LOS ANGELES, CA – Adriana Cortes has a full day ahead of her. She is the co-owner of the new restaurant Delicious at the Dunbar along with her father and chef, Vidal Cortes.
- Family-owned business fuses Mexican and soul food
- Recognizes jazz heritage of Dunbar Village
- Local community excited for new food option
A family business, Adriana has worked in the restaurant industry her whole life.
“I remember growing up being a server, helping him with prep work,” says Cortes. “I’ve done, not necessarily cooking, but definitely a lot of prep. He’s always been the chef behind everything and I do more of the paperwork.”
Delicious is their second location, but first sit-down restaurant. When they were first approached by the developer during the building’s renovation, they were hesitant. Central Avenue hadn’t seen a new dine-in restaurant for the last 20 years and the community had changed. They didn’t know if soul food would sell well.
“This community, look at it 1930s, primarily African-American,” says Cortes. “But if you look around today, it’s 90 percent Latino and all of our customers have always asked us for Mexican dishes so part of our catering has always been a slight fusion of Mexican food and Soul food so that’s what we did here.”
Now at the Dunbar Village, Delicious recognizes both their heritage and place in jazz history where Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, and Billie Holiday once stayed. The local community is excited for new food options, which invites economic vitality.
“Family owned business is the heart blood of our American economy,” says Lisa Winkle of Coalition for Responsible Community Development. “And here in South Los Angeles, this particular establishment coming in has brought jobs to this area and it’s increased the pride.”
Cortes and her father Vidal have a lot to be proud of. An idea they started right after the economy collapsed in 2009, their restaurant is now a local hot spot.
“I grew up not that far from here,” says Cortes. “I grew up around USC, South LA. This is home. This is a way a little bit of what we have into a community we’ve always been in.”
Add a little bit of soul and a sprinkle of salsa and you have Delicious.