving Jamaican food? Look no further! There's a spot in Sherman Oaks that has everything you're looking for.

SHERMAN OAKS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Welcome to The Original Coleys, a restaurant that's bringing a taste of Jamaica to Sherman Oaks.

"You come in hungry, and you leave happy," said co-owner Candice Coley-Thompson.

Customers can choose from a variety of their authentic dishes such as jerk chicken, jerk shrimp and oxtail.

Coleys has been serving the Los Angeles community for more than 40 years and it all started with Don Coley. Born in Jamaica, he moved to Southern California in 1980 and opened The Original Coleys in 1982.

"I adopted it as my home you know. I love L.A.," he said.

For four decades and counting, it's been a favorite among locals and Hollywood.

"Barry White, Sidney Poitier, all those people been coming. Muhammad Ali," he listed.

Coleys was even featured during a scene in the hit 90s classic movie, "Boyz n the Hood."

But as many know, the restaurant business is no piece of cake.

Coleys closed down for three years and Don's daughter and son-in-law kept the business afloat.

"I started catering out of my house because people wouldn't let us close. I said, 'I'm done.' I would send them to other Jamaican restaurants around the city, and they said, 'No, there is nothing like Coleys,'" said Candice.

Now they're back and the menu is packed with lots of delicious plates.

You can expect to find beef, chicken, vegetable Jamaican patties, rice and beans, steamed cabbage and plantains. You can also enjoy fried cornbread, which Jamaicans call "The Festival," with every entrée.

And you can't forget to try the oxtail, it is a must!

Customers can choose from their fresh juices, which are made in house, or their Jamaican soda, which is imported. But that's not the only thing can be found in Coleys. In fact, co-owner Neil Thompson hand makes jewelry available for purchase.

"Anything you point to on this menu is going to taste good. There's nothing Jamaicans serve that don't taste good," he said.

"My dad has fed so many generations and for us to continue that trend, and continue that legacy, we have two daughters that we would love to pass this along to. We know how important it is for the community, for L.A., for all of us. So I'm just very thankful," Candice said.

"It feels good, because it makes you feel like you're doing something people love. You know that is self-satisfactory. It is so, so rewarding, and I love it," said Don.

Entrée are anywhere from $15 to $30.

The Original Coleys is located at 14056 Burbank Boulevard in Sherman Oaks and is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thank you Leanne for the submission!

What's your favorite local restaurant? Share with us and we may highlight your submission On The Menu with Rachel Brown.