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Best BBQ?

We'll be in Redondo Beach this week and are willing to travel a reasonable distance for good BBQ. GF wants ribs; brisket for me. Preferably in a neighborhood where we won't get shot at, but on the other hand I'm not expecting to find good 'Q in Beverly Hills.

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  1. There is only one place left in L.A. (still have to try Woody's though) that has Q that I really like, Phillip's Bar-B-Que. Best meats, ok to good sides and good desserts like Red Velvet Cake and Potato Pie. Down side is no place to sit so I eat in a nearby park. Also I'd suggest leaving the Rolex with the Au and C and the new Ferrari at home but I haven't had any problems and the Q is so good!

    Phillips Bar-B-Que
    4307 Leimert Blvd Ste 3
    Los Angeles, CA 90008-5201
    (323) 292-7613

    5 Replies
    1. re: sel

      Have you been to J&J Burger Shack & BBQ?

      -----
      JNJ Burger Shack
      5754 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

      1. re: Burger Boy

        Only once a couple of years ago after you suggested it a few times. I think that I had an ok burger for lunch (I recall that they were out of the bosses moms desserts) but I haven't tried their bar-b-q meats or side dishes yet. Ok ok I'll give them a try!

        1. re: sel

          Their burgers are good, not amazing, go for the BBQ.Try the smoked wings, the ribs, rib tips and get the potato salad and the beans. I heard from the owner his mom does not do the desserts anymore, or very infrequently, she made a great red velvet cake, a sweet potato crunch thing and a peach cake that was great.

          -----
          JNJ Burger Shack
          5754 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

      2. re: sel

        Philips is good and the Leimert Park area is OK to visit. In fact, there is an arts culture there, and interesting shops.

        1. re: droyal

          I realize that many on this board feel that Phillip's is the best and maybe the only real BBQ in L.A. But my visits there have left me unconvinced. The lauded ribs have been mostly bone, scrimpy on the meat. The prices are on the high side. And for a lunch, dragging my bag to a fastfood place nearby so I can buy a drink, grab napkins, and have an outdoor table to sit at is just a pain. In my experience, not worth the trouble.

      3. Not too far from where you are. This is my favorite. Chopped beef on a bun with spicy sauce. Have to eat it with a fork but good. Great ribs.
        Bodacious Q
        637 E University Dr
        Carson, CA 90746
        (310) 515-2227

        1. I agree with sel, Phillip's is the one place in LA to really go out of your way for, Q-wise. Though the lack of dine-in is a bummer, as I'm not sure I'd suggest sitting and eating in any parks in that area. Though you won't get shot there, depending on how sensitive you and your girlfriend are, you may feel like you could. Eating in your car might be another option, particularly if it's a rental as you'll likely make a saucy mess of the thing.

          Also, Phillip's has 2 other locations to consider. I believe the one on Crenshaw has counters and stools where you can eat. And there's one on Centinela which is closest to Redondo. Not sure if there's anywhere to sit at that one. Hounds?

          3 Replies
          1. re: wutzizname

            there's two park style benches at the centinela locale.

            the crenshaw one, #3, does have a couple tables and a counter outside, and it's so much quicker and easier to get to than the original leimert park location.

            1. re: kevin

              Has anyone eaten at all three of their locations and can comment on whether there is any difference in quality between the sites?

              1. re: Outerspace

                Yes, most feel the Leimert Park location is the best tasting.

                I've often eaten my meal right in the little park around the corner at the chess picnic tables. They even have sinks nearby to wash up.

          2. I haven't been to Phillips, but I'm a huuuge fan of Baby Blues BBQ on Lincoln in Venice.

            -----
            Baby Blues BBQ
            444 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

            11 Replies
            1. re: QualityMart

              Baby Blues is Yuppie-Q and nothing like an authentic BBQ experience.

              Truly, I loathe the place, including the "service".

              1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                Yuppie and not authentic BBQ???? how is that?

                1. re: rednyellow

                  I just got home from my first visit to Baby Blues.

                  Service was excellent. Sides were very good. Cornbread was interesting.

                  Brisket was most forgetable. Pulled pork was tasty, especially with the spiced vinegar on the table.

                  But the BABYBACKS were exceptional. The best I've had in LA by far. Meaty, fall off the bone, flavorful and charred to perfection.

                  Not sure if this is what the OP is looking for, but I certaily wouldn't call it yuppie or inauthentic.

                  My sugguestion, stop here for the ribs, then head to NY BBQ for the brisket, and then down to Phillip's for dessert.

                  1. re: wutzizname

                    Baby Blues is good for pulled pork and babyback ribs, and the Venice vibe. But their brisket is not served in the usual slices, it is pulled and stringy like the pulled pork. Not their strongest item.

                    For brisket, you may want to give Dr. Hogly Wogly's a try, but it is a long trek up the 405 to the north side of Van Nuys.

                    1. re: nosh

                      I agree. I love the brisket at Dr. H.W. The pork ribs at Baby Blue are very good as are the pork ribs at Dr. H.W. The beef ribs at Baby Blues are about the best I've had.

                    2. re: wutzizname

                      I agree that ribs (as opposed to pulled pork or brisket) are the way to go at Baby Blue's. I rather like the eye can...er, service.

                      What's the deal with NY BBQ? Having recently lived in NYC, where the bbq leaves something to be desired, I'm a tad skeptical.

                      1. re: a_and_w

                        Yes, the eye-service was interesting.

                        NY is just a name. Word is the owner's from Carolina but lived in New York for a long time.

                        1. re: wutzizname

                          Which Carolina? North Carolina or S. Carolina...you can probably tell by the color of his sauce...yellow= SC, N. Carolina is traditionally vinegar/ tomato based. Been looking for good SC style is why I ask...

                      2. re: wutzizname

                        My husband and I made our first visit to Baby Blues a couple of months ago and we were favorably impressed. They were out of brisket, so I never had a chance to taste that, but we did have the Memphis and baby back ribs and loved them. The pulled pork was pretty good too and I liked the chicken. They were out of the corn on the cob, so I got the mac and cheese, which I loved. I really enjoyed their baked beans and cole slaw too. We both really love our barbecue and I really didn't find the place yuppy-ish or "inauthentic" in the least. To each his own I guess, but I'd definitely recommend it.

                        1. re: Fuser

                          What time were you there that they were already "out" of the brisket and corn on the cob, which is one of their specialty sides? You didn't miss anything with the brisket, as the ribs and pork are much better, but OMG they sell the heck out of the "roasted" corn on the cob which I think comes out tough and shrivelled.

                          1. re: nosh

                            Really, stay away from the brisket here. It's the thing they do worst. The ribs are outstanding though.

                            Why is it that almost every BBQ place has 1 or 2 things they do great, and then others that the just can't figure out?

                2. Jaybees on Avalon in Compton is not too far from RB. Jaybees and J&J's are my two favorite BBQ places.

                  1. What Style are you looking for?
                    South East (vinegar based)
                    Mid West
                    Western
                    Southern (Texas)

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: russkar

                      No preference on style, although we're not big on mustard-based sauces. We want a good smoke ring and fall-apart-tender meat. If we had a choice I would say Oakland-style.

                      What the heck is Mid-West style BBQ anyway?

                      1. re: Steve Green

                        Kansas City is considered by some as Mid West.
                        Try MR CECIL'S if your looking for Oakland Style (I think were talking about the same style)
                        http://www.mrcecilscaliforniaribs.com/

                        1. re: russkar

                          Mr. Cecil's is OK but a bit more pricey and upscale than the places I remember from Oakland. For example, you'd never find "tri-tip tacos" on the menu at Flint's. Also, I'm beginning to suspect that Cecil's doesn't actually smoke their meat. I've never once seen a smoke ring on anything I've eaten there...

                          1. re: russkar

                            Don't try Mr. Cecil's for anything and you will be doing yourself a favor. Ho-hum food with high prices.
                            While OP is South Bay focused with the q&a, actually a drive to Sherman Oaks and a visit to the Boneyard Bistro will surprise in how good ribs can be, especially the babybacks and the brisket is very good. Also, a new and even better meat supplier is now on board.
                            The sauce is sensational in a vinegar/sweet kind of way, yet not cloying whatsoever. Sauce also comes in either spicy or regular, and is served on the side. Ribs are served sans sauce.
                            and then of course if you like fried chicken, the first monday of the month is the only night to try the boneyard!!!
                            Superb wine and beer list is a plus, btw!!!
                            www.boneyardbistro.com

                            1. re: carter

                              Sorry, though I really enjoy the bistro side of the menu, I've found the BBQ at Boneyard to be hugely disappointing. Tough ribs. Boring brisket. But the Baked Beans are out of this world.

                              1. re: wutzizname

                                Was in there on Monday night, had the brisket burrito, which is always a great item, huge portion, and two glasses of wine.
                                Aaron, the owner, came over and mentioned that he had recently changed pork suppliers and that the ribs are coming out of the smoker much more moist than previously. Have to get back soon to give them a try. While not a fan of mac 'n' cheese as a concept, I do like his cole slaw and collard greens for sides. Beans are tasty as well, yet too filling alongside all the other food.

                          2. re: Steve Green

                            I grew up in the Oakland area so im assuming you want something comparable to Flints BBQ or Everrette and Jones right? The only place i found similiar to Oakland BBQ is Phillips or Woody's bbq.

                            1. re: waxfondler

                              Try J&J Burger Shack & BBQ!

                              -----
                              JNJ Burger Shack
                              5754 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

                              1. re: waxfondler

                                As a fan of Flints and Everett and Jones in their respective heydays, I'm excited to try the places you mention. Thanks for the rib tips!

                            2. re: russkar

                              I am looking for mustard based (S. Carolina style) preferably a place that has pulled pork sandwiches..any suggestions?

                            3. Here's a place that is truly an off-beat location--a Taco Bell that look like it was converted using a hatchet as the only tool--Tasty Q on Crenshaw. The cliental are locals and were extremely friendly, despite my pasty skin tone. Good stuff like ribs, links, fried turkey leg and more!

                              Not mind-bendingly good, but a fun experience.

                              -----
                              Tasty Q Bar-B-Que
                              2959 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                                I agree, Tasty Q is not exceptional, except for one thing: they have dirty rice, which is fairly rare, and it's not bad.

                              2. If you want 'sit down' BBQ dining then head for Bodacious Q or the Rib Nest in Gardena; warning, Bodacious closes at 7pm. Bad 2 Da Bone is probably the closest real BBQ joint, take out only, has great brisket, haven't tried their pork ribs (no beef ribs). JayBees has one or two picnic tables outside. Phillips on Centinela is bulletproof glass take out only.
                                If you want to browse through all of the possibilities, here's the LA map: http://www.chow.com/places/regions/2?...

                                -----
                                Bad 2 Da Bone
                                4565 W Century Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90304

                                Rib Nest
                                1766 W El Segundo Blvd, Gardena, CA 90249

                                JayBee's BBQ
                                15915 S Avalon Blvd, Gardena, CA 90248

                                Bodacious Q
                                637 E University Dr, Carson, CA 90746

                                Phillips Barbecue
                                1517 Centinela Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302

                                1. consider www.jrs-bbq.com
                                  jr's barbecue in culver city -- their sauce is amazing
                                  i also recommend mr cecil's for a drier bbq - sauce ain't all that but the seasoning's good

                                  1. I probaly shouldn't recommend a place I've never been to, so I'll only make a suggestion. I have heard from my respectable sources that Lucille's in Long Beach and Torrance serves excellent ribs and other meats, smoked on site. Also, I'm again probaly out in left field, but I love, love, love the ribs at Houston's - fall of the bone tender (if that's what you like). Some people like their ribs more chewy. Also for gourmet BBQ, The Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks does it all very well - ribs, brisket, pork, links, and a great burger. None of these places (don't know about Lucille's) are what I would call your "traditional" BBQ spots, but they do the job for me when I feel like sitting in a comfortable booth in a pleasant atmosphere.

                                    1. Lucille's - 7411 Carson Street in Long Beach
                                    - 4828 E. Second Street in Long Beach
                                    - 21420 Hawthorne Blvd in Torrance
                                    2. Houston's - Century City Shopping Mall - 10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
                                    - 202 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica
                                    - 320 S. Arroyo Pkwy in Pasadena
                                    3. Boneyard Bistro - 13539 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks

                                    1. There was a recent post where some of the naysayers gave it a "feh," but Dommy recently agreed with me that she had the best pulled pork sandwich ever at Porky's, not to far from you on Manchester, just east of La Brea and west of the Forum. Fantastic pulled pork -- tender, succulent, with crispy crusty bits. A huge sandwich for about $5. I also had a very good half-rack of ribs -- tender and meaty but not that faux "fall off the bone" (think steamed) kind. I haven't tried the brisket there yet, and the one order I saw coming out to another table looked like a huge serving but a bit dry. Goodlooking links. Give them a try and please report back.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: nosh

                                        I've only gone to Porky's to eat the Golden Bird Fried Chicken. I'll have to try their BBQ next time. By the way, it's crazy to make this drive, but I think the best BBQ is at the Tulsa Rib Company in Orange. They have an amazing rib platter for two with some of the juciest beef ribs I've ever had. The spare ribs and the baby backs are great too. The Tulsa potatoes are a must as well.
                                        BTW, has the Gardena Porky's BBQ opened yet? It said September on their website, but the phone line was still dead (as of two weeks ago)

                                        1. re: nomo_fan

                                          Tulsa Rib Company is awful. Soggy ribs with no smoke taste. The meat is low quality. The bones on my ribs were also very very hot (temp), meaning that they were either boiled, microwaved, or reheated. Dont waste your time.

                                          1. re: ak302

                                            Things change. Tulsa Rib Company ( www.tulsarib.com ) was far from the best but reasonably good two years ago when this discussion started. I haven't been there in a long time and am sorry to hear your report on their decline. Was this a one-time visit when they might have had an off day, or were you a regular?

                                            -----
                                            Tulsa Rib Co & Catering
                                            954 N Tustin St, Orange, CA 92867

                                            1. re: Harry Nile

                                              I thought Tulsa was good in that Tony Roma's kind of way, without stooping that low of course. If you happen to live in Orange or work there where the options are quite limited, you could do a lot worse. I do have a soft spot for their cornbread muffins (it's wrapped in muffin paper to boot, how classy is that?) and tabbouli (which I guess they have a huge Lebanese population back in OK or something along those lines). Their beef rib combo, beef ribs and short ribs is the way to go, and it does have grill marks on the meat, so yeah, no true smoking here, sorry. But for what might be comfort food at times, it's not half bad. And those Naguahyde booths are sure swell. The prices are not too egregrious and now come to think of it I'm getting a serious hankering for what in any other circle would be subpar food.

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                I don't think there is really a huge Lebanese population, but there are several decent lebanese steak houses that serve barbecue, tabbouli, hummus, cabbage rolls, and a few other Lebanese dishes along with the steaks, etc.

                                      2. I like the one at Dinah's (Howard Hugh's)

                                        1. Santa Maria BBQ on Washington Blvd in the middle of Culver CIty. Good.
                                          Baby Blues is the best BBQ I've had in L.A., and I used to live in TX.
                                          I recently bought a smoker at Home Depot; it's a great feeling to make your own BBQ over wood for 10 hours.

                                          1. My vote is for Phillips too! Their pork ribs with mixed sauce (half hot-half mild) and a side of macaroni salad is a sublime experience. The brisket is good too.

                                            1. i've never eaten philip's so i can't compare, but i like BBQ King on figueroa and sunset. they have plates, burgers, ribs, brisket, smoked hamsteak, etc. and you can bring your thanksgiving turkey to them and they'll smoke it for you. sides are kinda bland but you're there for the meat right??

                                              13 Replies
                                              1. re: tastycakes

                                                Ok I've Had Both. work down the street from Texas BBQ King, Live Down the street from Phillip's & Tasty Q. The ONLY thing I like at Texas BBQ King is the Hamburger & The BBQ Sauce, It's a thick sweet sauce. Don't like the ribs, brisket, sausage. Tasty Q went there ONCE.....Never Again. But Phillips BBQ, The Best! HUGE beef ribs, Meaty pork ribs, Excellent sliced Brisket, Best BBQ Chicken, Links both meat & Chicken. The sides are OK at best, Potato salad, Beans, But the GREENS! Oh Jay bee's is 2nd on my List. Ribs, Sliced Beef, The Pork, Yum

                                                1. re: Skunk2Racer

                                                  Texas BBQ King is great for a Cheese Burger, they used to smoke the hamburgers some way, that was a few years ago. Get the fries well done. If I recall correctly, i am not sure, but the mac & cheese was good, not great, but good. Do yourself a flavor and go try J&J Burger Shack & BBQ on Adams 2 blocks east of Fairfax, maybe 1 1/2 mile east of Crenshaw. Try the ribs, rib tips, chopped pork with a side of slaw, the potato salad and the smoked chicken wings, yummmmmmmmmy!

                                                  -----
                                                  JNJ Burger Shack
                                                  5754 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

                                                  1. re: Burger Boy

                                                    I enjoyed JnJ, but I wanted to like it more than I did. The ribs were good, and a generous serving. But they were just, sorta, sloppy. Lots of sauce glopped on, not at all well-trimmed. And the outdoor covered patio was not at all pretty or relaxing, it was jammed between the adjacent house and it was sorta windy with flies. Very friendly proprietor. On Adams 2 blocks east of Fairfax, which is west of Crenshaw, just south of the Santa Monica freeway.

                                                    1. re: nosh

                                                      Yeah, had a similar experience. We were so excited to try the place and sadly they fell way short. The pulled pork was flavorless and tough. Further, it took 45 minutes to get our order. So glad we found Porkys!

                                                      --Dommy!

                                                      1. re: Dommy

                                                        Wow, I am shocked, they must have had a really off day. I hope you give them another chance. the do take a bit long, I think my usual wait is15 minutes and I have never had flavorless anything there, once in a while something is tough. I guess BBQ is like burgers & pizza we have our faves. Chow on!

                                                        1. re: Burger Boy

                                                          When you say "them" do you mean "him"? I've never seen another person helping on the bbq side the 3 times i've been there. So if several orders come in at once it can take a LONG time.

                                                          1. re: Josh90004

                                                            There were three People behind the counter when I was there getting Dommy's Sandwich and there were only 3 people waiting for food but it still took forever to get it.

                                                            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                                              like I said, I have never waited that long and I have gone there or gotten food from them 4 or 5 dozen times in the 10 years I been in the neighborhood, my office is 3 or 4 blocks away.I will say it is not the fastest, but i do not go there when I am in a hurry. If you are in the neighborhood and not in a hurry, give them another shot and try the smoked wings, they are great, IMHO and the potato salad. Sorry your first impression was not a good one. This is one of my 3 or 4 BBQ go to places. I have seen some new ones lately that I need to try. One on Florence near Crenshaw on the south side of the street. I want to also go to NYC BBQ, I used to go to Greece's on occasion. I miss Carl's ! Hey Carl, did you make the corn bread? "Aw shucks, I knew I forgot something"

                                                            2. re: Josh90004

                                                              They, meaning the restaurant as a whole.

                                                  2. re: tastycakes

                                                    BBQ King on Sunset at Figueroa is the most disappointing I've had in L.A. Whether they are empty or crowded, the service is slow, slow, slow. Stringy ribs, fairly small portions at high prices, mediocre sides at best. Burger is indeed the best thing they make. We craved a good BBQ place for our downtown lunch rotation, but despite our hopes BBQ King never failed to disappoint. A much better option near downtown is the Q served a couple of lunches a week at Nick's, up on No. Spring just east of Chinatown.

                                                    1. re: nosh

                                                      And they always always find creative ways to mess up your phoned in order -- you have to phone in because they are so slow, like almost an hour sometimes.

                                                      They usually just mess up adding sauce or whatever but the last time I orderd rib tips and they tried to convince me that I ordered tri tip which was like 4 times as much money and then I had to wait for my tips to be done.

                                                      I have never ever ordered tri tip but the girl kept saying "yes you did".

                                                      I like Phillips in Leimert Park. Buy some racks and freeze em.

                                                      1. re: Hershey Bomar

                                                        BBQ King is never wrong, great concept, helping troubled kids out. But they do not teach them anything, no values or manners! Next time ask them to repeat the order back to you.

                                                      2. re: nosh

                                                        And they put mushroom bits in the mac and cheese. WTF??? Next!

                                                    2. More than a few strings on this subject have appeared here at CHOW and it's fascinating how disparate people's ideas are about what constitutes "good" barbecue. It seems to be one of the most subjective topics I've seen both here and on other boards. Next time someone posts on the subject, it would be interesting to know THEIR criteria.

                                                      Personally, I like a smoky, spicy, dry-rubbed, meaty rib. Spare-ribs over baby-backs, beef ribs over chicken, brisket over tri-tip, sliced pork over pulled. Barbecue sauce needs to be hot, sweet and on the side. Chipotles over jalapenos almost every time.

                                                      I've eaten BBQ at many of the joints here in the Valley (between Woodland Hills and Pasadena). Presently, my local favorite is The Kansas City Barbecue Company in North Hollywood if for nothing else, their barbecued beans which totally, completely rock my barbecue bean world. Next?

                                                      11 Replies
                                                      1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                                        I share the same sentiments for ribs. How do you rate the bbq joints in LA (phillips, cecils, baby blues, etc)? I havent tried any and would love your input.

                                                        Thanks!

                                                        1. re: MeowMixx

                                                          Meowmix, of the 4 joints you've mentioned, I've only been to Mr. Cecil's. I found the ribs pretty dry, forgettable and over priced. I was not a fan of their rub or sauce.

                                                          To be frank, my favorite "q" is the pork or beef ribs I smoke, rubbed in a mixture of chipotle and ancho chile powders, black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic salt, brown sugar and cumin. I like to use cherry and maple woods for the smoke and a cider/hot & sweet pickle juice mop but I guess that doesn't help you much.

                                                          This is one of the longer strings on the subject of Valley barbecue establishments: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/51019

                                                          Still haven't found my "silver chalice" and continue "the quest".

                                                          1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                                            Steve. MeowMix. Go to Baby Blues. Trust me. I've been eating BBQ in LA for 8 years, tried virtually every place mentioned in this thread, but had never found any ribs that I really loved. Until last weekend. Don't know why it took me so long to get there. The Babybacks are smoked and finished with a spectacular dry rub, Meaty as can be, flavorful and falling off the bone. Didn't try the Texas Style Beef Ribs, or the Memphis Style Long Bone Pork Ribs which would probably be your preference, but hopefully their expertise with the babybacks extends to the other ribs as well. I've found that a lot of the LA BBQ places do brisket and links well to varying degrees, but nobody does ribs like this. It's the silver chalice.

                                                            1. re: wutzizname

                                                              Okay, wutziz. My better-half and I will make a run on Baby Blues in the near future and try their grub. They've been on my radar since the Food Network feature but peer reviews have been very mixed.

                                                              I'll try 'em during the week when they're a little less busy and have everything available. (I understand they frequently run out of. . . oh, RIBS!) Let my indigestion be on YOUR head and thanks for the input.

                                                              1. re: wutzizname

                                                                wutzizname, can you tell me which of the places mentioned actually smoke their meats? Thanks...

                                                                1. re: a_and_w

                                                                  Unfortunately I'm not an expert on technique, so I'm not really sure who smokes and who doesn't. I was told Baby Blues does by a friend who eats there all the time, but if you confirm that he's wrong I'll be happy to beat him with the discarded bones from an order of beef rib next time we go.

                                                                  1. re: wutzizname

                                                                    if you see smoke wafting outside they smoke if you don't then they don't.

                                                                    1. re: Hershey Bomar

                                                                      Sometimes but not always true. I did not notice any smoke at NYBBQ yesterday but their meats did have a wonderful smoke flavor!

                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/456617

                                                                    2. re: wutzizname

                                                                      The real sign is a dark pinkish ring in the outside of the meat. It isn't always visible in smoked meat, but it should be if done correctly. I, too, have heard Baby Blues smokes their meat, but I haven't inspected it closely enough to confirm. Time for another test -- in the interests of chowhound accuracy, of course.

                                                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                                                        I took a friend who owns a BBQ joint in another state and he thought there was no way they were smoking their meat. We thought the sides were good, but we weren't impressed with any of their meats. Not enough smoke flavor at all. That said, most of the North Carolina-style BBQ I have had wasn't particularly smoky. While they borrow from a variety of regional methods, perhaps since they seem to make a big deal of their connection to North Carolina BBQ that has an influence on the lack of smoke both in their flavor and in their restaurant.

                                                                      2. re: wutzizname

                                                                        Are those the same beef ribs they charge extra for now if you want they in the combo, it is either 2 or $4 more, beef ribs at a premium, beef ribs are always they cheapest. I paid it but it was not worth it and it was a little tough and fatty, I will pay more but give me quality.

                                                            2. After all of this, either go to Baby Blues for the scene and Venice vibe and pay for it or go to Porky's for the amazing chow and report back.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: nosh

                                                                What scene? Its a fairly nondescript building on lincoln. Go for the food. The ribs rock.

                                                              2. We tried Canyon City BBQ in Azusa last week and had a very good experience. Their brisket is among the best I've had in LA. It was tender, smoky and delicious, and they offer a really tasty sauce. I also really enjoyed their beans. Didn't try the ribs, but the plates I saw looked very good. The neighborhood is definitely safe enough to walk around in, but it can be a little hard to find because it is on a one way street a block off of Azusa Ave.

                                                                -----
                                                                Canyon City Barbeque
                                                                347 N San Gabriel Ave, Azusa, CA 91702

                                                                1. Love the ribs at Baby Blues......and the corn on the cop.......Yikes.... love em.
                                                                  I didn't like the greens, but the shrimp, ribs, corn, and desert were wonderful. And, they even have Kool Aid. Can you believe it?

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Debette

                                                                    Their sweet tea is also divine!

                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                  2. I like Baby Blues in Venice on Lincoln blvd

                                                                    I am not a BBQ expert though. I have been to "supposedly" great places in Oakland and Texas and have never really been blown away, so take my review with a grain of salt. There are some BBQ blogs for LA. BBQ junkie is decent

                                                                    They have photos, descriptions, styles, the whole bit.

                                                                    1. Got one of Baby Blues' "Feedbags" for takeout tonight - "The Teaser." A lot of folks complain about the prices at BB, but considering how much food we got in the smallest of feedbags which was about $120 including tax, we have enough left over for dinner tomorrow. It's supposed to feed six to eight - we had seven at the table - and barely finished two-thirds of the food - you can do the math.

                                                                      As many have mentioned, the ribs are their forte - the Memphis-style ribs had a nice smoke and toothsome quality to them. The baby backs were tender enough for the toothless to gum down. The chicken was was moist and flavorful as well. The pulled pork is quite good, but we didn't really care for the brisket - be liberal with the bbq sauce on this. Sides were mac & cheese, sauteed okra, cole slaw and creamed spinach. We thought all sides were excellent except the cole slaw - pretty average - but you might find it more appealing if you like cole slaw that is not heavy on mayo. We set aside their slightly spicy cornbread for another time - we subbed with a nice ciabatta that we picked up from the Mar Vista FM this morning. All in all, a pretty great meal. They're pretty generous with the bbq sauce as well - about a pint (two one-cup containers) to go with your meal.

                                                                      We had a nice bottle of Schramsberg sparkling brut rose that had just enough fruit and dryness to complement the meal. We've really warmed up to both domestic and imported sparkling roses - we've found that for us, sparkling roses tend to go well with eclectic meals, Asian cuisines, and yes, bbq. I'm guessing beer is probably the most popular adult beverage with 'que, while sodas, teas and lemonades follow close behind. Sparkling roses can mimmic certain sodas, varying in characteristics anywhere from a dry ginger ale - but with at least some fruit - to a more fruity and slightly sweet sparkling strawberry lemonade - just more character and of course, the alcohol. The effervescence also helps physically cleanse the palate - the finer the bubbles, the better. Enjoy.

                                                                      1. Tried J.R.'s Bar-B-Que today for lunch with a group. Being from KC and going to a greasy spoon with Bar-B-Que in the name had my taste-buds tingling. They were quickly relieved of their excitement after the initial taste of the steamed, not smoked brisket and subpar sauce. Everyone else I was with decided to get burgers, probably a better choice in retrospect. The frustrating thing was that J.R.'s has all the trappings of a good BBQ joint, evidently without the flavor. My search for BBQ in the big city continues.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: dhemmingway

                                                                          If you do some searching, you will see that the consensus for best BBQ in LA is BigMista's (at Farmer's Markets), followed by Bludso's and Phillips (atleast IMO). Everything else (and I've tried most) is pretty mediocre to bad.

                                                                          1. re: mdpilam

                                                                            I have tried all of the above mentioned and can easily say that Bludso's has the best Q in LA.

                                                                            The ribs are a million times better.

                                                                            1. re: mdpilam

                                                                              You are forgetting JnJ Burger Shack & BBQ on Adam's east of Fairfax.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              J N J Burger & Barbeque
                                                                              5754 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

                                                                          2. Am I the only one who thinks Tony Roma's has the best beef ribs around?

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                              no way, bludso's has the best beef ribs around.

                                                                              tony roma's doesn't smoke their meats, so it's not even in the running if you asked me.

                                                                              word on the grapevine is that willy's and mom's have the best bbq in the sfv. i'll get over there...eventually!

                                                                              1. re: raizans

                                                                                yeah, i've never heard of willy's and mom's so do post back, oh, unless you mean mom's bbq and willy's bbq are separate restaurants? if so, ive been to mom's bbq on vanowen in van nuys before and it is good, though not great.

                                                                                1. re: raizans

                                                                                  Agree on Bludso's, even though I may get shot on my way there. Love their Texas sampler. For $25 you can feed about five people.

                                                                                  1. re: LeS2Ki

                                                                                    I think your a little overzealous - though others have also made similar claims, but I got the Texas Sampler and it was two meals worth of food (for just me). Granted I do have a good appetite. Like all their meats except their links.

                                                                                  2. re: raizans

                                                                                    Listen to Kevin. Mom's on Vanowen is good but not great. They don't have baby back ribs; just the regular pork ribs with the gristle on the end. Their beef ribs are tasty but don't have much meat on them. If you order, tell them well done, otherwise they're raw at the bone. Also tell them you want the sauce on the side because they put way too much on.

                                                                                    1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                      hmm...does mom's smoke their beef ribs? it doesn't sound like they do.

                                                                                      1. re: raizans

                                                                                        You may be right, I don't know but I know the people well enough to ask.

                                                                                2. Speaking of the best bbq in town, Neil "BigMista" Strawder and Kevin Bludso will be teaming up for the upcoming Orange County BBQ Festival June 12 at the OC Fairgrounds. Professor Salt and his team will be there as well. Cost is $10 and is for a good cause, Kristie's Foundation.

                                                                                  This will be a great time to sample some of the best BBQ around and give to a great cause.

                                                                                  http://quenforkids.com/Home_Page.html

                                                                                  16 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Ogawak

                                                                                    Hi Ogawak,

                                                                                    What?? Professor Salt is a professional BBQ'er?! (O_o) I had no idea. Nice. :) Do you know what the Team Name (vendor) Professor Salt is working under? And what about Big Mista? Thanks.

                                                                                    1. re: exilekiss

                                                                                      Hi, EK:
                                                                                      Professor Salt is a member of the award winning 4Q BBQ team. Neil is also part of this team, but he is teaming with Kevin Bludso for this event. I don't know the name of his team for this event. Maybe Neil or the Professor can chime in.

                                                                                      1. re: Ogawak

                                                                                        All true. My team is Four Q BBQ. Although Neil is a member of Four Q, this time, he's competing under his own banner as BigMista's BBQ, and Kevin Bludso is going to "pit bitch" with Neil to get an idea of how contest BBQ works. Restaurant Q and competition Q are two very different worlds, and very few teams are champions at both.

                                                                                        It's next Saturday, June 12 2010. http://quenforkids.com. My suggestion is to get there by 11am. The competitors are there for the official judging first and foremost, and there's a strict timeline for turn-ins. Shortly after we're done with our "official" judging box, the leftovers are sampled for the People's Choice vote. Once the meat's gone, it's gone, so don't show up at 2pm thinking there's any chicken sitting around for you.

                                                                                        12pm: Chicken
                                                                                        12:30pm: Pork ribs
                                                                                        1pm: Pulled pork
                                                                                        1:30pm: Beef brisket

                                                                                          1. re: Professor Salt

                                                                                            Lovin' that website's "Mr. BBQ Pagent" section - got a lot of good chuckles from that! :)

                                                                                            1. re: Professor Salt

                                                                                              UPDATE: Turn in times are earlier than the standard KCBS format.

                                                                                              11am: Chicken
                                                                                              11:30am: Pork ribs
                                                                                              12pm: Pulled pork
                                                                                              12:30: Beef brisket

                                                                                              Otherwise, heed my advice to get there before 11am if you want to sample all four meat categories.

                                                                                              1. re: Professor Salt

                                                                                                I'll be there!! We'll try to leave by 9:30am so we can get there by 11:00AM. Can't wait!!!

                                                                                                1. re: Professor Salt

                                                                                                  I just got some bad new and I can not make saturday, very bummed. When is the next event. Unfortunately this is something I can not change.

                                                                                                  1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                    Sorry to hear that, BB. This is the only contest on the 2010 calendar within L.A. or Orange Counties.

                                                                                                    The California BBQ Association http://cbbqa.org is the best place to get information on contests in the state. Beyond this list below, there are two other quality events I'm aware of that are still in the works - one in Rosarito Mexico (August 27-28-29), and one in eastern San Diego County (early November

                                                                                                    )

                                                                                                    June
                                                                                                    * 19 CBBQA BBQ University 101 Class in conjunction w/FFA - Hanford
                                                                                                    * 26 (IBCA) 2nd Annual Wild West BBQ Bash - Santa Maria
                                                                                                    * 26 Eggs By The Bay Eggfest - San Jose

                                                                                                    July

                                                                                                    * 3 (KCBS) 2nd Annual Way Out West BBQ Championship - Stockton
                                                                                                    * 30 - 31 (KCBS) 2nd Annual Vista Smokin' Q Classic - Vista

                                                                                                    August
                                                                                                    * 7 KCBS Certified BBQ Judging Class - San Diego
                                                                                                    * 14 (KCBS) 1st Annual Harrah's Valley Center Blues & BBQ Festival- Valley Center

                                                                                                    1. re: Professor Salt

                                                                                                      thanks for the list, that sounds great if i'm in these other ares over the course of the summer.

                                                                                                        1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                          Autry contest happened 2006 and 2007, and was discontinued. You can search the archives for some of the public backlash. No need to revive that again.

                                                                                            2. re: Ogawak

                                                                                              This looks really good, sounds like it's time for a road trip!!! What time does it start? No meniton on the website.

                                                                                              1. re: LesThePress

                                                                                                The time is 10-6. You have to scroll down on the website. Please report your findings

                                                                                                1. re: Ogawak

                                                                                                  There's lots of non-food activities for the kids, but as I noted above, get there by 11am if you're there primarily for the food. Remember the meat takes hours and hours to cook, and we're not cooking more once it's gone.

                                                                                              1. Have you tried the new BK Ribs at Burger King. They contain 100% real meat!

                                                                                                22 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: creamfinger

                                                                                                  Here are my picks. Some of those mentioned, I have tried to various results. BigMista's and Bludso's are on my list to try:
                                                                                                  1.Bodacious Q, in a shopping center on the corner of Avalon and University in Carson. The ribs, brisket, and chopped pork are usually excellent. Cole slaw and beans are good. Other sides are just average.
                                                                                                  2. Dray's BBQ, local farmer's markets Wed. in Westchester on Lincoln and Manchester, Sat. near Leimert Park, Sun. in Mar Vista at Grandview and Venice

                                                                                                  1. re: mopeyboy

                                                                                                    Dray? Really, was this recently? The one and only time I tried them was when they first showed up at the Mar Vista market. I wasn't impressed. We got the pork rib dinner plate and there was nothing compelling about it. It'd be great if they actually got better.

                                                                                                    For reference we like JnJ and BigMista's the most. Phillip's is kind of hit and miss these days, but when it's hit, it's right up there with those two. Been wanting to try Bludso's.

                                                                                                    1. re: Jase

                                                                                                      which phillips? i've had good luck with phillips ii, not as much with the other two locations nearby; there's a fourth location in chino that i haven't been to.

                                                                                                      bludso's is great, much more consistent than bigmista's, and i prefer their rubs and sweeter smoke flavor. the park's finest is another one to seek out, but difficult to come by since they don't do much vending and don't seem to announce it on facebook or twitter. =(

                                                                                                      1. re: Jase

                                                                                                        Jase, I go a lot on Wednesdays to Weschester. I do like the ribs. I like my ribs sans sauce and I like the rub he uses. But what I get most of the time is the pork. Andre calls it pulled pork but it's not that at all. It's probably boneless pork shoulder and he slices it up. I have him chop it up a bit more. I think it's great, although I do admit that once in awhile, it can be dry.

                                                                                                        He also has great mac&cheese. Old style. Not this fancy stuff everyone makes now.

                                                                                                        1. re: mopeyboy

                                                                                                          i like the cajun chicken sausage at Dray's, and they make a killer red velvet cake.

                                                                                                          1. re: mopeyboy

                                                                                                            Thanks for the update. I might give them a shot again on Sunday at Mar Vista. But currently I don't really have a compelling reason since J n J is such a short drive for us and wife works near the El Segundo Thursday market and she picks up Big Mistas there frequently.

                                                                                                          2. re: Jase

                                                                                                            JnJ he is my man, been going since '97!

                                                                                                            1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                              I really like the BBQ at J & J. But last week, I got a chance to try their burgers and they are damn good-nothing fancy or gourmet- just a damn good burger.

                                                                                                              1. re: reality check

                                                                                                                I used to get the turkey burger all the time when my business was 3 blocks away. The hot link breakfast sandwich is real good also!

                                                                                                              2. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                burger boy does he still serve desserts there? and what desserts does he dole out, supposedly his used to make the desserts.

                                                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                  I do not know what desserts, I have not been in a while. His mom's used to do the desserts.

                                                                                                              3. re: Jase

                                                                                                                Last year I went to J N J my one and only time, so maybe I missed something, but my three-meat combo was tough and unpalatable, not tender, juicy, and delicious, as at Big Mista and Bludso's. What do you J N J fans recommend if I try the place again?

                                                                                                                Hold on, I just checked their Web site ( www.jnjbar-b-queandburgers.com ), and that burger looks good. Is that the best item?

                                                                                                                -Harry

                                                                                                                1. re: Harry Niletti

                                                                                                                  I get the brisket, spare ribs, rib tips and smoked chicken wings.. Never had anything dry there, the links are good also.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                    I had two of those (brisket and spare ribs), and they were tough and on the dry side, but I'll give it another shot. I'll also take a few bites of their (beef) burger.

                                                                                                                    -Harry

                                                                                                                    1. re: Harry Niletti

                                                                                                                      I've always gotten the spare ribs and never had any problems. But, then again, depending on when you go and how long the ribs have been sitting around, it could be dry. I've gotten dry ribs/meats from Bludso's, Phillips, and Big Mista.

                                                                                                                      Anyways, the burgers at J & J's is much better than the 1lb burger from Texas BBQ King. A bbq, that I will never go back to.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Harry Niletti

                                                                                                                    I had a similar experience, though I didn't think it was quite as bad, but I haven't been back since (was my first visit). I usually always order a 3way combo at BBQ places, ribs, brisket and links.

                                                                                                                    I've tasted alot of BBQ in LA, and the top 3 IMO are:

                                                                                                                    1. BigMista
                                                                                                                    2. Bludso's
                                                                                                                    2. Phillips

                                                                                                                    1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                      I'm right there with you on that list, mdpilam. I will try J N J again, because I don't like to dismiss a place after only one visit and because it's well liked by respected Hounds. In addition, with even the best BBQ, consistency can be a problem (although it seems to be much less of one at the joints I go to on my travels through Texas and the South -- man, am I due).

                                                                                                                      -Harry

                                                                                                                    2. re: Harry Niletti

                                                                                                                      Definitely the pork ribs. Mind you, pork is my favorite bbq meat but I find that the most consistent at JnJ. My standard order at any bbq place is pork spare ribs, beef ribs and rib tips. At JnJ, I've had the beef ribs be a bit dry sometimes but the pork has always been good.

                                                                                                                      I just had JnJ this past weekend and the weekend before that I had some Big Mistas so a fairly recent comparison. Although I usually like Big Mistas, I found the pork this time on the dry and tougher side. A little too much bite and not enough easy pull and I dislike fall off the bone tenderness usually. Meanwhile JnJ's pork this past weekend was one of their best versions I had in a while. But the beef was one of the worst. Still good but not as good as I've had it. So I guess it just happens.

                                                                                                                      Funny, now that I think about it, both times at JnJ and Big Mistas, we got our bbq a lot later in the day than we normally do. Might lend some credence to the theory of it sitting around and getting dry.

                                                                                                                      Since I last posted on this thread, I've had the chance to try Bludso's and I really like their stuff. My current top 3 in no particular order is Bludso's, JnJ and Big Mistas. Phillips has definitely slipped behind that group for me. Granted the last two times I went was at the Crenshaw location. I haven't been to the mother ship location in quite a while. The other few times was at the Inglewood one.

                                                                                                                      I used to like Woody's and when it was good, it was really good. But they've slipped for me, the quality and consistency just wasn't there. I tried Porky's once when the Inglewood location was still open and it didn't blow me away. Wasn't bad but not compelling enough to return regularly.

                                                                                                                      Does anyone else use the late night snack or next morning breakfast as a factor in their bbq evaluation? Since I usually get so much, I like to see how it holds up for the "standing in front of the fridge with the door open and gnawing on it cold" test. That or just a 30 second nuke with a wet paper towel. Just long enough to warm it through without affecting the texture too much.

                                                                                                                      So far out of my fave three, Big Mistas holds up the worst to that but the other two are pretty good. Mind you, I'm splitting hairs at a certain point.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Jase

                                                                                                                        good fresh barbecue makes good leftover barbecue. leave it in the warmer too long and it's toast!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Jase

                                                                                                                          I've had Big Mista brisket for breakfast the next morning -- refrigerator-cold -- and it was better than the great majority of fresh BBQ I ate during a lengthy survey of LA places last year. The Big Mista beef was still tender to the tooth, somewhat juicy, and very flavorful.

                                                                                                                          -Harry

                                                                                                                          1. re: Harry Niletti

                                                                                                                            Ahh, that would explain it. I'm not a big brisket fan and hardly ever get it. When I do, I don't get enough for leftovers.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Jase

                                                                                                                              Big Mista does a good job with brisket, but his ribs are average at best.

                                                                                                                              If I'm going to have BBQ beef, I'll take the tri tip at Phillips.

                                                                                                                2. If you've never tried Huston's Texas Pit BBQ in Hollywood it's worth checking out. It's just an old, yellow shack on Cahuenga south of Hollywood Blvd and their ribs are nothing to write home about, but their "Brownie" (beef chunks) and their pulled pork sandwiches are excellent:

                                                                                                                  Huston's Texas Pit BBQ
                                                                                                                  (323) 464-3972
                                                                                                                  1620 N Cahuenga Blvd
                                                                                                                  Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                                                                                                  1. If you want to drive the other way, Williy's in Agoura Hills off Chesborough is great. most meats are smoked 8-12 hours.