The Leimert Park Village eateries offer a taste of Caribbean life.
By Tracey Edwards
Ackee Bamboo Jamaican Cuisine and Adassa’s Island Cafe in Leimert Park Village are just amazing. The ox tails, jerk chicken, curry chicken, curry goat, red snapper, and ackee and saltfish, are all awesome.
The authentic Jamaican cuisine from both of these eateries, which are adjacent to each other, comes from Marlene Sinclair Beckford, who was born and raised in Spanish Town, which is near Kingston, Jamaica.
Beckford’s mother was a chef in Jamaica and in Los Angeles, and the two restaurants’ menus are heavily influenced by the dishes that her mother created in their homeland.
“We create traditional Jamaican dishes,” she said. “I bring what I remember from back home. I remember a lot of the flavors, and I incorporate that into our menu so that I give our community a taste of what I knew traditional Jamaican dishes to be.”
People from Jamaica and the Caribbean islands have noticed the authentic flavors of the dishes.
“What I hear often is people saying that ‘this reminds me of home,’” Beckford said.
Beckford runs the restaurants with her husband and three children, and eating at these establishments feels like eating a home cooked meal. While Ackee Bamboo has traditional dishes, Adassa’s Island Cafe has more of a modern menu that features more breakfast items.
The breakfast menu, which is available until 3 p.m., is also unbelievable. It features omelets, breakfast burritos, pancakes, and seafood.
Ackee Bamboo was first opened on Adams Boulevard near Buckingham Road in the early 2000s. When a location in Leimert Park Village on Degnan Boulevard became available, Beckford jumped on it because that was the area that she grew up in after moving to Los Angeles in the 1970s. She grew up near Arlington Avenue and Vernon Avenue, and attended Audubon Middle School and Dorsey High School.
Leimert Park Village is one of the few Afrocentric destinations in Los Angeles, and the community is a mix of Black people from Africa, the Caribbean, and America. Restaurants like Ackee Bamboo and Adassa’s Island Cafe fit perfectly into the culture of the village.
Ackee Bamboo and Adassa’s Island Cafe are both located at 4305 Degnan Boulevard. Ackee Bamboo is open Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m., and they open at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. They close at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 9 p.m. on Friday at Saturday, and 6 p.m. on Sunday. They are closed on Monday. Adassa’s Island Cafe is open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are closed on Monday. For more information, and to find out about catering, call (323) 295-7275. Visit their websites at www.ackeebamboojacuisine.com and www.adassasislandcafe.com, and find them on Facebook (@ackeebamboo, ) and Instagram (@ackeebamboo).