★ Best of the Springs winner
$................ $12 or less
$$$$.......... $30 and up
JAMAICAN FLAVOR - 3016 S. Academy Blvd., 391-0142 $
Friendly staff, authentic flavors, good curries.
TERESA'S PICK: SPICE ISLAND GRILL - 10 N. Sierra Madre St., 473-8280, spiceislandgrill.com $$$ ★
You'll immediately be transported to Jamaica when you enter this dining room with the ambiance of fun, bouncy reggae music and the smell of curry and jerk spices filling the air. It's an innovative family restaurant where Jamaican chefs whip up authentic Caribbean-style dishes. The menu has oxtail, curry goat, jerked chicken, fish escovitch and delicious homemade desserts. Try the Sampler Plate, which features an assortment of tasty small bites. The oxtail soup is classic.
Dish not to miss: rum cake ($5.50).
ISLAND GRILL TAKE OUT & CATERING - 1107 S. Nevada Ave., Suite 101, 578-1468, islandgrilltakeout.com $
This modest Jamaican take-out place serves up authentic Jamaican street food. The jerk chicken is recommended.
RASTA PASTA - 405 N. Tejon St., 481-6888, rastapastacs.com $$ ★
This inexpensive downtown spot, which is popular with the college crowd, serves pasta dishes with Jamaican-inspired sauces, such as jerk chicken with pineapple curry. Try the Chicken Montego Bay.