>> Poly Grill & Bakery | Eat the World Los Angeles

Monday 30 August 2021

Poly Grill & Bakery

SAMOA ๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Carson Street facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: The small space is limited to four customers at a time, otherwise the takeout-only food is just as always. Operating hours have been reduced to four days, please check before going.

While many Samoan spots in the South Bay or down by the harbor will have the flags of that island nation flying in the front, Poly Grill & Bakery takes a different approach. Their logo also chooses to include Hawai'i, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti, and the Marquesas on it, and every time they advertise or post on social media it is addressed to the entire "Poly Fam."

While there is a pocket of Marshall Islands folks in Arkansas, Southern California has long been home to more Polynesian-born peoples than anywhere else on the mainland. Besides an abundance of Hawaiian restaurants and a smattering of Samoan operations, this has not necessarily translated to food businesses open for the public, but look close on the steam tables here and you might find Fijian taro or mamoe tao, a favorite on Niue as well as Samoa.

A loaf of cinnamon bread

Poly Grill & Bakery is tucked into the corner of a small strip mall on Carson Blvd. east of the 405 and the Dominguez Channel before it empties into the harbor, and is a small square room which lets customers focus on their steam table offerings. There has been a business here with the same name for quite some time, but the current owners upgraded the space and reopened in November of 2019.

There are two parts to the small space, a steam table dominates the left half of the room and most everything that is available on any given day will be on display. The case and area behind the register on the right are usually filled with breads, sweet raisin rolls and German buns, wildly popular fried dough balls filled with jams or other sweet goodies. A loaf of the cinnamon bread ($8, above) is great for making French toast or just for a sweet treat.

Turkey tail and sapasui

When approaching the steam table, you do need to consider the weight of everything. The price for most foods is $8.99/pound and can add up pretty quickly because of the natural heaviness of Samoan and Polynesian foods, which focus more on meats, oils, and gravies than leaves. On a couple different visits, there was a noticeable level of surprise sticker shock from some customers that had went for it with big orders.

The steam table is full of options though, and this is probably why most customers end up with big orders. The shop closes at 3pm but come well before that because as lunch hours go on the choices do get smaller. The baked goods are made fresh daily and the desserts go quickly. Staples like turkey tail and sapasui, a Samoan chop suey with thick vermicelli noodles, are available on most days (above).

Chicken and gravy

As is quite popular you can throw in some corned beef with your sapasui or have the former more traditionally paired with taro in coconut milk. For even more coconut milk, they also sometimes have fa'alifu ulu, a Samoan breadfruit that is cooked in it.

Samoan sausages called sosisi can be eaten with a thick, rich gravy as can chicken thighs and legs as seen above. Both of these benefit from a side of rice, which can be added to any order and helps cut the intense richness.

You can also get drumsticks baked with spices without gravy, fish casseroles with more coconut (above, top right), and at this point you would have only started to scratch the surface.

The people that work here are very friendly and happy to answer questions and make recommendations. This makes gathering takeout meals easier for those that are less familiar with the foods of Polynesia.

๐Ÿ“ 1329 E. Carson Street, Carson, Harbor


Eat the World Los Angeles is and always has been free. It is a hobby born of passion and never solicits money or free food from restaurants. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better please tell your friends about us and if you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World Los Angeles is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

Thank you!
CASH APP: $JaredCohee
PAYPAL: (no account necessary, use link)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.