Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jean P's 99-cent Soul Food Express

[Update: Jean P's was closed, sadly, sometime in early 2009. Alas.]

After seeing Big City Poz's photo of the blue-plate special he whipped up for himself, I was inspired to share this fabulous meal that has a similar combination of protein, starch, and green:

The meal is from Jean P's Soul Food Express, which is on the corner of Adams and Figueroa, tucked into a plaza that is dominated by 7-Eleven and Popeye's Chicken. I had ridden my bike past it numerous times, and was always intrigued by the rusting barbecue grill that they keep in the parking lot. I was skeptical, though, of a place that advertised 99-cent food, so I assuaged my fears first by reading reviews of the place on Yelp.com (oh Yelp, where would we be without ye?).

I walked in at about one in the afternoon and the place was nearly empty. The place is very small, with room for approximately 10 people in the dining area. The buffet was piled with southern food: collard greens, macaroni and cheese, hot links, and many other things that I can't recall at the moment. There was one other person ahead of me, and when I went to order, the woman behind the counter said "Wait a minute, baby." Something about Southern women allows them to get away with calling anyone "baby," I love it.

The meal came to about $8.00 and was actually enough for both a satisfying lunch and dinner for me. The collard greens were some of the best I've had 'round these parts, and the macaroni and cheese was fantastic, creamy and cheesy but still not overwhelmingly rich. The fried chicken was not the most spectacular I've had (which was at Babe's & Ricky's Inn on a Monday night), but it was good, especially with the Louisiana-style hot sauce.

Next time I go, I'll have to actually try some of that barbecue that comes from their parking lot grill!

Jean P's Soul Food Express
2540 S. Figueroa St.


  1. .....and once one reaches a certain physical size (in my case reached by being born big and then enhanced by lifting weights at the gym) and a certain age (I'll hit 58 in 6 weeks), he then is able to call anyone of any age "baby." Shaving the head helps out too.

    I enjoyed your post, baby. I plan to try this place soon.

  2. I hope you wrote that with a Southern twang-- it's much more convincing that way. :n)

  3. I think I'll try this place out. Do you know of any good Chinese places? I usually go this place on La Brea and Sunset, but it's to far, looking for a place closer.

  4. Hi Nicky,

    I hope you enjoy Jean P's as much as I did! I haven't eaten much Asian food around here other than sushi in Little Tokyo. I did try Mao's Kitchen over on Melrose and La Brea, but that's not much closer. Here's a review of a fusion-ish place from Angelenic.

  5. I stopped by Jean P's the other night and had some great food. I ordered the smothered pork chops, beans and macaroni and cheese.

    There wasn't a woman in the house, so no one called me baby. I had to settle for boss instead.

    Pauls's Kitchen is old school Chinese food. It's been operating since 1951 at 1012 S. San Pedro St. It has a huge parking lot and is open seven days a week. 213-749-5004

    I love the chicken chow fun (dry), pepper steak, china pea chicken and wor wonton soup.

    Howard's Cafe is also fun. It's located at 1051 s. Alvarado St. (213-385-7991). It's in a strip mall but has nice padded booths inside. The egg rolls are gigantic. The prices are low.

  6. Glad that you enjoyed the food and thanks for all of those tips on those Chinese places, Joe!

  7. if you're from oc, you might not be used to the stuff at these places listed. it's pretty much 1950s chinese american food. it's kind of fake, though, aft 50 years, nothing is really fake anymore.

  8. Hi Anon,

    I don't really expect to find much authentic Chinese food outside of places like the San Gabriel Valley. Chinese-American food includes orange chicken and fortune cookies, and I have no problem with either of those. :n)

    Thank you for the warning and concern-- and for reading!

  9. I love trying different Soul Food establishments, have not tried Jean P's. I have tried Chef Marilyn's 99-cent Soul Food Express. I tried it because while driving by, there was a longgggggg line, wrapped around the building one Sunday afternoon. Of course I did a u-e in the street to see what I was missing. I was not disappointed. My first experience was the short-ribs, plus all the regular sides and peach cobbler.
    After dashing to the car, I did a taste test, before I got home and OMG, I never left my parking spot before I was half-way through my dinner. It was absolutely delicious.

    Chef Marilyn's
    2338 Crenshaw Blvd.
    Los Angeles, Ca 90016
    Just south of Adams Blvd.
    I don't know what time it opens, but the close at 8:00pm.