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A Taste of the South Bay / Dining Spots in Your Area


Tucked away in a strip mall in Gardena is the M & M Gumbo House, a popular restaurant specializing in the soul food of Mississippi.

Chef and manager Pearl McCallum, whose family owns four other M & Ms, including one in Carson and another in Gardena, cooks old family recipes in this tiny restaurant. The place is small in size but large in flavor.

One of the most popular dishes is the fried chicken dinner ($7.99). Three large pieces are

coated with flour and seasoned with salt, garlic powder, MSG, pepper and pancake mix, and then fried to a golden brown. The trick to getting the right color, Pearl says, is to add just the right amount of pancake mix.

Gumbo is another favorite. This generous dish includes crab, shrimp, chicken, hot links, okra, tomatoes, green onion and a large portion of white rice ($7.99 for large, $5.99 for small).

Other offerings include oxtails, chitterlings, liver and onions and smothered pork chops ($7.99 each).

Diners select three vegetables with the main course. The popular sweet potatoes are set in a pot with a small amount of boiling water, then covered with sugar and butter. As they cook, the sugar and butter soak down through the orange flesh, infusing it with a sweet richness.

M & M is also a good place for a hearty breakfast. Eggs come with such eye-opening companions as hot links, fried chicken wings, liver and onions or grilled salmon croquettes ($4.50). All breakfast entrees are served with country style grilled potatoes and onions and homemade biscuits.

M&M Gumbo House is at 2210 W. El Segundo Blvd., Gardena (310) 333-3333. Open Tuesday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Monday. Other locations, known as M&M Soul Food, are at 18427 S. Avalon Blvd., Carson, and 2222 W. Rosecrans Ave., Gardena.

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