FRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIED CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With a name like Big Mama, you know fried chicken was invented here! Forget Roscoes, KFC, Popeyes, and Churches Chicken. For soul food, this is the right place (North Pasadena), in the right time (hungry time), with the right rhyme (soul baby). Though it is a "rib shack", the fried chicken is what first comes to mind. Order a plate of the wings and thighs and you'll never have juicier, crunchier, or tastier fried chicken in your life. FOOD: Some notable dishes are the pork chop with gravy, pork ribs, beef ribs, mac and cheese, and hush puppies. Don't get the seafood here, it's not all that. SERVICE: Because it's a soulfood restaurant, and I like to take my time nibbling all the meat off the chicken and ribs, I don't consider the service SLOW. But don't expect the waiter to be at your beck and call, he's probably busy helping big mama bread up the new batch in the back!
I agree with others who have lamented the loss of flavor at Islands. There was a time when I wouldn't think of ordering anything but one of their mouth-watering burgers, but over the years, I've found other favorites on the menu. I also like the Cabo Loco - and given the fat and calorie content, I'm glad they offer a choice of two or three, as this dish doesn't always hold up well as lunch leftovers for the next day. They do have a new burger called The Maverick. My friend ordered it last night and said it was pretty tasty. Apparently the BBQ sauce makes a difference. Then again, she had a turkey patty instead of beef, so that could affect the taste as well, I'd guess. It also comes with fries so the value is good, especially if you don't want to share or eat a huge basket of fries by yourself. Like I said, all in all, Islands is just OK.
I went to Urban Plates with some coworkers for lunch. It's a great option for people who want to eat healthy and delicious food after workout ( the location is near LA Fitness and SoulCycle). Food: descent size and reasonable price. I ordered the steak plate sided with brussel sprouts and zucchini. It also included a piece of grilled bread to fill you up. I loved the steak and bread. The plate came out to be around $13. Oh btw, check out their cookies at dessert section, they were huge and seemed to be delicious. I bought cookies from somewhere else, so did not get to try the ones here. Next time! Service: very attentive and fast! The servers here always come up with big smiles on their faces. Great customer service. I have been to the other location in San Diego couple years ago and I believe the menus are pretty much the same.