“Spooning” for Breakfast

The Serving Spoon in Inglewood dishes up hearty Southern specialties.

Serving Spoon catfish

The Serving Spoon is a Southern comfort pit stop on your way to LAX, where the food bends the rules, the people want to know you and you can’t be afraid to ‘spoon’ with your neighbor on a busy morning.

The Inglewood restaurant has been dishing out breakfast to the community for over thirty years.

Harold Sparks opened the restaurant in 1982 and passed the torch to his daughter, Angela and her husband, J.C. Johnson, who have kept the original spirit alive.

“My father set the tone since the beginning with that personal touch with our customers,” said Angela Johnson.

That personal touch includes naming their menu items after regulars, friends and family.

The menu staples include “Cookie’s Chicken and Waffles,” named after one of their customers, and “Sparks' Fried Catfish and Homemade Grits” named after the restaurant’s founder.

"We prepare our food from scratch and there's a lot of love that goes into our meals," said Angela Johnson.

The crispy battered chicken wings bring slight saltiness to the subtle sweetness of a thin, cinnamon waffle.

The thick-cut filet of battered catfish came to the table sizzling – and took up more than half the plate. The signature item is also served with a helping of buttery homemade grits and a warm biscuit.

The Serving Spoon also dishes up authentic spicy Louisiana style beef sausage, country-style potatoes, and warm biscuits.

On Sunday mornings, when tables are limited and people are lining up hungry, several parties may be seated together, creating a communal atmosphere that the restaurant likes to promote.

“It’s social networking but face to face, like the good old days,” said J.C. Johnson.

The restaurant is open in shifts, from 7a.m. to 3p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. It opens again for late night dining on Friday and Saturday nights from 10p.m. to 5 a.m. It is located at 1403 Centinela Avenue in Inglewood.

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