Soul 📍 Hollywood, CA
Updated: Aug 2, 2018
Most times when I travel, I likely have a restaurant list of where I want to go (foodie nation understands me). I like to try new foods and eat my way through the place, taste testing the local cultural staples of the city/town/country I’m in. However, sometimes I just want that down home, Soul Food, comfort cooking, that tastes like Grandma put her foot in it, and I don’t want to go to the hood to get it. Soul is that place! Soul is a southern cuisine restaurant perched right in the heart of Hollywood, California giving you all the vibes of Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget.
Soul is an open, upscale, fancy, contemporary style restaurant with high top tables, string lights and a long fashionable bar that sits right in the middle of the main level. Once beyond the bar, there is a chic modish stairwell, enclosed in glass, that leads upstairs to the mezzanine with artsy décor and colorful paintings surrounding the seating areas. The lights are dim and the music is soft on this level, a sexy vibe. It definitely provides the high-end image and lifestyle of its LA surroundings. They play soulful music and some days host live local bands and comedy shows that elevate the ambience of the atmosphere. This is a great place to have date night and support black owned business.
SOUL FOOD with a twist! Chef and Owner, Yealang Smith knows how to bring authentic flavors and enhance them with healthy alternatives. The main dish you think of when you hear soul food is fried chicken so I had to try it, A-Maze-Ing! I wasn't a fan of the $20 price tag but the chicken is cooked perfectly, skin tastes like it was soaked in perfectly seasoned buttermilk for an entire week, and the crispy crunch is just right. I don't mind paying for good food, especially on occasion. It comes with a jumbo buttermilk biscuit that makes you forget Red Lobster even sold good biscuits. This menu also offers great starter dishes. The $7 macaroni & cheese is creamy, firm and melted in smoked gouda, mozzarella and aged cheddar cheeses. It’s served in a sharing size dish for you and your partner, or just you if you don’t plan on sharing this goodness, I didn’t, Sorry not Sorry! The braised collard greens have sure nuff' been stepped in (taste great) and the dirty rice is spiced cajun style to perfection. If you want to keep up that healthy vegetarian diet in Los Angeles, Soul still has you covered. The $8 Buffalo cauliflower fried crispy in hot buffalo sauce and the $6 vegan mushroom soup with oven dried tomato confit is to die for! Who knew mushrooms could taste so good and you could be vegan for $14 on a night out? They work out great for my part time vegan diet. Probably should’ve stuck to that as I left looking like a can of biscuits bursting out of my dress. Well worth it!!
The staff at Soul make sure to keep you coming back. They welcome you with big bright smiles and a menu to drool over. Once seated, our server provided recommendations as I was with a group celebrating a birthday and none of us had visited Soul before. The customer service was top notch, almost as good as the food. The addition of good drinks and live music made it a night to remember. I highly recommend Soul anytime you’re in Hollywood and need Grandma’s Soul fix.
Do you crave home cooked meals when you’re on vacation? Have you been to Soul? Tell us about your favorite soul food dish and hopefully we can find it on the ‘Soul’ menu!