Leimert Park Eats: Shabazz Good Foods
It may look like your average, everyday taco truck, but the Shabazz Good Foods truck is not slinging the usual carnitas. Every Sunday, you can find their truck parked on 43rd and Crenshaw at Leimert Plaza Park. They sell not only the infamous bean pies, but blueberry cream pies, pineapple cream pies, and a few soulful lunches.
The red snapper sandwich is the easiest thing to eat in the park, and probably your best option. The chicken wings start at 5 dollars for 10 wings. They come with french fries that are about what you would expect from a truck. Both the snapper and wings are deep-fried, with a tight seal and crisp coating. Beneath the cornmeal coating is a boiling hot grease bomb waiting to explode. Be cautious biting into the meat until it has cooled, or it will be like Squirt gum of fire. After the initial bite, the greasiness is not too pronounced, and the meat is hot and tender.
The Shabazz restaurant in Leimert Park has been closed to walk-in business. They are now a center of operations for the bustling catering operation. 2618 W Martin Luther King Jr. Los Angeles, CA 90008-2745 Phone: (323) 295-5469.
For a sit-down meal, you need to head over to their restaurant on Crenshaw and Imperial. 2636 W Imperial Hwy Inglewood 90303
If you can't find the Shabazz truck, you can always find the bean pie man and at least get your pie fix.
Some people are unfamiliar with bean pies and are understandably wary, but people who won't eat them are truly missing out. A bean pie is very similar to a sweet potato pie. The ingredients may be unfamiliar, but it's really no stranger than carrot cake or pumpkin pie.
The Shabazz Bakery is connected to the The Nation of Islam, and some people have issues with supporting them in any way. I figure that I give so much money to the man, what's a few dollars to the other side of the coin? A bean pie is a bean pie is a bean pie.
The Tribe of Shabazz refers to an ancient Black nation in Africa, according to the oral history of some enslaved Africans in America. It is found primarily in the writings of Wallace Fard Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad, and the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X adopted Shabazz as his surname to honor his membership in the tribe.
Photos by Elise Thompson for LAist