Patrons at Mama's HouseBy Brian W. CarterSentinel Staff WriterMama's House opened on Crenshaw back in August of 2000 and has been thriving ever since. "Mama" Juanita Penland has continued to wow people with her soul food recipes for over a decade. Mama's House has won the Steve Hardy "Hoodie Award" twice for the best soul food in L.A. Recently, Charles Penland temporarily took over for his mother in running the restaurant."I recently took over as manager," said Penland. "It's been in my family for 11 years." Penland is continuing the tradition of making sure the restaurant stays at the top. He's changed a few things inside but has kept the same down-home food.Born and raised in Los Angeles, Penland is a former model and veteran actor having appeared in numerous TV shows including, The Waltons, Charlie's Angels, Hunter, Hill Street Blues, Martin and Living Single.After taking a hiatus from acting, Penland began directing gospel plays and taking them across the country. He's directed plays such as "I Need A Man " and "Come Out of the Rain" with Mike Matthews. He also directs the NAACP Theatre awards. As the current manager of Mama's House he's now running a different production."It's really not that much different...the kitchen is one department, the waitress is in one department, the busboy, the dishwasher...different departments, ran the same way as a production." The food is at center stage with this show and still gets a standing ovation."I snuggle cakes, pies, collard greens and all the down-home southern things," according to Penland. On the menu: short ribs, ox tails and turkey chops are some of the top favorites at Mama's. On the dessert menu is red velvet cake, banana pudding and sweet potato pie to name a few.After being closed for renovations, all Penland wants people to know is, "Mama's house is back." Mama's House will continue to be a place where people can come and eat good food and be a pillar in the community for soul food. As Penland said, "Make Mama's House your home."Mama's House is located at 3864 Crenshaw Blvd in Los Angeles CA. You can contact Mama's House at (323) 298-1193.