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Philips BBQ is totally over-rated

adamgoodjunk Jan 6, 2007 07:54 AM

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!?

  1. b
    Burger Boy Jan 6, 2007 08:30 AM

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

    1. Ciao Bob Jan 6, 2007 11:24 AM

      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
        sel Jan 6, 2007 05:09 PM

        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
          kevin Jan 9, 2007 05:26 AM

          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. monku Jan 6, 2007 05:27 PM

        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
          Hershey Bomar Jan 6, 2007 06:41 PM

          Just ask for mixed sauce.

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

          1. re: Hershey Bomar
            djquinnc Jan 8, 2007 03:16 PM

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

        2. ozzygee Jan 7, 2007 04:50 AM

          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. h
            Hackenbush Jan 7, 2007 05:38 AM

            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. Professor Salt Jan 7, 2007 05:39 AM

              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
                Burger Boy Jan 12, 2007 04:54 PM

                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
                  Professor Salt Jan 13, 2007 02:19 AM

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

              2. b
                bulavinaka Jan 8, 2007 12:06 AM

                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
                  BeenThereAteThat Jan 13, 2007 04:03 AM

                  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
                    bulavinaka Jan 13, 2007 02:58 PM

                    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. b
                  bo_burger Jan 8, 2007 05:01 AM

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

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: bo_burger
                    bulavinaka Jan 9, 2007 02:24 AM

                    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
                      savvyprofessor Nov 20, 2009 11:23 AM

                      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. m
                    melodyn Jan 9, 2007 06:34 AM

                    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
                      Skunk2Racer Jan 9, 2007 07:01 AM

                      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
                        Hershey Bomar Jan 9, 2007 04:35 PM

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

                    2. b
                      blevine99 Jan 11, 2007 11:41 PM

                      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. s
                        slacker Jan 12, 2007 12:00 AM

                        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. n
                          Norm Man Jan 12, 2007 07:23 AM

                          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. j
                            jimmyodonnell Jan 12, 2007 06:05 PM

                            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. a
                              adamgoodjunk Jan 13, 2007 04:15 AM

                              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
                                jimmyodonnell Jan 13, 2007 07:01 PM

                                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. t
                                thebottom Mar 17, 2009 10:05 AM

                                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
                                  sbritchky Mar 17, 2009 01:00 PM

                                  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
                                    aizan Nov 20, 2009 05:51 PM

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

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