Jamaican/Carribean Food in Los Angeles

I have zero familiarity with Jamaican food, but some Jamaican restaurants popped up on top of my Postmates feed and tired of the usual suspects for delivery, I decided to try Wi Jammin Caribbean Restaurant on Pico.

I have to say this was one of my better pandemic deliveries. Nothing fancy - just jerk chicken, white rice and steamed cabbage – but everything was tasty and had a nice homey home-cooked feel. Would definitely order from them again and explore more of the menu.

So are their other Jamaican or Caribbean restaurants people like and what do you like to order from them?

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:barbados: BARBADOS: Bridgetown Roti.
:belize: BELIZE: Tracey’s Belizean Restaurant (and a few others on Western).
:guyana: GUYANA: Caribbean Gourmet.
:jamaica: JAMAICA: Natraliart or if you are willing to go far, Hilltop’s in Pomona.
:trinidad_tobago: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: TriniStyle Cuisine.

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Little Kingston at Slauson and La Brea was on my rotation for a while. Ox tails and short ribs are the stand outs. I’m a little particular about jerk chicken. You can’t make it on a plancha or leave it out in a steam-tray - it really has to be grilled. Though there was a spot on 146th St. in Harlem called Fat Man Flavor that did in fact have an addictive, wet jerk chicken, but that was many years ago and I digress…

In the before times I was a big fan of Peckish Snack Bar at 54th off Crenshaw, they had a grill out front for their jerk chicken, but they were struggling even before everything went sideways. I mention it only because it was the only quality jerk chicken I ever came across in LA.

There’s Mofongos out in NoHo. It’s not amazing and I recall the space as rather cheerless but I guess that doesn’t matter now. Not sure how well the mofongo would travel for delivery.

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definitely get their patties, both meat and calaloo (sp)… definitely worth getting their curries and i always go rice and peas. I miss it. 15 years I was going to Wi Jammin

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I have no idea how Wi Jammin makes their jerk chicken, but it definitely did not have that tired, been sitting in a steam tray, taste. Pleasantly surprised because I wouldn’t say the packaging was pretty and I was a little dubious when I opened the three separate small packages (one for chicken, one for rice and one for cabbage), but everything tasted very fresh, as if somebody had just been standing in the kitchen making it for me specially.

I was actually just going to do a write up of a pop up I recently got takeout from that’s operating out of Sqirl’s kitchen Saturday-Monday through the end of March.

The operation, Rubie, is from Chef Gian Scott, who has cooked at Providence, Salare, and Junebaby. The menu consists of a couple patties, oxtail stew, a jerk pulled pork sandwich, and 1/2 smoked jerk chicken.

I’ve been on a chicken run recently, so I picked up the chicken, which comes with coconut rice and peas, collard greens, and festival bread. It easily serves two people, as the half chicken was absolutely massive and it sits on top of a mound of rice and greens.

I may be burying this, but if you’ve made it this far, let me tell you this was absolutely astounding. The chicken was incredibly flavorful with the warm, savory, spicy jerk seasoning caked onto crispy skin. The meat itself was juicy and ready to eat, even though it came with reheating instructions. I’d try to eat it as soon as possible to avoid potentially screwing up something perfect.

Getting past the chicken, the collard greens are slow braised with some aromatics and are perhaps the best collard greens I’ve ever had. I normally find them forgettable versus other sides, but they had a depth of flavor I found absolutely delicious.

But, the real stunner here is the coconut rice and peas. Seasoned with a hint of brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon, what really brought this up to insurmountable heights was that they let the juice from the chicken flow down into the rice. While everything else in this container was great, it’s the humble rice and peas that have me planning my next meal.

The whole 1/2 smoked chicken package also comes with festival bread, which is like a blue cornmeal doughnut with a slightly sweet vanilla taste.

Orders can be placed day of through Sqirl’s Toast system or Postmates.

I highly recommend checking this out if you’re in the mood.

https://www.rubie-la.com/

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Another to add to the list is Hungry Joe’s Jamaican Food in Inglewood. Big portions. Last time there ordered the jerk chicken plate, but it’s been several years. I love Simply Wholesome on Slauson. Not strictly Jamaican, lots of vegetarian options and a health food grocery attached, but I love their patties and the vibe (well, the latter pre-Covid).

Hungry Joe’s jerk chicken plate

I was in Kingston this time four years ago. February is reggae month :musical_note: Fish escoveche, jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, breadfruit, bammy, festival, rice and peas, plantains, ital cuisine, and such an incredible selection of fresh fruits.

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Jerk Spot

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I just wrote about a place called Country Style Jamaican Restaurant, which I found to be incredibly solid and possibly a top choice for Inglewood. It’s a little takeout shop on La Brea.

Also, in case the OP did not see it, there was a new Haitian pickup service in Van Nuys that was excellent!

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I’ve found all the Jamaican food I’ve eaten in Los Angeles pretty similar. Our last delivery from Wi Jammin was particularly good, mainly because there was plenty of saltfish to go along with the ackee.

I would go back to Belizean Paradise on La Brea. (like, once every two years maybe?)

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I got Rubie the other day and thought it was pretty good, although for jerk chicken, I still prefer Wi Jammin because of the apparent smoke flavor. However, the festival bread was the best I have ever had, which is not many. It was so light and fluffy yet still crunchy on the outside with the perfect amount of sweetness. I wish the jerk chicken was a notch or three up in heat, I definitely feel jerk chicken needs that slap of heat. The red snapper was really good, my only critique is the tiny piece of fish they give you. I squeezed the habanero juice all over the fish, so delicious with the pickled onions and peppers. The veggie patties were damn good, lot of heat and flavor. The curried mushrooms and farro was good as well, although upstaged by the other dishes. And @rlw was right, the portion size for the jerk chicken is monstrous.

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I also got the snapper from Rubie last weekend and really enjoyed mixing it up from the chicken. I wish the piece was bigger too, but it was perfectly cooked–super tender and the sauce was fantastic!

The rice was interesting too, as it was what I image was a “purer” version of what Chef Scott intends to serve versus what you get with the chicken juice soaked rice. For what it’s worth, as good as this rice was (more toothsome, brighter flavors) I prefer the chicken rice.

Special shout out to the pickled vegetables and the surprisingly soft roti.

@A5KOBE I’ve had the chicken a couple times, and the heat level has definitely been inconsistent between the two, with the second time being hotter than the first. Though maybe it’s possible to request extra habaneros if you want to amp it up more.

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