Southern in L.A. II: The Heart of Barbecue...

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     When I think about barbecue, I think about backyards, family, a down home easiness emphasized with beer, and inevitably secret sauce on your face and fingers. Park's Finest BBQ had all of that, but I didn't expect to find it in Filipinotown.      Between the sign for Historic Filipinotown and the skyline of Downtown Los Angeles, you could easily pass this new storefront. The sign is a sagging banner and the parking is less than inviting--that is to say there is none. But inside, the place offers a casualness of a family joint and the crux of any barbecue joint: delicious sauce. I dropped in on a Wednesday, when all they serve is what they call their Worker's Plate. It's a little bit of everything: pulled pork, barbecue chicken, smoked sausage, coconut beef,...

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Finding Soul in SoCal Food

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     When I moved from Savannah, GA to Los Angeles, CA a fleeting three months ago, I was warned by people who'd lived in LA that I might become one of two things, either a pot head or a health nut. Well, so far, I'm still a Southerner just looking for some good grub. The extensive healthy food options and easy access to fresh produce is a luxury that took no time to for me to appreciate, but I've been missing, well, anything fried. I crave that stick-to-your-bones full you get from any food that might have "down-home" in the name. Not the kind of food you eat to fuel your chakras or to detox. I'm talking about the kind of food that (despite your cholesterol levels) feeds the needs of your soul. I've...

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Who’s Reading Whom?

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Mrs. Hope isn’t down on River Street—the tourists’ hub—even though a psychic could probably make a good living downtown amidst tipsy tourists looking to experience Savannah through candy shops, souvenir stores, and the open container law. Getting your fortune told, for most, has that fleeting vacation charm, like getting henna tattoos or caricatures drawn of yourself. We’re intrigued by psychics in the same way that we’re intrigued by the guy at the carnival who can guess anyone’s weight, so you can usually find them wherever people flock to spend a little time outside of their routine rationale. But, maybe Mrs. Hope can predict better than I can her prime location. Instead of downtown, she works out of a house much farther south than tourists venture. It’s past where the art school students linger and...

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