>> Tracey's Belizean Restaurant | Eat the World Los Angeles

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Tracey's Belizean Restaurant


📍 3810 S. Western Avenue, Exposition Park, South Los Angeles
🅿️ Street Parking
🥤 No Alcohol
There is a certain amount of envy that must be cast towards the folks that have figured out the daily rhythms of Tracey's Belizean Restaurant on Western Avenue. Without knowledge of this rhythm, wandering in is more of a crapshoot. Certain things are available on certain days, sometimes Sundays, sometimes Wednesday through Friday. Is there any way to verify all of this? If you did would it take away the charm?

Either way, Tracey's has been around since 1984 and shows no signs of going anywhere so you still have time to figure it all out. What is clear is that no matter what day of the week you find yourself inside, a delightful meal and a full belly are certainly in your future. You are best off approaching the back counter to first to get your order in before sitting down. Behind this area a sign with seahorses and elephants reads "Welcome to Tracey's" while underneath the counter are plastic wrapped round loaves of Caribbean breads and tarts.

Despite being unapologetically Belizean, Tracey's has a pan-Caribbean feel and a crowd to match. Dishes like the stew oxtail ($14, above and below) satisfy the needs of expats from Belize and just about any island nation in the area. These fatty pieces of tail would be described as luxurious by a serious food writer, but on this day were picked up and gnawed on until clean.

A plate comes with rice (always demand extra gravy as others around you will be doing) and a salad, which on this day was a creamy yet light potato salad. A couple fried plantains were laid over it all for good measure.

Sitting at one of the four tables with booth-style seating is an enjoyable time even before the food comes, as most of the restaurant is open space but full of people picking up orders for takeout. Those in the booths are taking their sweet time with the day, drinking the Jamaican DG Pineapple Sof Drink and relaxing in each other's company.

On some days you can grab bollos, a Belizean-style tamal, and definitely never pass up garnaches on days they are offered. These staples of the country and southern México are similar to what is called a tostada further north. Usually eaten from a city street vendor, these are finger food snacks at their finest, with black beans and pickled cabbage on top along with meat sometimes. On Sundays come for boil up, the national dish of Belize and a descendant from Garifuna kitchens. Now if only they had the Belikin Beer to go along with everything...

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