Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Carribbean Soul Kitchen Will Touch Your Tastebuds


Many Southern Californians vacation in Hawaii, but probably fewer have ventured east to the Caribbean and its larger necklace of tropical islands.  While the Hawaiian islands have their signature favorites like roast pig at a luau, a traditional noodle soup called Saimin that’s considered the national dish of Hawaii, or the raw fish dish called poke, the Caribbean culinary signature is a different sort of treat for the tastebuds, especially when a dish is “jerked” – meaning the inclusion of very flavorful spices.

But there’s no need for airfare to get a Caribbean taste right here in the Miracle Mile area, at the newly-opened Caribbean Soul Kitchen.

We spoke with proprietor Mercedes Squires, who shared some of what got her and her chef-husband RJ into becoming the newest local, non-chain eatery.


Is your restaurant “Caribbean” or tied to a specific nation’s cuisine?

Yes, our dishes derive from the Caribbean and are Panamanian, specifically our Sancocho, patacon, yuca balls and yuca frita. Other dishes are a twist to Jamaican “Jerk” chicken and Brown Stew chicken. We have added our special sauce, marinade and seasoning to these.

Have you had a restaurant before?

Great question. No, this is our very first restaurant.

Chef RJ and Mercedes Squires, the husband and wife team behind the new Caribbean Soul Kitchen.

Your husband is the chef? Are his recipes family traditions or secrets?

Yes, Chef RJ is our creative mind behind the flavors. Some of his concepts of cooking came from family traditions, and he’s created his own house secret sauce.

What made you pick the Miracle Mile as a location?

This location actually picked us. We were looking for a location and someone (an angel) actually suggested us to the owners and the rest is history. We actually are very familiar with this charming area, as my husband and I both are graduates of Fairfax High School.

When a customer has eaten at your place what do you hope they will feel as they leave?

It is our hope to offer a quick get away to the Caribbean while dining. We also want customers to consider what Panama cuisine has to offer – great taste, flavor and undeniably Caribbean.



Caribbean Soul Kitchen just opened for lunch and dinner.  Located at 5354 Wilshire Blvd., in the Miracle Mile, it offers dine-in (indoor and outdoor), take out, and catering services.  See the restaurant’s website for more information.


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Tim Deegan
Tim Deegan
Tim Deegan is a longtime resident and community leader in the Miracle Mile, who has served as board chair at the Mid City West Community Council, and on the board of the Miracle Mile Civic Coalition. Tim can be reached at [email protected].

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