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Sep 18, 2007 12:36 AM

Wood Ranch BBQ - what to order?

I noticed the overwhelming response is the tri-tip - anything else you're a fan of? I suspect a future visit and would like some first-hand knowledge. Thanks.

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    Wood Ranch Barbeque
    540 New Los Angeles Ave, Moorpark, CA 93021

    1. While not the best in LA, the burger is good and is cooked to order. The peanut cole slaw is good also.

      1 Reply
      1. re: scrappydog

        I actually didn't care for the burger, but only because it's seems to be done over the same fire as their ribs et al. giving it such a SMOKY flavor that I found it undesirable. I don't necessarily suspect it was artificial, but it was so strong, every bite tasted like liquid smoke. For me, that works on a rib, not on a burger. So be warned.

        Also, on a service note, this is one of those corporate places that force their servers to don fake smiles and work from a script, even when it's clear that the customer isn't loving it. A friend and I dropped in late one night, glanced at the menu and ordered two burgers. The server then launched into an awkward monologue: "Is this your first time dining at Wood Ranch Barbeque?" Even though the answer was "no" we were treated to an interminable explanation of their concept and cooking process. By the end we were practically laughing and the server appeared to be in pain. He may have been newish and not yet grasped the subtleties of the upsell. But I've worked at corporate restaurants that insist the servers plow through a script regardless of what cues they're getting from the customer. Some people like to be stroked by contrived corporate fluff I suppose, and some people like to deal with human beings.

      2. If you can, a taxi. If you're at Woodranch in Calabasas, direct the taxi to Dr. Hoggly Woggly's or Boneyard Bistro. If you're at the Grove/Farmer's Market, have them spin you down to JR's, or Phillips. That aside, I agree that the tri-tip is the way to go at Woodranch. Good beans too. It's not bad, it's just very corporate.

        1 Reply
        1. re: techbod

          That's a long taxi ride-Calabasas to Sherman oaks or Van Nuys. It would make for an expensive meal.

          Isnt there a woodracnh in Universal city?

        2. I think Wood Ranch is a very good local chain. Chain restaurants all have some degree of compromise but I think WR puts out a consistently good product in a pleasant atmosphere. The tri-tip is very good even if a bit different from traditional Santa Maria style. The ribs are tasty although not true BBQ...I believe these are seasoned, baked and then finished off on the grill. I've had a lot of good experiences with the chicken dishes as well, but steak and prime rib that I had once each were nothing special. My favorite side by far is the corn on the many restaurants give you the soft over-boiled stuff but WR's is grilled and tasty. My wife likes their cole slaw as well.

          5 Replies
          1. re: RSMBob

            I second the BBQ Chicken there. Was surprisingly good.

            1. re: wutzizname

              A bacon cheeseburger. I've had it twice and it was great both times. Caution, their bbq sauce is disgusting; ask for it on the side if you get the bacon cheeseburger. Their fries are good too.
              I disagree with the tri-tip UNLESS the tri-tip you get as a dinner is different than the tri-tip in the sandwiches. The tri-tip sandwich tastes like steamed beef slathered in bad bbq sauce. Twice I've had this and have determined that I will get a burger from this place and be happy whenever I have to go here.

              1. re: wutzizname

                I third the BBW chicken salad as well. They have a grilled vegetable with goat cheese salad that's quite good (not sure if that's the exact name though)... though I would order it with light dressing. They tend to drown that salad with dressing which kills the great grilled vegetable taste.

                1. re: ns1

                  Hmm, do I need to change my name to "The great and powerful Oz"? Hey, i appreciate the props and have also enjoyed your great reviews and recs.

              2. Wood Ranch is yummy. I recommend the roasted chicken, mashers, slaw and eating your body weight in their addictive garlic rolls. For pics...