NFT Los Angeles South Central West

South Central West

This area gets congested during college football season, when drunken cardinal-and-gold-bedecked USC fans cheer on the Trojans. There's plenty to do on campus, whether or not you're enrolled, including cheap movies, free concerts, elevated lectures and the surprisingly entertaining science center. On the southwest side, the Leimert Park arts and shopping district is a low-key area, excellent for rare finds.

Harold & Belle's Restaurant may have the best Cajun and Creole cooking this side of the Mississippi. Go for the gumbo. However, it's only one of many culinary choices in the Leimert Park Village area, the heart of this community. This area includes a farmers market and African American specialty shops such as Zambezi Bazaar. Adjacent to USC, See more.

>Exposition Park features an admirable rose garden.


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Presidents of LA

By Jess Winfield
So many American President-named streets, so little time. What breed of establishments dot the streets that epitonize the characters of our great national leaders? Find out while you still can.

Literary Los Angeles

By Christine Ziemba
L.A.'s independent bookstores are as idiosyncratic as its inhabitants. Its highs as high, its lows as low. The life of an Angeleno-bound textual object is no day at the beach.


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Posted By:  Noah Albert
Photo:  Noah Albert

California Science Center
So admission to the California Science Center is free, and they have a Frank Gehry designed Air and Space Gallery nearby. Who cares? I come here to look at the SR-71 by the parking lot (if you are splitting hairs the plane is an A-12 with the 2 seats). It is really something to see the object of all my 12 year-old fascination here in person. It is smaller than I imagined but still breathtaking. The only comparable experience was the day about a year ago when I saw one of the newer stealth jets flying above Los Angeles, like it was no big deal. (You can learn more about stealth jets in Nick Cook's fascinating book "The Hunt for Zero Point.") The SR-71 predates these jets by a long shot and was in service from 1966 to 1991. Now evidently they decorate parking lots.

Posted By:  Sandee Curry
Photo:  Tonya Wise

Aunt Rosa Lee's Mississippi Soul Food
As a native Alabamian, I’ve been disappointed many times by what people here in the big city consider Soul Food. I ask you, what selfrespecting Southerner would eat fried chicken with a waf- fle? I’d never heard of such a thing until I moved to LA, where it’s considered as southern as a tornado in a trailer park. Like all true Southerners, I have a ritual New Year’s Day meal. One simply must have a plate of black-eyed peas and collard greens on January 1st to ensure good luck and money, respectively, for the coming year. Last year, I rolled the dice on a real touristy place that didn’t even serve blackeyed peas, and the way that year turned out, I was no longer taking any chances. Luckily for me, this year I found Aunt Rosa Lee’s, and this place is obviously the real deal because I walked out of there with a full belly and a new boyfriend! Don’t expect anything fancy, but the meals are large, delicious, and affordable. I haven’t yet tried the breakfast, but if it’s anything like the rest of the menu, it’s bound to be a great start to a lazy day where all you want to do is nap.

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