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Post & Beam – A Taste of Black Excellence 
By Betti Halsell Contributing Writer
Published April 15, 2021

Post & Beam Executive Chef John Cleveland keeps the soul of South L.A. alive in the atmosphere and the food of this restaurant. (Photo Credit: Travis McCoy Photography )

The robust flavors found in their soul food match the warmth given by their staff, Post & Beam has created an ambiance that is authentic to the collective community. With a spacious floor plan and an environment filled with the enchantment of laughter and dining in a sultry garden patio, intimately tethered to the main room and bar, clinks of glasses and the buzz of conversation harmonize with the jazz notes playing in the background. 

Located in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in South Los Angeles, Post & Beam has been creating phenomenal memories for their guests for over eight years. Hosting private events, they customized the experience to fit every occasion. The atmosphere draws in the crowd, but everyone comes back for the addicting flavor of the food, representing a rich culture found in the Black community.  

Known for their modern twist on west coast cuisine, Post & Beam curated a southern combination that synchronizes with the traditional comfort food of California. Some of the introductory plates include warm Corn Bread with Whipped Honey Butter, Pacific Oysters, and Vegan Crab Cake. Their main dishes include one-of-a-kind plates like the Espresso Rubbed Hangar Steak accompanied with Celery Root Puree and Red Pepper Romesco. 

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Chefs John Cleveland and Roni Cleveland reopened the Post & Beam doors on Sunday, April 4, with new chef, Martin Draluck, from Hatchet Hall, creating an innovative pallet of taste for their manicured plates. Through the heavier months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Post & Beam operated through delivery in the last four months, with their main focus on the wood-fired pizzas. 

Shrimp and Grits with beef bacon, peppers, and shrimp butter. (Photo Credit: Travis McCoy Photography )

Now open for in-house dining, they return to the variety of their curated menu. With one bite into a Post & Beam creation, it reflects family-owned products, local farms and distributors, and its freshly made cuisine by Chef Draluck. As a Los Angeles native, Draluck has joined the Post & Beam family after cooking at Hatchet Hall for roughly six years. He shares the love for woodfired cuisine and southern tradition, a torch carried by Chef Cleveland.

“We are ecstatic to have Chef Draluck join our culinary team,” says Executive Chef John Cleveland. “Our mutual admiration for wood-fired cuisine and Southern traditions brought us together, and his strong command of comfort food and casual fine dining is a perfect match for Post & Beam. I am happy that we continue to grow as a foundation for young talented chefs in our community,” said the Post & Beam executive chef. 

With the return to the unmistakable soulful ambiance comes the resurgence of house favorites like the Shrimp & Grits, Beef Short Ribs, andthe newest addition of Oyster selection. The menu continues to be updated, matching the produce that is seasonal and the plates are created with the guest in mind. 

The outdoor seating is surrounded by greenery and fresh open air, while inside,one can enjoy intimate conversation while being surrounded by the  mid-century interior design of the restaurant. 

Wood oven Salmon over smoked fingerling potatoes and pickled red onion with Alabama White BBQ Sauce. (Photo Credit: Travis McCoy Photography )

The seeds of the restaurant that still stand today were planted on New Years Eve of 2011, with Brad Johnson and Govind Armstrong. In July of 2019, the keys to the best tasting food in Baldwin Hills were given to Chef Cleveland. 

The goal left by Johnson, was to keep the soul of South L.A. alive in the atmosphere and the food of this restaurant, which fans of the restaurant feel Cleveland has captured. “It was important to have someone who has the heart and soul of the community,”Johnson told the L.A. times back in 2019, “My fear was that there would be somebody of means who would come in, someone not from the community. What a loss that would be.”

Cleveland and his wife were regulars at Post & Beam before the transition of ownership, enchanted by the love of what it stood for way before they entered the kitchen as owners. Chef Cleveland  knows every aspect of the business, through his culinary career he has served, bussed tables, hosted, and made drinks behind a bar in college. 

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The restaurant continues to harvest the feeling of being in an oasis, situated on the far end of the renovated mall and adjacent to a Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Preparing for the summer nights, Post & Beam continue to design a menu that captures the season, bringing guests from all around Los Angeles to come dine at the Baldwin Hills and Crenshaw Plaza. 

Jerk Catfish with marinated herbs and dirty rice. (Photo Credit: Travis McCoy Photography )

The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in South Los Angeles is now known as the location for the best comfort food with the soulful twist representing the collective community. Specializing in making every one of their guests feel part of the family, Post & Beam is now open to serve in their outdoor patio and inside their main hall at 25 percent capacity. 

The rich culture of the Black community is represented in every inch of Post & Beam from the sophistication of the design to the environment that is curated through the music, food, and staff.  The music has guests swaying back and forth with a drink in hand, the cornbread and Honey Butter comes out in a personal-sized cast-iron mold, electrifying one’s taste buds. 

Post & Beam values its guests and looks to uphold the most up-to-date safety standards issued by Los Angeles County.  Located on 3767 Santa Rosalia Drive, the restaurant is open Wednesday-Saturday from 4-9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., serving brunch all day. Reservations can be made through their official website at postandbeamla.com.The staff are so welcoming from the beginning; one feels a kindred feeling of family as the host navigates through the patio to the prepared table. With “Edge” by David McCallin playing in the background, adding to the seduction of the night of Post & Beam, there is no sense of wanting to leave.

Categories: A Taste of Soul | Exclusive | Local | News | News (Family) | Restaurant
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