My 2 Cents LA serves modern comfort foods from James Beard Award semifinalist Chef Alisa Reynolds

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Saturday, May 18, 2024
My 2 Cents LA serves modern comfort foods from chef who loves her city
My 2 Cents LA Chef Alisa Reynolds is currently a James Beard Award semifinalist. She also stars in the Hulu series, "Searching for Soul Food."

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- My 2 Cents LA in Mid-City was founded by Chef Alisa Reynolds in 2013, when all she had to her name were mere pennies.

Now, she is a current James Beard Award semifinalist in the category of best chef. Plus, she has her own series on Hulu called, "Searching for Soul Food."

"To be able to be seen by your peers and by your community and to get voted into things blows my mind," expressed Reynolds. "It makes me so happy and that's what makes me get up in the morning because I'm going to put a smile on somebody's face."

Reynolds describes herself as an Angeleno through and through, adding that her restaurant is a present to her cherished city.

"This is my gift to the city of L.A.," she said. "I followed my dreams. I followed my heart...I'm from L.A. I'm a native and I really love my city. I think this is a great mom and pop, little sweet expression of our culinary love."

Classically trained in French cuisine, Reynolds wanted to honor her American roots as well by creating dishes she describes as evolved Southern American food.

Her menu includes entrees you grew up eating made a bit healthier with many vegan and gluten free options, too.

The restaurant is known for its famed shrimp and grits. It features big, flavorful shrimp atop fluffy grits. Reynolds describes the grits as "the star of this show."

Next on the must-try list: oxtail tacos. The oxtail is cooked slowly for hours and is topped with roasted tomato and kale to add a little crunch.

"It is marinated and then braised for six hours, slow and low, and it melts in your mouth and falls off the bone," Reynolds described.

If you want to satisfy your sweet and savory cravings at once, you can try the fried catfish with a sweet potato pecan crumble.

But that's not all My 2 Cents LA serves. It offers many other dishes like macaroni and cheese, BBQ fried chicken with vegan braised collard greens, a salad with croutons made of grits instead of bread, and many more options.

Another standout dish is the soul rolls, filled with sweet potatoes, greens and black eyed peas.

And don't forget dessert! Reynolds' sister serves as the restaurant's pastry chef. The sweet potato pound cake is a must-try. The carrot cake and the "strawberry strawberry strawberry" are equally as delicious.

"You have to say it three times," Reynolds said.

My 2 Cents LA is located at 5583 W Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles. It's open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner and closed on Mondays.

The restaurant offers Sunday brunch and allows customers to bring their own bottle of champagne.

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