Melrose: Modern Soul Food at Barbara Jean LA

Cocktails at Barbara Jean


Chef Jason Fullilove has found a home for his Barbara Jean LA restaurant at Melrose Umbrella Company. The former pop-up restaurant has taken over the former Mare space in the back of the bar.

The cuisine is elevated soul food. I see obvious nods to soul and American Southern food that’s fresh and modern.

Fullilove Tea Punch – spirit of choice (we chose bourbon), black tea, lemon, sugar, peach, cinnamon

Patio Sazarac– Camus cognac, pear brandy, demerara, fennel bitters, grapefruit oils

Melrose Mule– vodka, blood orange, lime, ginger beer syrup, cinnamon brown sugar

Romance Without Pressure – gin, passionfruit, lemon, grapefruit, cucumber, soda

hush puppies


There were only two of us but we somehow managed to tackle nearly all the appetizers starting with the hush puppies. I was never much of a hush puppies person but I’ve learned to love them over the years. And now in fact will order them. They were on the menu that day so I’m so glad they were sent out.

chicken liver butter


I love chicken liver and the chicken liver butter is a must at Barbara Jean. The mustard seed is a great idea.


fried chicken


We also got to try the fried chicken served with a little bit of kimchi. I love living in LA and having access to a multitude of cuisines. Mixing up Southern and Korean is my kind of meal.



Sometimes I wonder if I am reincarnated from a former Southerner because I just love, love, love okra (and grits, biscuits, etc). These cornmeal crusted okra were great. Make sure you swipe them through the pretty purple sauce for your full enjoyment.



As mentioned, I’m super into biscuits. Spread a little love in the form of the whipped butter and a dab or two of honey and these babies are gold.


ora king salmon


When we ordered our entrees, we didn’t realize just how much food we were going to get. We probably could have just shared one entree. But I’m glad I got to try something from the sea and plenty of stuff from the land. The ora king salmon was amazing. Such a wonderfully seared crust of a skin with lovely sauces.

The salmon was perfectly cooked and all too quickly it was all gone.

Grandma Jean’s sampler


Grandma Jean’s sampler comes with ribs, black eye peas, braised greens and mac and cheese. I loved everything! The greens were perfect. The ribs were perfect. I will come back just for this.


peach cobbler


We were now almost crying in pain but we ate ALL the desserts. The peach cobbler and the cookies were my favorite.



Or was it the chocolate with the piquant sauce?



No, it must have been the dense and moist brownie?



No, okay, I just liked all the desserts. And I’m not even a sweets person!

Bonus! You can get great drinks at Barbara Jean and Melrose Umbrella is mere steps away if you want to pre or post party!

Barbara Jean LA

7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046  —  (323) 718-5142
© The Minty  2017