There’s something special about a place that adapts to changing times while remaining true to its origins. For more than 25 years, Earlez Grille in the Crenshaw district has done just that.
Earlez owner Duane Earl said his secret recipes for hot dogs, burgers and chili have less to do with ingredients than simply “paying attention to how you cook” and using “common sense.” Oh, and one more thing: “People can tell when you don’t put love into food.”
Hear the sizzle of the Earlez grill in an audio piece from Annenberg Radio News:
Success, however, hasn’t come without bumps in the road. The restaurant has needed to relocate several times. It has been at its latest location at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards near Leimert Park for seven years. But now that Metro is building a new stop for the Crenshaw/LAX line on the corner, the eatery must move again.
Read a previous story from Intersections about the effect of the Crenshaw/LAX line on Earlez Grille: Earlez Grille to move for Metro line construction
Ever loyal to the Crenshaw community, Earlez doesn’t plan to go far. The new location is just a few blocks away at a shopping plaza on Crenshaw Boulevard.
Earl hopes the location will help bring new foot-traffic to his restaurant, which he runs with his brother, Cary.
“This location is going to give us the jump we need,” said Earl. “We’re going to move from a ‘ma-and-pa’ feel to a more corporate look.”
Earlez is poised to build upon years of popularity among South L.A. community members from all walks of life. Food critic Jonathan Gold once commented on this diversity in the LA Weekly, writing:
“Earlez Grille is a major crossroads of the Crenshaw Strip, popular with politicians, poets and rap stars. If you sit at a table long enough, nursing a bowl of vegan chili and a tall paper cup of lemonade, all of South Los Angeles passes before your eyes.”
Until the opening, Duane and Cary Earl serve customers out of a catering truck, and continue to adjust to changing times. Some of their new menu items include turkey dogs, turkey burgers and vegan chili.
See previously from Intersections: Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX line brings promise of jobs, revitalization to South LA
Earlez Grille’s new location at 3864 Crenshaw Blvd:
Correction: Earlez Grille must move due to construction on the Crenshaw/LAX line. A previous version of this article incorrectly called it the Expo line.