My Two Cents is a Southern spot, and, as Southern spots sometimes do, they take hospitality really seriously. The people behind the counter shout a welcome to you when you walk in the door, and before you even order, they’ll tell you about the massive case of cakes, pies, and cobblers, or describe the specials written on a chalkboard by the register.
But feel free to (politely) ignore those very nice people. Your first priority here isn’t dessert or a daily special - it’s the best shrimp and grits in Los Angeles.
They arrive in a steaming bowl of salty, acidic, and sweet tomato broth, filled with massive hunks of shrimp. They’re barely cooked through, and finished in the beurre monte, leaving them tender and without the fishy taste you sometimes get with stewed seafood. The parmesan-corn grits are cheesy and creamy, but still hold together and won’t dissolve in the broth. And unlike other shrimp and grits in town, they’re not topped with three barely-there, over-cooked shrimp, or so buttery that you need a three-hour nap afterward. My Two Cents’ version is a hearty, but surprisingly light, bowl of comfort that we could eat multiple times per week, and still have room left over for something else on the menu.
That includes a handful of Southern classics that are definitely worth your time. The mac and cheese (which, through some miracle of culinary physics, is gluten-free), holds up against any other - it’s cheesy, gooey, and exactly what you’re hoping for when you want cheese and gluten-free carbs. The gumbo is also good - it comes with shrimp and (we think) an entire crab’s worth of meat, which is worth the comparatively pricey $21 cost. You’d also be missing out if you didn’t, at least once, get the pork chop. It’s got a great char on it, is moist and evenly cooked, and comes over a bed of roasted, sweet and tart plantains that we’re completely addicted to.
A meal at My Two Cents isn’t perfect. Sometimes the burger isn’t cooked exactly how you wanted, and the fried tomato BLT is overly greasy. Nonetheless, you’re going to be happy with this meal, because the food makes you feel good, even if it’s not perfect. Unless we’re talking about those shrimp and grits - because those are perfect every time.
You know that Beatles’ song “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”? Turns out, it’s bullsh*t. Happiness is this bowl of shrimp, grits, and beurre monte.
Our favorite main outside of the shrimp and grits, this is a well-cooked, tender pork chop served with a pile of roasted plantains, or grits during Sunday brunch. The flavors go together shockingly well.
Your “healthy” options at My Two Cents are pretty limited - but you can pretend by ordering this great salad, with BBQ Caesar dressing, sweet, crispy fried chicken strips, and croutons made out of moist fried grits.
Gluten-free mac and cheese used to be right up there with Thanksgiving Day family 5Ks on the desirability scale for us, but you’d never know this excellent bowl of cheese and pasta was gluten-free unless they told you. Which they do.
This behemoth of a sandwich involves a huge hunk of fried turkey meatloaf, shaved apples, remoulade, and cabbage slaw. You won’t finish it, but you should try.