Let’s face it: L.A. cuisine conjures up images of fancy food prepared in miniscule portions and decorated with a healthy sprig of parsley. That’s cute! But for those of us that appreciate real, flavorful food with long-term satisfaction, a hearty meal can be as hard to find as a natural blond.

It’s not easy to find a place where the cooking is down-home and the atmosphere is pure comfort. M&M Soul Food in the Hollywood and Highland Complex is just that place.

From the moment you walk in, the aroma of savory food overtakes your senses and makes your stomach grumble. M&M is authentic Mississippi home cooking, meaning you’ll have to leave the no-carb nonsense at the door and voluntarily surrender to cooking made with a whole lot of lovin’.

The spacious restaurant, located on the second floor on the far-left corner of the complex, is just five months old. Skip nearby Cupid’s Hot Dogs and get ready to devour grandiose portions of food at M&M, minus the guilt.

Start off with the Four-For-All appetizer ($12.99), a combination of potato skins, chicken strips and Buffalo wings with spinach dip. Next, try one of over 10 delicious main courses; the most popular dishes are Smothered Chicken ($13.99), Turkey Chops and Fried Catfish ($15.99). There’s also a wide selection of generously sized side orders including tangy greens, sweet yams and creamy macaroni and cheese.

If meat isn’t your thing, try the seafood platter ($19.99), which has shrimp, oysters, a crab patty, fish, hush puppies and your choice of potato salad or fries.

For a lighter lunch, have the Pastrami Sandwich ($7.50) or Shrimp Loaf Sandwich ($8.75) with potato salad or fries.

To wash it all down, forgo the usual choice of soda and go straight for the tall order of sweetened iced tea or lemonade ($2) that’s so homemade the pulp decorates the inside of the glass.

Good luck saving room for their I-shouldn’t-but-I-will desserts. Your best bets are the Sweet Potato Pie and Peach Cobbler ($3.50), á la mode of course.

Call ahead to find out what their daily specials are so you won’t miss out on Thursday’s Chicken and Dumplings ($12.99) or Baby Back Ribs ($16.99) on Fridays.

Even if you can’t finish – and believe me you won’t – don’t be shy to ask for a to-go box and bag (M&M would consider it an insult if you didn’t). Remember, bring a big appetite and prepare to be fed well – without the parsley sprig.