Arts And Culture

When soul and Mexican food (deliciously) collide

March 1, 2012, 5:35 p.m.

The chicken meal at The Family restaurant in South L.A. comes with two side orders and corn bread. The food is home styled and receives praise in the community.

At the corner of Figueroa Street and Gage Avenue, right off the 110 Freeway, food is the ingredient for multicultural fusion.

The Family, a quaint mom-and-pop shop in South L.A., is known in the area for its soul food.

“The greens are the best (here),” said Mike Chapman, a Family fan. He said he considers the food at The Family to be highly authentic.

But Spanish can be heard from inside the kitchen -- all of the cooks and workers are Latino. They serve Mexican dishes that go beyond tacos and burritos, like huaraches (a concoction of beans, meat and salsa served on top of an oblong tortilla) and carne asada meals.

The Family was established eight years ago by the Aldana family, led by Rigoberto Aldana. Since the Aladanas had experience working at soul food eateries and in food distribution, they decided to integrate soul food in their menu. The initiative to begin a family business was to provide jobs for all of the family members, said Diane Aldana, Rigoberto’s 21-year-old daughter.

Since then, they have expanded to three locations, one at 5960 Crenshaw Boulevard and the other at 1570 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Another customer said he drove a few miles to get to The Family. He lives on San Pedro but the Aldanas' food lures him to this spot.

Aldana said the most popular dinner plates among the 17 menu options are the ox tail, short ribs, chitterlings and greens. At the end of the year, around New Year’s celebrations, she said the chicken meal sells out.


The cheapest item on the menu is the sirloin tips meal at about $9 and the most expensive is the chitterlings meal at about $16. The Mexican food averages about $5.

To verify the positive testimonies of locals, we bought the chicken meal, a quarter chicken with sides of yams, potato salad and two pieces of corn bread -- all for about $10.


The food was brought out fairly fast, in about four-to-six minutes. The scent and taste was of a home-cooked meal. The chicken was great, not too dry or moist with flavorful seasoning. The yams were delicious -- they were a bit sweet, but did not go overboard. The potato salad was also well-done with its low amount of mayo and mustard, but was a bit light on the potato.

To order a meal at The Family’s location at 6300 Figueroa call (323) 917-6526.

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