Today I had lunch at Cafe Soul (3850 W. Slauson Ave, (323) 296-6679). It's a friendly, like-mom-used-to-make soul food place in South-Central. I had the BBQ chicken dinner with collard greens, cabbage, corn bread, and rice and gravy. It was comfort food, unambitious and homey, rather than anything ostentatious.
The BBQ sauce was not something that you could compare to the specialist BBQ stands whose sauces compete to be the most aggressive. But if you take it on its own terms, as something meant to be warming and familiar rather than life-threatening, then it was pretty good, say a grade B.
The best part, actually, was the cabbage, which was prepared with red chilis and had an excellent zing to it. The collard greens, on the other hand, were disappointing. You can't serve collard greens straight; you've got to prepare them with *something*. You can get better greens in a can than here.
The corn bread was very light, which is not to my taste though there's nothing wrong with it.
The restaurant itself is pretty basic, spacious and comfortable but with ceiling fans and a buzzing TV which I always find annoying. It's several blocks west of Crenshaw on Slauson. The block itself is pretty blighted, but it's in View Park which is one of the nicer parts of South-Central. There's a library and some schools a couple blocks due north on 54th, Woody's BBQ is a few blocks east, and the Simply Wholesome natural foods place is a few blocks west. It's readily accessible on the 108 bus that runs between Marina del Rey and Pico Rivera; the stop is Rimpau.