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Philips BBQ is totally over-rated

Ok, all the BBQ threads here have pointed to Philips (on Crenshaw or Lamert Park) as the best BBQ in LA. I went there today and I was incredibly disapointed. I ordered pork ribs. The meat was tender and meaty, but the BBQ sauce was terrible! The sauce had a very bland tomato paste flavor. It had NO kick to it at all, no oomph, no complexity-- neither a tang, nor a smoky flavor, nor a spice, nor a nothin! It was like a crappy marinara sauce with a bit of brown sugar thrown in.

I was totally disappointed and can not understand what the big deal is about this place on all the foodie message boards. I went to J&R's a while back and thought it was so much better.

Do any Philips fans want to defend the place?

Any detractors want to jump on board with me and dis it!?

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  1. Try J&J Burger Shack & BBQ on Adams, 2 Blocks east of Fairfax !

    1. Did U get the mild sauce? If so, there's your problem. Phillip's sauce is all about the hot version, swimming with Chilis. Also, Phillip's meat really needs no sauce at all.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ciao Bob

        You took the words right out of my mouth! Beef and/or Pork Ribs, Hot Links and for me ONLY the Hot Sauce although I've seen some regulars order mixed sauce.

        Personally I want hot BarBQ sauce and most of the joints rec. here and elsewhere, while some have good meats don't offer a hot BarBQ sauce. When I asked about it at the church bar bq in Canyon Country they and others suggest Tabasco. It's just not the same!

        1. re: sel

          it's in the way that the hotness from the hot bbq sauce cuts the richness of the cue that works beyond beautifully.

          it's almost like the way a great glass of Bordeaux works with a fine aged porterhouse steak.

      2. I always order their ribs (or any ribs I get) dry(no sauce). I like to taste the meat and a little sauce for dipping. At Phillips I always get mild and hot sauce on the side and mix them because their hot sauce is too hot for me.

        2 Replies
        1. re: monku

          Just ask for mixed sauce.

          I love this place. No where else in LA can compare.

          1. re: Hershey Bomar

            I concur. I always get the sliced beef with mixed sauce. It's my fave BBQ sauce in Los Angeles by far

        2. It's a bit rash to say that a place is no good after only trying ONE thing from their menu. Especially when you get something other that what they are known for (if you read the threads carefully, most people favor the beef ribs). You also should get the hot sauce as mentioned before.

          1. I've been to Phillips Barbecue about a dozen times. Two or three of those times, I felt like adamgoodjunk did about the food. Fortunately, none of those was the first time so I knew how good the place could be and I went back. And I'm glad I did.

            1. The meat at Phillip's has plenty of smoke and flavor on its own, it doesn't need a sauce. I'll ditto the hot sauce recommendation for your next visit.

              Also, if you like a spicy, red chili flecked BBQ sauce, try the one at Woody's on Slauson. Outstanding sauce, outstanding pork ribs.

              FWIW, I found the ribs at J&R completely lacking in smoke, so perhaps our BBQ yardsticks are different. To each his own.


              2 Replies
              1. re: Professor Salt

                Professor, have you tried J&J Burger Shack & BBQ? I think you might enjoy, be sure to get an order of the smoked wings, they are the bomb !

                1. re: Burger Boy

                  No, I haven't. I'll give the wings a shot next time I'm up that way. Thanks for the tip.

              2. Some of the best southern style bbq on the west side right now is probably Baby Blues on the corner of Lincoln and Sunset in Venice. Kind of a long wait but worth it... BBQ sauces for everyone's heat level that they make themselves of course... I know it's hard but try to save some food to take home - that way you will have room for dessert...

                2 Replies
                1. re: bulavinaka

                  I found Baby Blues' food to have a strange, unappealing flavors. That's fine. Everyone likes different things.

                  However, I found the waitstaff to be indifferent, and the owner to be downright rude. Never again, for multiple reasons.

                  1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                    Wow - sorry to hear about the service... haven't been in a while - maybe they're getting a little cocky with all the success...

                2. I've never had better beef ribs anywhere in this country.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: bo_burger

                    Ditto... My only drawback is that my wife is now a vegetarian... need something equivalent to a congressional mandate to get permission to eat there... Those vegetarians are so much better than the rest of us...hahaha...:)

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      I personally REFUSE to waste time w/ any barbecue that isn't Phillips. As an East Coaster with Southern roots, I have very discriminating taste. I don't bother w/ "mild" sauce either. ;P FYI: Phillips sells its sauce by the pint and quart. I buy it and use it to make brown rice and tofu bbq as well. It saturates in the tofu and mmmm... I'm really lost on the comments about Phillips' sauce; I'm convinced it alone is beverage-worthy.

                      Phillips Barbeque
                      2619 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

                  2. I agree with you. My friend from NY read about this place highly rated on zagat so we went there. The shredded pork sandwich was horrible...dried and hard. The beef rib was better, but still the sauce was too overpowering and one note tasting (yes I only got mild. My friend's shredded pork was hot chili and it's still no better, like you said, it's this tomato paste taste), I just want to shave off that thick coat of sauce.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: melodyn

                      Philips SHREDED PORK?????!!!! They Only Have Pork Ribs......... Beef ribs yeah, chicken yeah, pork ribs yeah, sliced beef beef yeah, chicken hot links, beef hot links, WTF are you talking about??????

                      1. re: Skunk2Racer

                        I think they are refering to Baby Blues. I was confused to. It's this new board +-.

                    2. I'm a rib man, through and through. Don't normally like the brisket at BBQ places, but when I go to Philip's that's all I get. I don't know what they do to it but the sliced beef as they call it is out of this world. Once you get your sauce ratios worked out, I suggest putting it on the brisket instead. And, as no one has mentioned it yet, GET THE PECAN PIE. It's on a whole other level.

                      1. I keep meaning to try Phillips since I pass by all the time. Now am more curious. I think J.R.'s is very so-so, and the owner is too full of herself for getting the LAT attention.

                        1. Intended to be a reply to blevine99's post.

                          The sliced beef at Phillips is actually tri-tip and not brisket. At least that's what Mr. Phillips, the owner's son, told me at the Centinela location.

                          1. Well, I like Phillip's a lot, I find the meat and the sauces to be a lot better than JR's, which I gave 5 or 6 chances before moving on.

                            Personal taste on BBQ has a lot to do with the sauce. I've had good luck when hitting up a new place by trying some different sauces they offer to see which (if any) suits me best, and it can usually be ordered on the side as suggested above. Judging just one sauce is only a partial reflection of a BBQ place, they usually offer different sauces so folks of different tastes can be satisfied with it all.

                            1. OK, I will go back and try Philips again. They didn't ask me what sauce I wanted, they just served it up. The plain sauce was just really bland, but I will try the mixed sauce or hot and see how that goes...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: adamgoodjunk

                                THAT'S the spirit! I hope you find it better this time . . . they SHOULD ask you "MILD, HOT or MIXED?" . . . they don't typically ask "Would you like your sauce on the side?", which would be better but it's not the friendliest vibe there to begin with, honestly . . .

                                Anyway, maybe get some MILD and some HOT both on the side, do your own mix and see what works for you . . . then if it's not on, we can move on . . .

                                I also like WOODY'S BBQ down on Slauson, between LaBrea and Crenshaw (??? -- I think so) . . . worth a try but it's TAKEOUT only, there's no seating there . . . good luck.

                              2. You are sooooooo right! No oomph in the sauce at all. To me there are no real barbecue spots in L.A. that is worth talking about.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: thebottom

                                  You are evidently new to the board. Have you seen some of our recent discussions on BBQ? While Big Mista' is not exactly a "spot," it's more than "worth talking about." See, for example: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/595468 and http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/601722

                                  1. re: thebottom

                                    well, which ones have you been to? maybe you just haven't been to enough places.