Southern Food North Hollywood

Black Bottom Southern Café Brings Comfort to NoHo Corner

Black Bottom Southern Café, a charming restaurant from proprietress Gina Taylor-Pickens, debuted at a busy North Hollywood intersection to start December, drawing on her family’s Southern heritage. Gina has family from Georgia on her mom’s side and South Carolina on her dad’s side. She explains her deep connection:”My true Southern connection is through the food. I […]

Black Bottom Southern Café, a charming restaurant from proprietress Gina Taylor-Pickens, debuted at a busy North Hollywood intersection to start December, drawing on her family’s Southern heritage.

Gina has family from Georgia on her mom’s side and South Carolina on her dad’s side. She explains her deep connection:”My true Southern connection is through the food. I love it. Flavors run deep. History on a plate. I’ve spent years collecting authentic, rare and unique recipes from Virginia, the stretches of Atlantic Coasts, Sea Islands through to the Deep South and onto the Gulf Coast States. I’ve been there and I’ve tasted the food. Lived the food.”

A movie projector still tops the spinning skillet sign—a nod to the building’s history as Camera Craft. A drought-friendly patio is now lined with stones, succulents and tables. Order inside at the counter from the overhead menu, surrounded by shelves of pickle jars aplenty. Pin “where your mama ‘n ‘em from” on a map of Southern states.

Why this location? Gina says, “It’s not that I chose North Hollywood and the NoHo Arts District, as much as it chose me. It is the gateway to the San Fernando Valley—an area rich in art and culture with such a central location to all the avenues of hospitality. It’s an area that is family-friendly, full of entertainment and commercial activity. I wanted Black Bottom Southern Café to be in a place where people come together. It’s at a busy intersection of NoHo where so many people from different walks of life meet. There is easy access to the NoHo Metro Station, and we are surrounded by a diverse, healthy community from all walks of life.”

Gina hired chef Christopher Montgomery, who was previously working at Tamarack Country Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. He trained as a sous chef under renowned New York chef David Burke. “Montgomery will develop seasonal dishes for the restaurant that are locally sourced and regionally influenced,” Gina says. “His expertise is unmatched, and he’s tireless in his desire to create food that keeps people coming back.”

Hearty options include Chaa’stun shrimp ‘n’ grits; smoked yardbird brined in garlic, shallots and herbs; Lowcountry shrimp purloo—a rice casserole with smoked chicken, shrimp, chicken andouille sausage and Carolina gold rice; and organic smoked brisket rubbed with “secret spices.” The restaurant also features a wide variety of sandwiches, sides and house-made bread products, including Sally Lunn bread, hoe cakes, angel biscuits, hoppin’ John, Southern-style greens and hushpuppies with Mississippi comeback sauce.

Sweets are easy to find at Black Bottom. A bin of sorghum suckers (lollipops) and Texas pecan chews rests by the door. Twin dessert cases by the register house sticky sorghum cake, pineapple coconut cake, Mama Bear’s sweet potato pie, buttermilk pie and signature black bottom pie.

4806 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood, 818-856-8532

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Melanie Apple

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