Tuesday, April 26, 2011



You need to reschedule what you're doing today so you can check this place out.


Sasha and I were on our way to Maria's down the street when we saw the sign for Mama Joan's Soul Food. If there was a handbrake, I would've yanked it. Instead I just jammed on the brakes and pulled into their parking lot out back.
We walked in and the place was pretty empty and quiet. It had just opened a few minutes earlier. I had no clue what I was in for. I was figuring it was going to be pretty good at the very least, just had a feeling.
The sides came out first. I chose rice & gravy, succotash and yams. Can you believe this big plate of food was just the SIDES? The rice was fluffy, the gravy had good flavor to it, yams were perfectly done and consistently soft all the way through. The succotash was good too; I like that they put okra in theirs.

I went with the oxtails. I've had oxtail adobo my whole life, made Filipino style which is very popular back home in Hawaii, so this was my first time having it southern style with gravy all over.
Oh, I think I can handle it with gravy! They use good chunks of oxtail. Not very fatty at all, just good lean pieces. You can't get very lean with oxtail but when there's too much fat on them, I feel like I'm getting ripped off. I went through these bones likes I was a California Condor. I left nothing behind, it was soo fuckin good, dude.
Sasha had the mac & cheese, string beans and black eyed peas. The mac & cheese wasn't too cheesy, but in a good way. The beans she had tasted like there was definite thought put into it, like all the other sides we had. Mama Joan has everything on her menu for a reason, it tasted like. She didn't just make something just for the sake of having it. Always gotta compliment things with hot sauce too.
She had fried chicken with her sides. I ended up eating that breast piece after I got home, hours later. If I was in the mood to have fried chicken, I would easily decide on going to Mama Joan's over Roscoe's. Their chicken was that good. I don't think you can order it by the piece like at Roscoe's, but its worth it here at Mama Joan's.
Our huge lunch meal came with corn bread too.
Check my plates, dog. It was that good. Mopped it up like nobody's biz.

Take note of this place. Write it on a post it, put it on your fridge. Finally use that "Notes" app in your phone, plug this in. Bookmark it. Write it on your hand. You need to go here!

Mama Joan's Soul Food
806 S Gaffey St
San Pedro, CA 90731
(310) 547-5700


  1. Okay - The family and I have eaten at the Ramen truck in Gardena, the Pho spot in Long Beach, and the Pasty spot. All have been good. I'll add this one to the list along with the "burnt ramen" joint. Keep 'em coming...

  2. What's been the favorite recommendation so far?

  3. Pho America we've been to a few times - my son likes their soup. The ramen truck was a good night - I locked my keys in the truck and my wife, son, and Cairo the terrier rolled out at midnight to bring the spares. I rewarded them with ramen while I scarfed down steamed pork buns.

    You really need a Food Network show...

  4. AWESOME!! I've passed by this place at least 4 times, and have always wondered about it. Just because of its locale - San Pedro just doesn't seem like the Soul Food mecca, ya know?! Now I'm definitely going to check it out.