By Donn Swaby


A Taste of the Island

If you and your palate would like to experience the joy of true, down home Jamaican cuisine in a relaxed Caribbean atmosphere, then look no further than Ginja Lions, a brand new Caribbean restaurant with a hint of Asian flair in the heart of Studio City, California.

Owned by Jamaican born CEO and Master Chef Dallion Preece a.k.a. Lion, Ginja Lions, which seats thirty, features a lively décor, with walls brightly painted turquoise blue and orange, partially cloudy blue skies and thatched roof on the ceiling, a tank with tropical fish, and a realistic coconut tree.

As seductive reggae rhythms emanate from hidden speakers, patrons can try a myriad of delightfully tasty Jamaican dishes, from succulent appetizers like the Porta Maria crab cakes to popular, traditional Jamaican favorites such as jerk chicken, curry chicken, or curry goat served with jasmine rice, potatoes, and fried plantains, tender ox tail, and brown stew chicken served with coconut flavored rice and peas.

For seafood lovers, Ginja offers coconut shrimp and jerk lobster served in garlic butter with green plantain fritters. Can’t eat meat or fish? No problem! Ginja even has a vegetarian menu as varied and delicious as it’s non-vegetarian counterpart.

Ginja Lions also offers several healthy, refreshing juice tonics like Mango Moss (sea moss, spices, and mango), sorrel (hibiscus and ginger), and Cucumber Juice (cucumbers, ginger, and lemon.)

When asked why he decided to open up a Caribbean restaurant, Lion responded that it “was well needed for this part of California. I was tired of eating sushi and I was always fond of cooking.” The next logical step was the opening of Ginja Lions. “What sets us apart,” said Lion, “is that everything is slow cooked. Once the food is prepared for the day, that’s it.” The result, which this first generation American-Jamaican writer can personally attest to, is food that is fully seasoned, tender to the bone, and quite simply delectable.

Lion, an entrepreneur who was one of the key promoters of reggae/hip hop fusion that started back in 1986, launching the careers of such well known artists such as KRS-1 and Shaggy, as well as reggae tone (Spanish/reggae fusion), is excited about the opening of a new Ginja Lion next month in Beverly Hills complete with a bar and a stage where live acts will perform. There are already three Ginja Lions; one in Studio City, one in London, and one in Negril, Jamaica. Get yourself to Ginja today, where everything is irie!


Ginja Lions
Caribbean Asian Cuisine
11320 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604

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© Melt Magazine 2005