Kaboom Brings Jamaican Heat (and Low Prices) to Mid City


Since I moved here from NYC two years ago I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement for my beloved Jamaican Dutchy, the Midtown cart that introduced me to the wonders of jerk chicken, curry goat, and most importantly stew peas.  The Kassava Truck was good while it lasted (it’s gone now), but I still can’t bring myself to go to their restaurant- mostly because it’s too expensive for ML purposes, but also because a little part of me is sure that great Jamaican food is not going to be found in the shadow of the Beverly Center.  Nope- for that your best bet is to head to Mid City where Carribbean restaurants dot Washington and Pico in a way that makes you wonder when the “Little Kingston” sign is going up.

Natraliart is the go to favorite in the neighborhood, but I was a bit underwhelmed on my one visit.  And it’s a bit too expensive.  So when Lunch’er Garrett pointed out this quick little mention of Kaboom on the blog Food GPS I was intrigued.  When I saw their prices, I was downright excited.


The menu at Kaboom is more aspirational than concrete.  They list over 20 dishes, featuring chicken, beef, goat, oxtail, and seafood, but you never know what’s actual going to be available the day you show up.  Small orders (which are always plenty for lunch) are $7-9 depending on the meat you choose, and come with rice or rice and peas, plus plantains, and cabbage salad or a regular salad.  Can’t decide on just one protein?  They offer a combo plate of any two meats for $12.   But the best thing about Kaboom is that every week they offer one of their items as a lunch special for just $5 or $6.


The day we were there it was the fried chicken (normally $7.50).  It comes chopped up into chunks and the crust had a real nice flavor, but sadly it was a bit dry and tasted like it had been sitting out for awhile.  The only thing that salvaged the meat (beyond the price) was Kaboom’s three dipping sauces.  A sweet and tangy mild sauce, a sweet and pretty damn spicy hot sauce, and their “Kaboom sauce”, which everyone but the most ardent heat seekers will want to steer clear of.  It isn’t sauce so much as a mash of scotch bonnet peppers.  Just touching a piece of the meat to the outer layer pulp was enough for me.


Jerk chicken, which they only serve on Fridays and Saturdays, was way better- but still suffered from being a bit dry.  Pass the sauce please.


Even the oxtails and curry goat were a bit overcooked, and lacked the flavor punch that even the Kassava Truck managed to pull off.


If you’re not into Jamaican style cabbage, you can get a fun salad instead featuring grapes, apples, dried cranberries and feta.


The only thing I really loved was their beef patty/coco bread sandwich.  The patties aren’t homemade, but they’re plenty tasty, and the dense coco bread was nice and warm.  If you’ve never tried one of these, I’d recommend Kaboom just for that.

Despite everything being a bit overcooked, the price still makes Kaboom kind of worth it- if for nothing else but the jerk chicken and the beef patty sandwich.  It might not be the best Jamaican food in Mid City, but it definitely is the cheapest!

THE + (What somebody who loves this place would say)

  • They give you sooo much food! And it’s not that expensive.
  • $5 daily lunch combos… how can you beat that!?
  • Love that everything comes with rice and peas, cabbage and fried plantains.
  • Beef patty and coco bread sandwich FTW!
  • The jerk chicken has a great smokey flavor.
  • Their sweet and spicy hot sauce is kind of amazing.
  • I love scotch bonnets, so I’m all about their Kaboom sauce.

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Their stew chicken and curry goat are kind of bland.
  • Everything is so overcooked! So sad.
  • Like most Caribbean restaurants the food takes awhile, even though they’re not making it to order
  • I don’t like how they chop their fried chicken and jerk chicken into pieces.
  • Jerk chicken only on Fridays and Saturdays!?  Bummer.
  • I’d rather pay more money and at Natraliart.

Kaboom, 4641 W. Washington Blvd. 310-710-0038


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