Miss Bs M and M Soulfood is arguably one of the best Soulfood restaurants in town. Just ask Beverly Reece, affectionately known as Miss B, who has been in the Soulfood business for over 35 years and at 72 years old, shows no sign of slowing down.
She got her start from her godmother Miss Mary Stewart (Miss Mary) who she knew from Mississippi and who already had a Soulfood restaurant in California.
Miss B worked as a manager at Pacific Bell a long time ago, which is no longer around. Her mother and Miss Mary were long time friends in Mississippi. After Miss B’s mother died and to get away from an abusive marriage, she packed her suitcases and with her two children and only $14 in her pocket, boarded a Greyhound bus bound for California.
In California Miss B worked for another phone company and at a Thrifty drug store. One day Miss Mary invited Miss B and her children over for dinner and it was then that Miss Mary asked her if she could help at the restaurant. Well the very next day Miss B showed up at the restaurant in her suit, high heels and briefcase ready to go to work. Of course Miss Mary was shocked because she didn’t expect her to show up.
Miss B never worked in the restaurant business before but she knew how to cook and working in corporate, she knew how to run a business. It took her six months to get all the paperwork together so in the mean time, with a knack for decorating, she tastefully redesigned and redecorated the restaurant. Oftentimes she would stay until two or three in the morning getting the place together.
Then one day Miss Mary decided to look for another location. When she found it she basically told Miss B that she would be moving by herself. Miss Mary literally gave the restaurant to Miss B, took all the money and left.
After collecting herself, Miss B reasoned “ok I’m a risk taker anyway, I can do this “. Luckily for her, she was paying all the bills so the creditors knew her very well and she was able to keep the restaurant going. Originally located on LaBrea, she then moved to 801 W Manchester across the street from the Forum, where she stayed for 15 years. Then with the cost of living going up, her landlord raised the rent from $6,000 to a whopping $14,000 per month, and Miss B knew that it was time for her to move again.
Her son Jerry was the one who found the current location with lots of parking and… the rent is $6,000 per month!
Miss B moved in just before the pandemic hit so the business has taken a hit too. She has been able to do online orders working with the likes of Uber Eats and Doordash , but she is just barely treading water. Because of the pandemic, some people don’t know that she is open for business.
She does breakfast, lunch and dinner on Fridays Saturdays and Sundays and for the rest of the week it’s lunch and dinner. The hours are 10 am to 7 pm and she’s closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Miss B doesn’t have a signature dish because everything’s delicious. From the oxtails to the short ribs to her decadent Mac and cheese. She has black eye peas, lima beans and okra, liver and onions and salmon croquettes at breakfast time.
Celebrities from Kanye West to Tony Cox to Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr have graced her restaurant, so when you can, visit Miss Bs M and M Soulfood, 4549 W Imperial Highway. You will be glad you did She also does conventions, wedding receptions, birthday parties and so on.
Phone number 310 330 2697. Donations are welcome.
Dorrette G. Young
October 5, 2021