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BBQ - Where to find the best in LA?

I love barbeque. All sorts - all styles - all meats - dry, wet, what have you. So, I'm on a mission to find the best in LA. Who's best in your opinion?

Memphis / Texas / Carolina...doesn't matter which type...I'm just looking for the good stuff. I live in Silver Lake but would be willing to make the trek for something worthwhile. Until now, my favorite has been Baby Blues' pulled pork sammie, doused in their hot vinegar and dipped in their sampling of bbq sauces (yummm XXX).

Help me branch out!

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  1. Seeing as how you are living in the Silver Lake area you should reallly pay a visit to Spring Street Smoke House in downtown LA. Check out their web site below.


    15 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Dr. Hogly Woglys Tyler Texas Barbecue use to be da Shiz-nit. The meals were massive,the sides were rich and the meat was sweet and smokey. SInce the good Dr. has passed on the portions have been reduced, the sides are a shade better than bland and the meat tastes sharp and rushed like Tony Roma faux BBQ. I fear the best Que in L.A. lie in places that my lilly ass would be afraid to tread.

      1. re: dukey

        Try JnJ Burgers & BBQ on Adams. Try Big Mista BBQ at some of the local farmers markets. Phillips is good and so is Woody's BBQ.

        1. re: dukey

          going to bludso's, phillips, woody's, j 'n' j, and so on require absolutely no bravery...just a desire for unadulterated, honest to god barbecue!

          1. re: raizans

            I can testify! Can I get a witness?

              1. re: Steve2 in LA

                Bludso's is a definite yes from me!

                1. re: Johnny L

                  Interesting. I was pretty underwhelmed by Bludsoe's. I mean it was edible but certainly nothing worth driving to Long Beach-ish for. Maybe it's just me.

                  1. re: Steve2 in LA

                    it probably depends on how far you have to drive, how many times you've gone, what other places you've been to, etc. i've made the half hour drive almost a dozen times, and out of the 30 or so barbecue restaurants in the LA basin i've tried, bludso's is still one of the top 2 or 3 (along with the park's finest, and maybe phillips or bigmista's on a good day).

                    bludso's is one of the few places that:

                    1) knows how to smoke well, neither under- nor oversmoking the meat, and uses sweeter woods like apple, apricot, and hickory instead of just all oak.
                    2) uses good quality meat, trims it with both skill and style, and cooks it to the right doneness, i.e. not "falling-off-the bone" like stew, but tender with a little firmness. they're also very consistent, usually good to great, occasionally just average, but never awful (knock on wood).
                    3) neither neglects nor goes overboard with dry rubs.
                    4) gives the sides, desserts, and sauce the attention they deserve. everything is made from scratch, and their recipes are great!

                    1. re: raizans

                      With out a doubt the best BBQ anywhere. I live near Baby Blue's which is okay but Bludso's is so far out of this world we go there a few times a month. the comparison would be like a college basketball player participating in a game with 5th graders. Bludso's is that far ahead of the competition.

                      Bludso's BBQ
                      811 S Long Beach Blvd, Compton, CA 90221

            1. re: raizans

              Try Bonnie B's in Pasadena for a no frills quick lunch. Ribs are excellent.

              1. re: madona

                the ribs I had at Bonnie Bs were the worst I have had in Southern California (flavorless, tough, absence of smoke flavor). The ribs tasted as if parboiled even though they were tough. The sauce did not help; it was cloying and sweet with strong chemical aftertaste. The sides were ok; in fact, the greens were pretty good but I would not return to Bonnies just for these greens and mac n cheese. Although I live in the area, I would still drive to bludsos if I wanted good barbeque.

                1. re: foufou

                  trust me, you could do much worse than bonnie b's in socal. i'm pretty sure the "strong chemical aftertaste" is nothing more than ancho chile powder.

                  i got a brisket lunch at bludso's today. it was fantastic, as usual. =)

                  1. re: raizans

                    thanks, I am sure you can do worse but I reiterate I haven't had worse ribs than Bonnies...the chemical aftertaste was definitely not ancho chiles with which I am quite familiar but more reminiscient of artificial sweeteners

              2. re: raizans

                Go to Bludso's get the "Sampler".
                $25 and you get a out 4 pounds of BBQ bliss.

            2. I 'll probably get dinged for this, but a few places that I have aired on My TV Show, The Chef Knows, Blakes' Place in Anaheim, Tulsa Rib Co. in Orange and Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach are really good. I used to go to Dr. Hogly Wogly's often. You choose you won't be disappointed.

              1. Well, Sherman Oaks is only around 20 minutes or so from Silver Lake, and the Boneyard Bistro on Ventura Blvd. just two blocks east of Woodman has some very good bbq which is smoked-on-premises, dry with sauce on the side, medium or hot. They do Santa Maria, St. Louis beef, baby backs, etc. Lots of other nummies available. Check out the menu here, then check out the restaurant itself.
                And if you like fried chicken, then theirs on Monday nights is definitely worthy of eating, and regularly.
                Do a search on this board and read many comments regarding bbq all over. Can save much time, btw!

                7 Replies
                1. re: carter

                  I'm from the south and I'm a dry rub believer....that being said:

                  Boneyard is good ribs...the smoke really penetrates the meat...but the sides are not so great - the collards were bitter and awful.

                  Mr. Cecil's has gone a bit downhill but the sides are great and the ribs are still top notch for anything else around LA. ( the Santa Monica location still rocks, the Vent.blvd. location has a wierd crowd) Their char spec used to be too high , so I'd ask for it lower ( from50% to 30%)...now it's onthe lower end but the cooks at the Vent. blvd. location need to get back on thier game. meat still falls off the bone though!

                  DO NOT go to Dr.Hoggly Wogglys... it's red water soaked meat... just horrendous and the sides taste like they came out of a can.

                  ditto Ribs USA - they used to be okay... but now it's gristly and/ or dried out meat.. very sad.

                  My Brother's BBQ in Woodland hills is okay..... not as authentic as I'd like... but good.

                  Kansas City BBQ in North Hollywood is also a bit less than.. a dry rub...but LOADED with rub meaning coated with paprika... an unusual taste....a bit dry on the beef ribs.... but loaded with real smoke. Very low end spot.... I wouldn't even call it a joint.....

                  1. re: missliisa

                    Mr. Cecil's Please! The Dr. is so much better. Does Cecil's even have a smoker, I think not! and that sugar based sauce, GTFOH!

                    1. re: Burger Boy

                      Look, the OP was looking for all around good que. I have been to Rendezvous, and the Cozy Corner corner in Memphis both DO NOT SMOKE their meat and yes it is the south. The vous utilizes a dry rub, and the Cozy Corner grills their meat over a long period of time. Some parts of the south do not consider que as smoked meat. This is a matter of taste, and something to realize. I personally like Mr. Cecil's especially their beef ribs, succulent and tasty and yes I know it aint smoked!!

                      1. re: Schweinhaxen

                        Smoking or grilling over a long period of time is BBQ, several hours. dry rub or sauce is indeifferent. In Texas they usually use salt and pepper and no suace. places like Muellers, Kruez and the rest do not even have a sauce.

                        1. re: Burger Boy

                          Gang, please take discussion of BBQ styles and definitions to the General Topics board where it's appropriate. Let's keep on topic for this board and discuss the food found in L.A.

                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                            You know how it gets with BBQ, Burgers, Pizza and Sandwiches, We get CRAZY! Sorry about that. Maybe we can take you guys out for lunch and butter you up a bit? Oh wait, this is Chowhound, not YELP!

                        2. re: Schweinhaxen

                          Leaving aside the question of smoking, I don't like what parboiling does to ribs like Mr. Cecil's. As someone (Frommtron?) pointed out, the fat and connective tissue don't render properly.

                  2. My Brother's BBQ in Woodland Hills, Ribs USA in Burbank

                    1. Since you like pulled pork, the best I've found is at Porky's -- juicy, succulent, with crispy crusty bits. A huge sandwich is only about $5. Their St. Louis pork ribs are also quite good, and an order of links is enormous. Haven't tried their brisket, but a plate or two I've seen going past me did not look like their strongest item. They also serve Golden Bird fried chicken. On Manchester, just east of La Brea and west of the Forum and racetrack. They are very friendly and try very hard, and offer delivery and drive-thru, but I'd eat in for the generous servings and because they often seem to forget something in the order.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: nosh

                        Porky's recently changed their brisket. It use to be somewhat dry. Now it is really good.

                        Porky's has a BBQ on premises. They serve the Q with the sauce on the side.

                        Everything I have eaten there is very good.

                        1. re: Wes

                          The people at Porky's are super nice... we ordered the fried chicken (which, unfortunately, was sort of bland and a little too greasy) but they comped us a little sampler tray of their bbq and it was good to great. I'm having trouble recalling, but I do believe it was the brisket that was the standout item.

                          Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            And of course, they've just opened up a branch of Porky's in Long Beach, at Redondo a little south of Anaheim.

                          2. re: Wes

                            I went to see a show at the Forum this past saturday so we took the opportunity to stop in at Porky's. I had read about it here and my oh my was it ever worth it.
                            The husband and i took a 3 meat dinner plate and shared it. Pulled pork, pork ribs and brisket with dirty dirty rice and potato salad as sides.
                            The rice was amazing, potato salad was creamy and filling. The rub they used on the ribs comes to a perfect crust of sweet smokiness. The pulled pork was good, but the tasty sauce made that happen. The brisket was heavenly, it made the meal. Texas toast was crunchy and buttery.

                            Everyone was very nice and the owner couldn't stop thanking us when we told her it was some of the best bbq we'd ever eaten.
                            Tried a fried chicken breast too, it was salty and yummy.

                            You can't beat their price/quality ratio. Can't wait to go back.

                          3. re: nosh

                            Anyone know if Porky's serves beer/wine?

                            1. re: geekbruin

                              They only serve beer, and I only recall seeing two choices; Corona and Heniken Lite IIRC. I imagine they wouldn't have a problem with you bringing wine but I have never thought to ask.

                            2. re: nosh

                              Best pulled pork sandwich is at Willy's in Agoura - I am addicted to the Southern Style with slaw. They smoke the meat all day and then use the crust bits in their soup.

                              1. re: perkin

                                good to hear more positive things about willy's. it's the #1 place i want to try in the sfv-ish area.

                            3. Try Moms BBQ house in Van Nuys on Vanowen just East of Van Nuys Blvd. It's tiny but the food is very good.

                              I agree that My Brothers in Woodland Hills has good BBQ. Wood Ranch in Camarillo and in Agoura have good BBQ and a nice atmosphere for BBQ eating as well. However I have found that nothing is as good as homemade. Deeply marinated ~ in secret recipe sauces ~ grilled over charcoal yum. And slowly simmered perfectly seasoned homemade BBQ sauces. That's melt in your mouth BBQ.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Cynderella

                                You'rer right on about Mom's. Their fried chicken beats KFC by miles and their bbq sandwiches are outta sight. The potato salad is excellent even tho it's probably not homemade. Mom, Steve and everyone there are just the nicest people.
                                My only complaint is that they don't have babyback ribs and the beef ribs, which are my favorite, have too much gristle and not enough meat. They usually put too much sauce on them so I ask for the sauce separate. Tony Roma still has the best beef ribs.

                              2. Porky's. I've tried them all and Porky's is now the only place I'll have BBQ. The pork is especially good.

                                When I go there, I usually find I cannot resist the Golden Bird fried chicken. So I go there for lunch, have Golden Bird and take pulled pork and ribs home for dinner. Make sure you try the beans, which are filled with shredded pork.

                                14 Replies
                                1. re: Hackenbush

                                  The name rings a bell. Where is Porky's? Hows the BBQ chicken?

                                  1. re: Cynderella

                                    Porky's is on the east end of Inglewood, on the north side Manchester east of La Brea and west of the Forum. In several visits there, I have never seen anyone order the BBQ chicken -- if customers want chicken, they order the Golden Bird.

                                    1. re: nosh

                                      I really wonder why people rave about the Golden Bird chicken... I only tried it once, and the chicken was crispy but bland, and way too greasy. Great fried chicken needs to have some seasoning on the super crispy skin, and not a speck of grease. On this occasion GB did not fit the bill. But the little complimentary sampler BBQ tray and the ultra friendly service would make us want to go back.

                                      Mr Taster

                                    2. re: Cynderella

                                      Here is a link to the address. Porky's is near the Forum in a shop which used to be a KFC drive-thru. You can still drive-thru and pick up your order that way.

                                      The BBQ chicken is good but it isn't my favorite thing there. I prefer the pork items and the Golden Bird fried chicken. Take a good look at the list of side dishes as they always seem to be experimenting with new ones.

                                      Also if you order a sandwich (they are huge) and don't want cole slaw on it, make sure you tell them.

                                      Porky's BBQ
                                      801 E Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                      1. re: Cynderella

                                        I've never had the bbq chicken at Porky's but that's because it's a wasted trip if you don't include the Golden Bird chicken during your visit. Their fried chicken is da best.

                                        1. re: Cynderella

                                          Ok I hear the name Porky's a lot and I tried to Google it.

                                          So this is the one right?

                                          Porky's BBQ
                                          801 E Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                          Porky's BBQ
                                          937 Redondo Ave, Long Beach, CA 90804

                                          1. re: kelvlam

                                            I've only been to the Inglewood location, couple of times last summer but alas there have been several recent posts confirming that the Inglewood store is closed!

                                            1. re: kelvlam

                                              Yes, the Inglewood location is closed, but they also have a new one in San Pedro. Both Long Beach and San Pedro serve Muggie's fried chicken. Excellent.

                                              1. re: Ogawak

                                                801 E. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90301 is closed. lucky I posted here or else I would have driven over there already, since it's listed on their website.

                                                937 Redondo Ave. would be the Long Beach location.

                                                But where's the San Pedro location?

                                                1. re: kelvlam

                                                  The website has been out of date for maybe a year or so. The San Pedro on 6th St. just a few blocks east of Gaffey.

                                                  362 W. 6th Street
                                                  San Pedro, CA

                                                2. re: Ogawak

                                                  I agree. We've tried the Porky's in San Pedro several times now and it is very good. Pulled pork and fried chicken are both great

                                            2. re: Hackenbush

                                              After reading all the positive review I decided to give Porky's a try - what a disappointment!

                                              I ordered a two meet combo for take-out - Beef and Spare ribs. First, they got my order wrong. They gave me Baby Back and Spare ribs - no Beef ribs!

                                              I wasn't too upset because the Baby Back ribs were good. But with only two customers in the restaurant, they shouldn't be mixing up orders.

                                              The real problem was with the Spare ribs. The first two ribs (of three) were a little fatty. But the third Spare rib didn't even qualify as a "rib". It was shaped like a "rib", but was 100% fat - no bone no meat!

                                              1. re: Mr.foody

                                                You should complain to the owner about that. When she is there the food and service is noticeably better. I'm sure she would be very concerned about what happened and make it up to you in some way. She takes her restaurant very seriously!

                                                1. re: Mr.foody

                                                  You had a bad night! We eat at the Redondo and 10th street in Long Beach, and the San Pedro locations. I am 57 years old and have been at the pig bib since 3 years old. From north Carolina , D.C., Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, OK. Missouri, New Mexico, Arizona, mexico, Korea, I have chowed down, and on a good night Porky's is the best in southern cal. The Muggie's chicken is very good,not like Prince's hot chicken in Nashville,but good.

                                              2. Certainly not the best BBQ in LA (but often good enough), but super close to Silver Lake and a "nice" sit-down vibe: Zeke's in Montrose. Occasionally really delicious.


                                                Zeke's Smokehouse
                                                2209 Honolulu Ave, Montrose, CA 91020

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Suebee

                                                  You don't give Zeke's enough credit. The Brisket and pulled pork are excelent and come are nice large portions. The sides are also very good. Get there early in the dinner hour to get some of the great Mac & cheese.

                                                2. admittedly, I am not a BBQ connoissier but my husband is - - we like Mr. Cecil's on ventura blvd. I hate Boneyard Bistro--I had a gamey tasting piece of chicken there once. There's the Swinging Door off of Vanowen near Vineland.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: pickygirl

                                                    oh, and if you want a delicious bbq tri-tip sandwich on saturday afternoons, drive down to Handy's market on Magnolia and Buena vista, right by the 134. delicous.

                                                    1. re: pickygirl

                                                      You discuss bbq, yet mention the reason you hate the boneyard is because of a "gamy tasting piece of chicken"! What part of the ribs discussion did I miss?
                                                      Their ribs are very good, their fried chicken on Monday nights only is truly wonderful.
                                                      and the bistro side of the menu is very good as well.
                                                      As to Swingin' Door, the less said the better.
                                                      If you liked Love's, you will like Mr. Cecil's.

                                                    2. For me, barbeque is slow-cooked, never paroiled first (Mr. Cecil's is out), and with a heavy heavy smoke that most people would argue is over smoked. I stongly prefer pork over beef, although I concede that beef brisket can be fantastic. Beef ribs just aren't my thing. If it's good I just think how much better it would be with pork. While I love a great pulled pork sandwich, I tend to go for pork ribs nearly everytime.

                                                      That said, my top 3 are as follows:

                                                      1. Greece's
                                                      2. Woody's
                                                      3. Phillip's

                                                      I've read some really intriguing places on this thread that I'm anxious to run out and try, but I think these 3 are excellent.

                                                      21 Replies
                                                      1. re: Frommtron

                                                        Frommtron, does Cecil's parboil their ribs? I thought there was something fishy there -- I've never once seen a smoke ring.

                                                        1. re: a_and_w

                                                          They do indeed. I don't understand the point of that if you're a BBQ joint. I mean, they taste okay at Mr. Cecil's but it's all sauce and no substance. Like fast food ribs.

                                                          1. re: Frommtron

                                                            Just to clarify, Cecil's doesn't sauce their ribs. Also, I'm not inherently opposed to parboiling -- Houston's does decent ribs that I'm pretty sure are parboiled. Still, if you're a purist, it is a perversion of true bbq. I'm trying to get a handle on which places in LA actually smoke their meat.

                                                            1. re: a_and_w

                                                              The best ones do or rather the ones with longevity; Phillips, Woody's, the good doctor.

                                                              1. re: a_and_w

                                                                Mr Cecil's most certainly serves sauce with their ribs. They don't BASTE the ribs with it but sauce is there to be had and you better get it because the meat is bland city. Houston's ribs are definitely parboiled and that's okay for them. They are not marketing themselves as a BBQ place like Cecil's. It's also why I'd never order them there.

                                                                It's not just a purist versus perversion thing. It's that parboiling means they just don't get a good, natural smoke flavor. It also means that the meat gets mushy-tender instead of rendering their fat and connective tissue and basting themselves properly. The texture is thrown off, the flavor of the meat suffers, and the smokiness is reduced or even eliminated (which is why places add 'Liquid Smoke' products to offer that generic and pale imitation of the real McCoy).

                                                                You can get perfectly fine and enjoyable ribs that have been parboiled. And if you don't have a BBQ rig then that's probably the best way to go when making them at home. It's just that the very best parboiled ribs are not even in the same league as those that are properly cooked low and slow.

                                                                1. re: Frommtron

                                                                  Cecil's has signs specifically urging you *not* to sauce their ribs. Besides that, I agree with most of what you say. I've often wondered why their meat was always falling off the bone -- something I can't stand in BBQ.

                                                          2. re: Frommtron

                                                            Greece's has been gone for awhile. NY is in the same place.

                                                            1. re: Hershey Bomar

                                                              And N.Y. BarBQ (bad name/great Q) has the best Beef Brisket that I have had anywhere, well I did have great stuff in TX but locally N.Y. is the best! Blows away the Dr. H.W. version!!!

                                                            2. re: Frommtron

                                                              Never tried Greece's or Woody's, but I have to say after years of hearing about the raves on Phillip's (the main one in Leimert Park), we were terribly disappointed. The meat on the ribs was tough and stringy, and the chicken was dry. The hot sauce was all heat and no flavor, and the sides were all but forgettable (in fact, it appears I have don't just that). It was a good value for the quantity of meat served but the quality was sorely lacking. I've only gone once, so it's possible I hit them on an off day, but I'm not encouraged to go back.

                                                              Mr Taster

                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                Nope they've never had a bad rib day -- maybe you were?

                                                                The sides are never good but isn't that a Q credo?

                                                                1. re: Hershey Bomar

                                                                  This was about a year ago, so the details are fading... I'll try to recall specifics, but the overall impression I describe is accurate.

                                                                  This was the universal impression of a group of 4 of us... my wife and two out of town bbq afficionado friends. The meat was just too tough. And by some freak of nature, somehow the baby backs were chewier than the st. louis ribs. We did sample everything on the menu except for the burnt ends, which they were out of.

                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                    Phillips has never sold burnt ends but they often run out of small ends.

                                                                    1. re: Hershey Bomar

                                                                      There ya go... small ends. That's what they were out of. Did we miss out on something great?

                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                        I'd say go back and try it again. I get mine dry with mixed sauce on the side. They run out early and i try to call ahead -- sometimes they take the phone off the hook.

                                                                    2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                      We tried Phillip's a couple of weeks ago and were a little disappointed. Had the St. Louis Ribs and they could have been more tender, they weren't tough, but I wouldn't call them tender. My husband found the baby backs dry. Good flavor though. The hot sauce could melt the shingles off your roof, but there was strangely no flavor to it. The smoked chicken was very good; juicy and tender. The Red Velvet Cake was wonderful, homemade taste and delicious -- I believe it's made my "Ms. Ruth's"? The mini sweet potato pies looked good too. Sides of macaroni and potato salad, plus coleslaw were *meh* They reminded me of the premade supermarket variety. They also wrap your bread in a napkin so by the time you get to it, it gets dried out.

                                                                      However, we would be willing to try again, we always give a place 2 chances if it wasn't horrific.

                                                                      1. re: sweeterpea

                                                                        Did you go to the one in Leimert Park? I'm stopping by later this week. I haven't been in some time and am not optimistic about the ribs, given the large number of "disappointed" reviews I've seen recently. Whatever else I have, I'll be sure to try the chicken -- "juicy and tender" is certainly the right strategy.

                                                                        1. re: sbritchky

                                                                          We are not from the LA area, not familiar with Leimert Park. Where we went was:

                                                                          2619 Crenshaw Blvd
                                                                          Los Angeles, CA 90016

                                                                          The people lined up told us there was another one down the road a ways, but this location is better.

                                                                          1. re: sweeterpea

                                                                            Thanks. That's a newer location than 4307 Leimert Blvd.

                                                                2. re: Frommtron

                                                                  I have to second that Greece's emotion. Greece sold it to some great people(who re-named it "NYC" or "NY" BBQ) and he taught them his magic before he left. The ribs maybe even better than before and the sides are truly outstanding as well. BYOB or grab whatever's on sale at the liquor store in same strip mall.

                                                                  1. re: kishoripapa

                                                                    I could be wrong but I think they are out of business. Maybe still doing catering but the LaBrea locations is for lease.

                                                                  2. re: Frommtron

                                                                    Non-boiled and heavy smoke, then, if you're down in Long Beach some time, I'd suggest LBQ.

                                                                  3. You might want to try Dr. Hogly Woglys Tyler Texas BBQ on Sepulveda south of Roscoe. When I take my friends there I am sure to tell them to order the beef brisket with whatever else they may want. Its worthy of a last meal! For a change of pace I like Pecos Bills BBQ on South Victory just north of the 134. Its Oklahoma BBQ I *think* and its not as smoky or spicy but very moist and tender. I really like the spare ribs there. Make sure to take a lot of napkins its super messy :P

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: CharlesAllnut

                                                                      Hogly's was my absolutely favorite restaurant in the world when I moved here in the early 80's. I've heard how much it has slid since then. Is it still regarded well?

                                                                      1. re: Outerspace

                                                                        I used to love HW for the beef ribs, but the last time I ordered them (to go) they were incredibly tough and close to inedible. A huge disappointment, especially since the meal is about $20. I would recommend taking a drive and going to Jay Bee's. I loved the food there and they were super nice. Down on Avalon. Not close, but worth it. And the beef rib dinner there is $13.

                                                                        1. re: hpcat

                                                                          I went there in the late 90's and thought it was just awful. Expensive and really nothing special. And the place was empty and dingy, not a good sign if you ask me. I'd rather go to the Bear Pit in Mission HIlls any day, or Mom's in Van Nuys.

                                                                        2. re: Outerspace

                                                                          I agree with CharlesAllnut about the Brisket at Hogly Woglys, the best I have ever had! So tender you can cut it with your fork. Never been a fan of Beef ribs. Stick with the Brisket and you won't be disappointed.

                                                                        3. re: CharlesAllnut

                                                                          YES! there is nothing like the Okiee Pork Sandwich at Peco's Bills BBQ! The spicy sauce is an ad or a side and its definitly spicy. Ribs only on weekends. It may be where the term hole in the wall comes from. look for the line and be there before 2:30 or 3 when they run out of meat.

                                                                        4. My favorite for many years is Naples Rib in Naples (south of Long Beach past Belmont Shore, on 2nd Street). When they are cooked to perfection (which is most visits I've had over the years, though not 100%), they are among the best I've had anywhere. They have a great reputation in the Long Beach area, well deserved. I have also been to their OC locations (Newport Rib), found the Costa Mesa one consistently good, and the RSM location terrible. So bad, in fact, I will never go back to that one. Amazing what different management can do to what was a great recipe.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: culinarycandy

                                                                            If you're up for a drive, the best BBQ ribs I've ever had are at Raxx in Riverside. Such a haul...and they close early! But holy crap, they're amazing.

                                                                            Sorry to hear about the bad experience at Porky's - I've had nothing but excellent bbq there.

                                                                          2. Is it just me, or are BBQ joints inherently inconsistent? Anyway, top two favorites from my last obsessive tasting spree: Tasty Q for pork ribs, the little end pieces, they were INCREDIBLE. And had stunningly good beef ribs at Hogley Wogley's. When they're good, they're the best in beef. This last visit was about 30 days ago. (I've had one or two mediocre visits there, as compared to 10 or so great ones) Also liked Jay Bee's recently. Disappointment: Phillip's, haven't had a great experience there in over a year, about 3 or 4 visits.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: la tache burger

                                                                              la tache,

                                                                              I would agree with you. I think one big reason is that many BBQ places aren't willing to throw away BBQ that didn't sell: in other words, they may keep (and sell to you) BBQ that's not as fresh as something just finished cooking, to keep profit margins up.

                                                                              Whereas if a place wanted to maintain maximum quality, they should throw out BBQ that just didn't sell past a certain time period and make a fresh batch.

                                                                              1. re: exilekiss

                                                                                There has to be a middle ground here. Yes, I agree I don't want to be served meat that has sat around and lost its freshness and crackly skin and goodness. But to just throw it out? Some places take that meat and put it in the beans. Others might discount it as a grab-bag by the pound special deal where the customer might surmise he or she isn't getting the best but is getting quantity at a reduced price. Porky's, the place that I love and recommend, has a potluck special on their board for over a pound of meat for a reduced price -- if I ordered it I would assume I'm not getting the prime stuff but a large plateful at a very good bargain.

                                                                                1. re: nosh

                                                                                  Hey nosh,

                                                                                  Great suggestion / idea. :) As a customer, I'd be totally open and would understand if the restaurant was serving something like the "potluck special" or used it for the baked beans, etc.

                                                                                  It's just that for their "star dish" (BBQ Ribs / Pulled Pork), if they want to gain a reputation for the best BBQ *consistently*, then I think there needs to be something like this (after X# of hours of sitting around, if it doesn't sell, then move it on to a "potluck special" or into Baked Beans, etc.), and make a new batch.

                                                                                2. re: exilekiss

                                                                                  This enlightened discussion is a year old re: the inconsistencies of BBQ. I just finished a return visit to Bludso's and had a nice discussion with Kevin Bludso as to why he only offers his beef ribs on weekends. He stated he got tired of throwing out perfectly good beef; people seem to want pork in that area. So he only smokes it on weekends.

                                                                                  Given how impossible it would be to anticipate how much meat to smoke each day, I would personally empathize with the plight of local BBQ chefs, especially given the quality of meat one gets at places like Bludso's.

                                                                                  My second visit to Bludso's was as good as the first. I had a two-meat dinner with brisket and pork shoulder. I like their brisket so much, this is the first time I ever ordered something other than ribs at a BBQ place. I wonder if others have found inconsistency at Bludso's. But it certainly is worth a trip. One day I will make a weekend trip to try their beef ribs.

                                                                                  1. re: Ogawak

                                                                                    This is a VERY perceptive comment about the plight of BBQ chefs trying to guesstimate how much meat to smoke each day.

                                                                                3. re: la tache burger

                                                                                  Totally! Someone needs to start a bbq place that is decent and consistent. You don't need mindblowing food, just consistency, and you will be a millionaire overnight. Well, not overnight exactly because you need to be consistent and that happens over time.

                                                                                4. I vote for Zeke's in Montrose for their pulled pork sandwiches.
                                                                                  The one in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd - not so much.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: prainer

                                                                                    Every time I've had the beef brisket at Zeke's in West Hollywood, it's been awesome.

                                                                                  2. I'd have to say the best is Kansas City BBQ Company on Magnolia just east of Vineland. Its KC style obviously which is a dry rub, and a great sauce. Definitely the best BBQ I've had in LA so far.

                                                                                    Kansas City BBQ
                                                                                    10863 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

                                                                                    14 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: ldodb

                                                                                      I'll STRONGLY second Idodb's endorsement.

                                                                                      As a frequenter of Kansas City BBQ Company since it opened at the Lankershim location, I followed to the new location on Magnolia I throw down the "Damn-Fine-Q" flag in their general direction.

                                                                                      Their baby-backs, beef ribs and barbecued beans are the best I've eaten in LA since . . . well, since ever. I'm just sayin'.

                                                                                      1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                                                                        thanks for this tip - checked out kansas city bbq on saturday night and was blown away! 2 of us shared a combo plate with baby backs, brisket, and hot links. all three meats were great but i literally can't stop thinking about the brisket - it practically melts in your mouth. i third the sentiment of best bbq i've had in l.a....

                                                                                        1. re: felicia d.

                                                                                          ... man you've got to go back for the beans. The best thing there.

                                                                                          1. re: felicia d.

                                                                                            I pretty much go by there once a week to get a brisket sandwich. I can't help myself. I also like that I can get sweet potato fries when I am in the mood. And its cool that they finally serve beer.

                                                                                          2. re: Steve2 in LA

                                                                                            I guess I'm in the minority. I didn't like the Kansas City BBQ Company.

                                                                                            I had the sliced (not pulled) pork for $11.99. There was some fat, but overall it was pretty lean. The BBQ sauce was very sweet, which for me is a deal breaker. I always prefer a hot, smoky sauce.

                                                                                            I did like the BBQ beans. They were loaded with ground beef, which helped cut the sweetness a bit.

                                                                                            The cole slaw was horrible, virtually tasteless. I couldn't detect any spice.

                                                                                            My brother was quite happy with his half chicken. He said that he'll get 3 meals out of it.

                                                                                            The bread was just plain white bread. It also didn't have much taste.

                                                                                            Kansas City BBQ
                                                                                            10863 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

                                                                                            1. re: Dogbite Williams

                                                                                              For some time I was one of KC BBQ's biggest boosters on this board, but ... well, either my standards have gone up or theirs have gone down, because after my more recent visits I find myself agreeing with everything you say. (Their hot links are okay, but not great.)

                                                                                              Compared to Big Mista and (the admittedly overpriced) Boneyard Bistro, there is no comparison.

                                                                                              1. re: maxzook

                                                                                                Regrettably, I have to agree re: KC BBQ. Success seems to have taken a toll. As with so many little businesses that get popular, they've been unable to keep up the quality. Big disappointment.

                                                                                                On another disappointing note, went to Dr. Hogly Wogly's recently, hoping they might have improved since my last visit but no luck there either. Of pork ribs, "extra meat" pork ribs, beef ribs and brisket, only the brisket was semi-respectable. Of the sides, the beans were strangely seasoned (curry?), the slaw dry and wilted, the potato salad kind of tasteless and the sweet potato pie (lauded in places) was so sweet, it was inedible. It went straight into the garbage.

                                                                                                When is BigMista opening a restaurant? Now? What about now? Now? How about right now? Now? Now?

                                                                                                1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                                                                                  He has talked about it, but I would be happy seeing him stay the way he is ... among other reasons, it makes it that much more special that we have to seek him out.

                                                                                                2. re: maxzook

                                                                                                  Hi maxzook, Dogbite,

                                                                                                  Darn. Kansas City BBQ has been on my "try" list for a long time; looks like you both saved me some money. :(

                                                                                                3. re: Dogbite Williams

                                                                                                  I went to KC BBQ this past Friday.

                                                                                                  Ordered the brisket sandwich and the brisket was bland; kind of shocking really. I don't fault the white bread; it's there to keep the Q in place and that's all. Sweet potato fries were decent.

                                                                                                  Definitely a noticeable slip since my last visit.

                                                                                                  Has anyone been to Ribs USA?

                                                                                                  Ribs USA
                                                                                                  2711 W Olive Ave, Burbank, CA

                                                                                              2. re: ldodb

                                                                                                Finally got a chance to try KC BBQ (I live in WLA), and was impressed. I got a 3way combo (standard for me at BBQ spots) with baby back ribs, Brisket and links and sides of beans and sweet potato fries.

                                                                                                The brisket was awesome - the best I've had in LA (Phillips was top). Juicy, tender and just enough fat to give it great flavor. The ribs were good, but not great. The links were a disappointment however; they tasted like some Vons bought Aidell's or Louisiana brand links. The beans - as mentioned - were AMAZING!!! Highlight of the meal, and I loved the brisket. Sweet potato fries were solid, but I should've known they don't travel well (got it to go). I also liked the sauce (which came on the side), even though I usually like spicy sauce (they didn't ask and I forgot to mention), this was just the right amount of sweet vs tang.

                                                                                                All in all, this was the first time I've been impressed by a BBQ rec on CH since Phillips and Woody's and those were my first two BBQ spots in LA (and are 2 of my top 3 along with KC BBQ now). My one other complaint would be it seemed like I didn't get as much meat with this 3way vs other places (I think it's the baby backs; I only got 3). I usually can eat a little over half of a 3way combo (and sides) and be pretty full and have the rest for dinner or another meal, but I only have half a link and a little bit of beans leftover (and cold, soggy fries).

                                                                                                1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                  mdpilam, regarding your opinion that Phillips BBQ has the best Brisket in LA, the sliced beef at Phillips BBQ is Tri-Tip, not Brisket. Phillips BBQ does not offer Brisket.

                                                                                                2. re: ldodb

                                                                                                  I love this place. I'm from the south and this is my favorite BBQ restaurant in Los Angeles. The brisket, baked beans and hot BBQ are incredible. The baby backs are usually rock starts too, but last time they were dry. May be because of the reluctance to through away meat, as discussed earlier. But, I've been over twenty times and this is the only complaint I can think of.

                                                                                                  Some people might complain that it is a dive. I love it for that. And I should say that I worked at Melisse for many years and now good food. This is one of my favorites places in San Fernando Valley.

                                                                                                  Kansas City BBQ
                                                                                                  10863 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

                                                                                                  1. re: baxter850

                                                                                                    Love the baked beans here but christ they are mean when you try to take togo containers of sauce. If you sit down you're entitled to use as much sauce as you want, but if you try to take 3 tiny ass containers of sauce they give you shit.

                                                                                                3. Big Mamma's Rib Shack on N. Lake above Washington in Pasadena. Family owned and operated and it shows in quaility of the Q. Tender and delouis. I really love the ribs and the black-eye peas.

                                                                                                  1. I also recommend Mom's in Van Nuys. Vanowen at Hazeltine. I ate there last night. It's like a take out in someone's kitchen. Very low prices. $6.00 for a BBQ beef sandwich with a side. Friendly service. The best homemade chocolate cake in the universe. I've eaten there since about 1990.

                                                                                                    For a sit down place in the Valley, try the Valley Ranch on Sherman Way near Balboa. More expensive but very good. Great cole slaw. I've eaten there since 1975.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                      Mom's is where I would go for Q when I lived in the San Fernando Valley. I loved thier peach cobbler. I like Valley Ranch too but loved Mom's prices even more.

                                                                                                    2. YES! KANSAS CITY BBQ RULES!!! The beans...WOW. Never had beans like those before. Very savory not sweet and full of meat! I like a touch of the BBQ sauce in mine. Baby backs for me please. Best cut ever!

                                                                                                      Another must try is Peco's Bills' in Glendale/Burbank area. Its just North of the 134 fwy and just West of the 5. Its on Victory Blvd just above Riverside. Its a tiny hole in the wall...literally. You must get there before 2:30 or 3 when they run out of meat. Weekends you can get ribs but order them in advance or be out of luck. I like the Okie Pork Sandwich the best with a bit of spicy on the side. Never had a sauce like theirs...its just about folklore to some. Savory not sweet...must be alot of renderings. I dont know you tell me.

                                                                                                      Thats my 2 bones...ENJOY!

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: cnote

                                                                                                        I think what you like in the beans is the liquid smoke flavoring. There is no way the brisket alone is imparting that smokey flavor. If you order the brisket you will notice it does not taste very smokey at all. So enjoy the (way too heavy handed) liquid smoke in the beans. And where do they get their potato salad, Smart and Final? Also, the thimbles of bbq sauce they serve are a joke.

                                                                                                        1. re: Josh90004

                                                                                                          no liquid smoke. the beans are cooked in the smoker under the brisket four 24 hours, collecting fat and smoke. the owner gave me a peek into his smoker to prove it.

                                                                                                      2. I work nearby so maybe I'm biased (and blessed) but Zeke's in West Hollywood (Santa Monica and Formosa) is pretty damn fine and convenient. All sauces housemade and the food is really tasty. It ain't Black's or Kreutz' but it's a miracle here in LA-LA land. Give it a shot: http://www.zekessmokehouse.com/

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Pigeage

                                                                                                          Well, Black's ain't Kreuz either, Pigeage -- especially the vast new Kreuz (pronounced "Krites"), a cathedral in construction and in capturing the great Texas BBQ spirit -- but I appreciate the point. Any 'hound who knows the Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Tex., and calls Zeke's "a miracle here in LA-LA land" deserves a hearing. I'll try the place and return to testify.

                                                                                                          1. re: sbritchky

                                                                                                            I never been to Kruez but i have seen pictures, not much in LA, brisket or sausage, compares.

                                                                                                        2. In your survey you must try J N J's in culver city. Truly smoked in a wood yard.
                                                                                                          Very authentic and down home.
                                                                                                          J N J Burger & Bar-B-Q, 5754 W. Adams Blvd., L.A., (323) 933-7366. Open Mon.–Thurs. 10:30 a.m.–7 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. No alcohol. Takeout. Street parking. Cash only. Lunch or dinner for two, food only, $6–$28. Recommended dishes: pork ribs, barbecued chicken, sweet-potato pie.

                                                                                                          Also in Eagle Rock The Oinkster, For slow fast food. Good pulled pork, but the house
                                                                                                          cured pastrami is awesome. (off topic i know)

                                                                                                          And in South Pasadena, the new Gus's BBQ, has managed to put it all together in a nice setting and decent drinks, ie mint julip!

                                                                                                          1. OMG Mom's was the worst. Not only does she and her staff cater to the regulars they got our order wrong. The rib tips were greasy as he** and it just sucked. Man Famous Dave's is better and Woody's in L.A. is the bomb. I am trying to find a great bbq place w/out having to go to my fav spots in L.A. but, I will try My Brothers and after that I give up.

                                                                                                            1. I am from the South and hadn't searched out BBQ here in L.A. until yesterday. I lost my job, my lover, and my life is a mess. I needed some comfort food and began craving, then reminiscing about the BBQ we used to get in the carolinas.

                                                                                                              I googled BBQ and found 2 places Close to where I live in Sherman Oaks. I chose the closer one with the great reviews.

                                                                                                              I have to say that the succulent BBQ beef sandwich send me into sort of a happy place. The cost - ONLY $6, and it comes with one small side. I got the cole slaw + an additional side of green beans for a $1. I figured I needed to get in a little veges in.

                                                                                                              Not only was the food AMAZING, but the owner "Mom" is the sweetest little business owner I've met in a long time. VERY NICE SERVICE!

                                                                                                              I know about service! I have waited tables and served in quite a few restaurants in Los Angeles. In my experience, many times, the management/Owners are simply awful human beings who know nothing about customer service. I only mention this because we need to stop supporting businesses that do not treat customers right.

                                                                                                              Mom's BBQ was so good yesterday that I went back again today and ordered the same BBQ beef sandwich w/cole slaw. Only instead of green beans I got a slice of yellow cake topped with white frosting and coconut, and filled with a pineapple filling. "mom" actually waited on me! She was so nice and friendly and genuine it made me homesick. She actually let me sample the chocolate cake...who does that anymore?

                                                                                                              Anyway, the food was just as succulent and tasty the second day as the first. All I can say is "Yum!"

                                                                                                              Thank you Mom's for the awesome comfort food and the down to earth friendly service. Once I took a bite of the coconut pineapple cake I couldn't stop! Simply delicious!
                                                                                                              They are located in Van Nuys at the corner of Hazeltine and Vanowen street. Google for exact address.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: vquade

                                                                                                                here 'tis

                                                                                                                Mom's Bar Be Cue House
                                                                                                                14062 Vanowen St, Van Nuys, CA 91405

                                                                                                                1. re: maxzook

                                                                                                                  Mom's - without the huge volume of sauce, the meat is poor. With the sauce, just passable. I don't go anymore. They do have good desserts. my brother is also very poor on all fronts.

                                                                                                              2. I'm from the South too, and I'm something of a bbq nut. Wherever I live I always try to find the best bbq in the area. Needless to say, quality varies from place to place, but when I first moved to LA I was optimistic due to the large African-American population and the sheer number of bbq joints in town. I've travelled around LA for bbq quite a bit, often dragging other southerners with me, as well as native 'cue fans. So far, I'm sad to report, I have not found any bbq in LA, or anywhere else in California for that matter, that even rivals the above-average places in the southeast. Of course this is a matter of taste (ahem), and bbq judging is particularly controversial, so you might find otherwise. But in my opinion you are best off not hoping for the best 'cue you've ever had no matter what recommendations you follow on this post. That said, there are several places that will make even a serious bbq lover happy.

                                                                                                                Starting with the most ridiculous, Dr. Hogly-Wogly in Van Nuys will seduce you with its incredibly delicious smell as soon as you reach the parking lot. They say they are Texas style, but I think that only refers to the size of the portions, which are outrageous. The sauce is very sweet and very addictive, and while the meat is just okay, the sauce and general vibe of the place more than make up for it. I definitely recommend going here with a group of friends. It's fun.

                                                                                                                Junior's in Culver City is a small, family run place that has tasty ribs and fun Southern deserts like 7-up Cake. The owner is a really nice guy who loves a good joke - when I ordered an Arnold Palmer once he insisted I call it a Tiger Woods. I definitely recommend this place for a quick stop after work, but don't make a destination out of it, it's good enough but not worth a lot of planning.

                                                                                                                The best bbq I've had in LA proper is at the aforementioned Mom's. It's also family run, and the service is excellent. They are from Louisiana, so expect a lot of sweet sauce on their ribs as well (though not as sweet as Hogly Wogly). Their cakes are very simple but delicious, as is their cobbler, which is served the proper way in a styrofoam cup. They also have very good fried chicken and the best homemade lemonade I've had in LA (not too sweet, thank you). The restaurant is tiny, so it's not great for huge groups, though I've been there with 6 people before and it was fine. I brought an entire family of Louisiana foodies in there and they all raved about it, so don't listen to any of the haters on this board - you will find someone who doesn't like every single restaurant on Chowhound, believe me (except maybe Urusawa). Again, this place is not going to impress anyone from central Texas, but I guarantee a smile at the end of your meal.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: hungrymungry

                                                                                                                  I'm glad to see someone with Mason-Dixon street cred stick up for Dr. Hogly Wogly's, it's hard to mention it on most L.A. food blogs without someone ripping it to shreds.

                                                                                                                  And I guess I gotta try Mom's ...

                                                                                                                  -- Max Z., who isn't allowed to have an opinion on 'cue 'cause he grew up in Connecticut ;)

                                                                                                                  Dr Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ
                                                                                                                  8136 Sepulveda Blvd, Panorama City, CA 91402

                                                                                                                  J R's BBQ
                                                                                                                  3055 La Cienega Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                                                                                                                2. Does anyone know where (if) I can buy the original “dem bones” sauce? 30 years after I had it for the last time, I still can’t get it out of my mind! It’s the greatest sauce ever made!
                                                                                                                  Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                  1. On the westside, our best is BABY BLUES BBQ at 444 Lincoln Blvd.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: la chienne

                                                                                                                      Tried Baby Blues for the first time today. I had the pulled pork sandwich, my guest had the brisket sandwich. Both were delicious. The bun is also great. The place was packed at 3:00PM on a Sunday and when we left, about 45 minutes later, there was a line outdoors. We sat at the counter. The folks next to us were eating ribs and all kinds of sides. They were very enthusiastic about their food.

                                                                                                                      1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                        Make sure to try the ribs and chicken. I prefer them to the pulled pork, which also has its fans. I also love their mashed sweet potatoes -- not too processed or overly sweet.

                                                                                                                    2. Larkins in Eagle Rock for some southern style ribs the way momma (she is literally in the kitchen) makes 'em. They also have killer corn bread!

                                                                                                                      1. There's the BearPit in Mission Hills on Sepulveda and the 118 freeway(best BBQ Beef RIBS!) and Brothers and Doc HogWogly is just OK. And in South LA, Woodys and Phillips are the best.
                                                                                                                        Dem Bones in west LA was the best and Its a shame they closed down. They had the best sauce around! Does anybody know their recipe?

                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Gonzafr

                                                                                                                          I still need to try Bledsoes in Compton. Anyone been lately?

                                                                                                                          1. re: orythedog

                                                                                                                            I highly recommend Bludso's. They have a Texas sampler that gives you a piece of each of their BBQ offerings. It's massive and can feed a family of four for $25.00. I think you will find that it's the quality of their rub that sets them apart from other BBQ places.

                                                                                                                            I found the beef brisket fabulous, and I'm mostly a pork ribs and pulled pork fan. My previous favorites were Baby Blues and Porky's.

                                                                                                                            The people there are very friendly and helpful.

                                                                                                                            A place is really good when you crave something, you think of that place. For pizza, it's Vito's. For BBQ, it's Bludso's.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Ogawak

                                                                                                                              Wow...I'm totally going to check this place out! To clarify, is it Texas style, or is that just a reference to the style of brisket?

                                                                                                                              1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                Went back to Bludso's again. Fabulous brisket and pork shoulder. First time I didn't order ribs (I always order ribs for BBQ) but I love the brisket so much. The sign in front says Texas BBQ, and they love their Cowboys. I need to get there on a weekend and try their angus beef ribs sometime.

                                                                                                                            2. re: orythedog

                                                                                                                              I went a couple weeks ago after hearing some buzz about them (and I think my post about it got deleted or the OP was deleted), and was impressed. I got the pork ribs and beef brisket. The ribs were very delicious; tender, but not quite fall off the bone and smoky. The brisket was good, but I wouldn't quite call it great. The sides were whatever. I actually didn't care for the beans - they had a distinct flavor which I can't quite put my finger on (maybe Jack Daniels?) that just kinda put me off. I can see some people liking them though. Potato salad was standard. Service was very friendly - and there was even a little counter to eat (which was great b/c I was heading out and not going back home). One final thing - the meat was almost swimming in sauce, which might turn some people off, but I actually like sauce so I didn't care. I'm sure you can get it on the side too.

                                                                                                                              Overall, very good BBQ, I'd probably put it in my Top 3 for LA (behind Phillips and KC BBQ).

                                                                                                                              1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                We just did a BBQ crawl 2 weeks ago, and Bludso's is CLEARLY on top of the 'Q game in town (even against Philips)


                                                                                                                                previous Chowhound mention here:

                                                                                                                                To its credit, Bludso's isn't using baby back and the briskets are friggin fantastic and far superior to anything else in town (vs. Jay Bee's, vs. Porky's, etc.


                                                                                                                                As far as the sauce: ALWAYS on the side. Doesn't matter how much you love the sauce.

                                                                                                                            3. re: Gonzafr

                                                                                                                              I did the Bear Pit a couple months ago after some rave reviews by my friends. I ordered the sampler, which is pretty much every piece of meat on the menu from the beef ribs to the pork ribs and everything in between. I found everything overcooked and dry... except for the chicken. Chicken was moist, had a nice crispy skin with a bit of a sweet hint to it. I am positive there are much better BBQ places in LA than the Bear Pit. Unfortunately where I live it's the closest of the genre, and it will do I suppose.

                                                                                                                              If I go there again, it will only, and I mean only, thing I order again (the chicken).

                                                                                                                              They have 2 types of sauces, one regular bbq sauce, which is a bit bitter and another that is sweet. I opt for the sweet, and I usually don't, but that sweet sauce and the chicken were the absolute saving grace.

                                                                                                                              Bear Pit Bar-B-Que Restaurant
                                                                                                                              10825 Sepulveda Blvd, Mission Hills, CA 91345

                                                                                                                              1. re: dre2112

                                                                                                                                Sorry to hear that. I went to the Bear Pit once. Once.

                                                                                                                            4. While I haven't been to all the 'Q places in town, the few I've visited have their high and low points as other posters have noted.

                                                                                                                              Each of the 2x I've been to the swinging door in NoHo, the food has been cold, even though I've been the only customer. I've tried to be nice to the lady behind the counter and tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, but you shouldn't have to ask more than once to get your food zapped in the micro. or something. The babybacks were OK but fatty, and the beef ribs were tough and gristly. I'll never go back.

                                                                                                                              JnJ in Adams district...the sauce was sweeter than what I'm used to, but the ribs were incredible. The sweet baked beans were...again, sweeter than I'm used to, but it was all good. The meat was falling off the bone and it was def. worth the wait.

                                                                                                                              Hogly's well, I love their brisket when their brisket's good, but sometimes its rubbery and gross. Maybe 25% of the time it's this way. When it's good, it's succulent and tender and the marinade is nice to sop up with the yummy homemade bread.

                                                                                                                              Baby Blues is good, too. I had the baby backs and even the burnt end pieces were good!

                                                                                                                              The Bear Pit...maybe it was an off day and I'll try them again, but the beef ribs were really tough.

                                                                                                                              A few weeks ago I tried N.Y. BBQ on LaBrea.

                                                                                                                              OMG. Bridget, the owner, was super--she was attentive and friendly and man-oh-man, this fat chowhound gal was happy as a fat clam with the brisket, collards and beans. With white bread. The brisket was hot, fresh, and so tender. In someone else's kitchen, and with a few more minutes of unattended cooking, it would have been mushy but here, no. The flavor was complex, there was just the right amount of sauce on top, and cutting into it with a plastic fork was effortless. The collards were just like my grandma used to make: smoky and piquant all at once, and the beans were not overly sweet. It was perfect. I'm going back tomorrow.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: shelleykelly

                                                                                                                                Well you don't have to worry about The Swinging Door - it closed quite a while ago. I have not been to J & J, Dr. H. H. or Baby Blues in a long time and never been to The Bear Pit so I'll reserve comments. The 3 or so times that I went to NY BBQ the meats were off the chart good, especially the brisket which was flavorful, smoky and dripping with juices! I have read some more recent less than favorable reports here so I'll have to go back and check it out soon.

                                                                                                                                NY BBQ
                                                                                                                                901 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                                                                                              2. I just tried Old Fashion Flavor BBQ this weekend and they make quite possibly the best short ribs and brisket in town. Definitely worth a try if you're seeking BBQ in LA. Located on Western just south of Century on the east side of the street.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: mrshankly

                                                                                                                                  Porkey,s in Inglewood is now closed shop. They have another branch open in Long Beach. It just goes to show, we have to support our favorites 'lest they go by the wayside.

                                                                                                                                2. No mention yet of Harry's Oklahoma Style BBQ in Lomita. It's only take out, but they have 2 tables outside. Highly raved about by the Food Dectective, Chris Cognac of the Daily Breeze and Food Network. He goes as far as saying the best bbq sauce in the country, having lived in the boondocks of the South and Midwest for many years. The owner told me the majority of their business is catering the entertainment industry.



                                                                                                                                  Harry's Oklahoma Style Smokehouse BBQ
                                                                                                                                  25501 Narbonne Avenue
                                                                                                                                  Lomita, CA 90717

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: jzalvidea

                                                                                                                                    I thought the food at Harry's was average at best, drenched in oversweet sauce. It didn't suit my taste.

                                                                                                                                  2. Quick update re Baby Blues. The cue suffered for a few weeks -- probably because their attention was focused on the branch opening up north in SF. But I'm happy to report that, ever since the Super Bowl, the ribs and chicken are back to being as fantastic as they always were.

                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                      Sorry, a_and_w, but I have to disagree. I hope Baby Blues moves their whole operation up north, because I was at the Venice location last week and thought that, except for the collards, the food varied from merely OK (the ribs) to downright disgusting (the brisket). I'll say more in an upcoming post on several BBQ places.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sbritchky

                                                                                                                                        I've had their food twice in recent weeks, and both times the long ribs were spectacular -- as good as they've ever been. Which type of ribs did you order, and have you tried the chicken? I've never had the brisket, but plenty of hounds have reported disappointment, so you're experience is pretty typical in that regard.

                                                                                                                                        PS: I'm not wild about their collard greens, which aren't cooked with pork, as I recall. Have you tried the cole slaw and mashed sweet potatoes?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                          I have to say my last experience with the long ribs was really wonderful too. Do you see these type of ribs elsewhere? I can't recall being given the option to order them at other places. Thanks for your report.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                            I believe they're untrimmed spare ribs. I haven't encountered this style before, either.

                                                                                                                                            PS: Can't wait for that report sbritchky!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                        Went to Baby Blues in Venice for the first time today. There was a line of a few of us at opening (plenty of tables, we just got there a tad early). First I've got to say I love the environment in there. Comfy, cool, down-home, A/C and ceiling fans and enough darkness that it's almost like being in a well-A/C-ed joint in the South. A little cold steaminess came off the top of the soda I ordered as the guy was bringing it over. The music was kind of cool too. Just a nice vibe.

                                                                                                                                        Now, on to the ribs... are these what you all call dry rub? They were good, not 'must eat entire plate immediately' good though. In Florida the good ribs places would have falling off the bone tender smoked ribs swimming in a vinegary and not too sweet barbecue sauce, and that's the kind I personally prefer (that might be what's called Western Carolina Dip, AKA Lexington Dip and Piedmont Dip). So someone who specifically likes dry-rub ribs (or whatever variety these are supposed to be) might like these better than I did. I would still definitely go back because of the whole package and geographic convenience.

                                                                                                                                        I got Memphis ribs and 1 beef rib about 12" long with meat about the size of a giant, tall filet mignon hanging off of it. It was impossible to not feel a little Flintstones. (Not even at Dr. Hogly Wogly's ...) I got stewed okra that was actually really good and the collard greens which were quite good too (no, not apparently cooked in bacon or anything else rich, but still tasty). There was an awesome-looking slab of rich cornbread that I brought home... along with at least half my platter.

                                                                                                                                        There's a decent basic barbecue sauce that's in a squeeze-bottle tableside, and a hot barbecue sauce, and a tabasco-based sauce (good) and a nice vinegar-and-peppers liquid. Some gentleman who served the ribs said the vinegar-and-peppers sauce was good on the collard greens. I found that I could concoct a good sauce with some of their basic, a healthy shot of the vinegar-pepper liquid, and a little of the tabasco sauce. So I swam my ribs in that. But I found myself wishing they'd been swimming in that stuff for the last couple hours.

                                                                                                                                        Like I said, I think it's just a style preference. Would love to know what spots in L.A. - especially on the Westside - may have that falling-off-the-bone vinegar-sauce thing I love (the Western Carolina variety with tomato sauce or the East Carolina sauce that's even thinner and sharper, without it). I don't want any Tex-Mex roasted pepper chipotle vibe going on, nor any sweet, thick brown-sugary sauce.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                                                          Although I shudder at the thought of "ribs falling off the bone and swimming in sauce" . . . mostly because they can't even remotely be referred to as "barbecue", I think you'll find ribs similar to those you describe at Mom's BBQ in Van Nuys, Uncle Andre's in Sherman Oaks and Ribs USA in Burbank.

                                                                                                                                          Like you said, preferences are subjective so, who am I to judge?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                                                                                                                            Long smoking times. Sauce mop. Less emphasis on hideous "rubs."

                                                                                                                                            I'd say save trying it for when you find yourself somewhere in the Southeastern U.S. - if you find it done properly, it is not a bastardization but a thing of beauty.

                                                                                                                                      3. OK, as previously promised, I returned to NY BBQ yesterday and ordered the beef ribs. With a soda, the total was under $12. Collards and beans as the sides...love them too much to change right now.

                                                                                                                                        I'm a traumatized beef rib eater, having survived my mom's (Chinese and an excellent cook in all other ways but this...sorry mom!) boiled beef ribs smothered with orange marmalade and brown sugar glaze. A few run ins with really bad beef ribs over the years haven't helped either.

                                                                                                                                        So for the $12, I got two very meaty, smokey ribs marbled with fat that wasn't gross at all and while I had to fight a bit to rip the meat from the bone (no extra bone to hold onto) the flavor was indeed yummy and the meat, once wrested from the bone, was easily chewed and not laden with gristle.

                                                                                                                                        I have to add that Bridget is as sweet as pie and a damned good businesswoman, too. I seated myself at the sole table that is of regular height and the guy that was helping her didn't realize I was there. So as I made a few phone calls and relaxed, my food was sitting on the counter for probably ten minutes.

                                                                                                                                        When Bridget realized I was in the corner, she freaked and the guy said "I didn't even see you there...I thought you left!" (Come ON! Without my food? Are you crazy?)

                                                                                                                                        Well, Miss B was so horrified and apologetic that she gave me a free dessert of my choice. And while it was no big deal to me, she insisted. The banana pudding was divine.

                                                                                                                                        I don't know of any proprietors that would do that these days.

                                                                                                                                        Anyway, I'm starting Atkins so...no BBQ for me for awhile. I'll have to live vicariously through my fellow 'hounds!

                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: shelleykelly

                                                                                                                                          IMO, that's actually a good thing that the meat resisted just a bit being ripped from the bone. Do I gather from your Atkin's comment that they serve their ribs sauced? Because I thought bbq meat (not the sides or sauce) was just the thing for Atkin's people.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: a_and_w


                                                                                                                                            ITA about the meat resisting...I meant only that there wasn't any extra "lollipop handle" worth of bone to hang onto with my left hand :-) which made the resistance a little messier.

                                                                                                                                            They do indeed serve the beef ribs sauced. In fact, the sauce is baked on. And not in a bad way...I think the meat was basted with it all through the cooking process.

                                                                                                                                            That said, yes, BBQ meat by itself--and as long as it hasn't been basted/marinated with anything that contains sugar--is fine on Atkins. Anything roasted/grilled/fried "naked"/boiled, etc. is fine.


                                                                                                                                            1. re: shelleykelly

                                                                                                                                              i guess you can just get the beef ribs sans sauce. voila, welcome atkins.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                Look for places that do a dry rub.

                                                                                                                                        2. Quick report on Kansas City BBQ Company in North Hollywood. Went for lunch today with a buddy who grew up in KC so keep that in mind.

                                                                                                                                          I ordered the brisket plate with a side of beans and sweet potato fries. The brisket came pre-shredded; I was hoping to have it sliced, but regardless it was tender, smoky and quite good.

                                                                                                                                          The sweet potato fries were outstanding and the beans were just ok; way too smokey for me.

                                                                                                                                          My friend got the burnt-ends sandwich with a side of beans and the regular fries. Overall, he said his food was just OK compared to his favorite BBQ joints back home. He thought it was strange that the burnt ends came pre-shredded and felt there was too much smoke and not enough spice. The beans were mediocre; again, too smokey, no bacon and the sauce was too runny.

                                                                                                                                          Overall, if you put aside the comparisons to real KC BBQ, we thought it was pretty good and worth visiting again.

                                                                                                                                          17 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: vinosnob

                                                                                                                                            Pre-shredded burnt ends? No pork in the beans?!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                              Smoked beef (not sure but I think brisket) in the beans. . . personally, I really like 'em. Different from "Pork & Beans" but seriously fit t'eat.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                                                                                                                                Yup, there's brisket in the beans, but no hog.

                                                                                                                                                If they could just mellow out the overt smokiness the beans would be better.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: vinosnob

                                                                                                                                                  OK, I can deal with brisket, but would prefer pork. Do you guys think they're using artificial smoke flavoring?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                    Nope. This place really is fantastic ... sure it may not be up to the level of the best KC places, but then nowhere else in LA is going to be able to match its respective "Style Homeland" for taste, texture, flavor, and authenticity either.

                                                                                                                                                    I would definitely check this place out.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: a213b

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks -- it's definitely at the top of my list of bbq places to try. I love smoke flavor as long as it's not that "liquid smoke" stuff.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                        I didn't detect any artificial smoke flavor; the beans were just over-smoked in my opinion. My buddy thought his burnt-ends were over-smoked as well.

                                                                                                                                                        It's definitely worth a visit; killer lineup of beers on tap too!

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                      I do not think there is an artificial smoke flavoring, just liquid smoke, which actual comes from wood that is burned and run through a still like machine and turns the smoke into liquid. It is all natural.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                                                        which joint are you talking about that does this?


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                          I be,ieve he is talking about the beans at Kansas City BBQ Company in North Hollywood. I was just commenting on the use of liquid smoke and how it is not artificial.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                                                          I consider that artificial, or at least processed. Either way, it has no place in good bbq, like it sounds Kansas City BBQ Company is.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                            I agree to some point, hard to get a smokey flavor in certain things without it. Processed, not really it is real smoked that has been liquified naturally. Pastuerized processed cheese food is artificial. You would never use it in a marinade or rub, but then I know some pit masters use hickory salt in their rubs instead of straight sea salt, then smoke it. is that cheating? I do not know, to me as long as it is smoked I do not care what they use in their rub or marinade, taste is the bottom line.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                                                              After all, isn't great Q heavily "processed" through the use of wood smoke and dry rub?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                I have a lot to say on this subject, but I think we should probably take it over to general topics.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: vinosnob

                                                                                                                                                        I like the beans because they are so smokey.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: vinosnob

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for this - I've been hoping to find some place in LA that does burnt ends after having them in KC and getting hooked.

                                                                                                                                                  3. Has anyone been to Jaybee's in Gardena?

                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                                        What did you order? What specifically disappointed you? the sauce, the texture of the meat, the sides, ??

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you in advance.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bgazindad

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry for the quick reply earlier, I was in a hurry.

                                                                                                                                                          It was about a yr ago that I went, but I ordered a 2 Way combo, with Pork Ribs and brisket, with a pulled pork sandwich. I don't remember the meal exactly, but I do recall that the best thing was the pork sandwich, which was more of a chopped pork, but still pretty good - though the bun was a typical grocery store cheap hamburger bun. I think the ribs were a little "less tender" and flavorful than other BBQ places that I like in LA (at the time mainly Phillips).

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry I can't give a better review, but it was a while ago. But I would like to get across: this is not one of the better BBQ places in LA. I love BBQ and have tried a number of different Q places in LA, and the top 3 are: BigMista, Bludso's and Phillips. If you do a search for JayBee's here on CH, I'm sure you'll find that most weren't too impressed by it (though, by no means am I saying it sucks, but there's just better to be had).

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                                            That is the only thing worth getting, but probably the best pulled pork sandwich in LA.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Bludso's Bludso's Bludso's

                                                                                                                                                      Order the $25 Texas Sampler (which is enough to feed 3-4), take it down to the beach, and have a party.

                                                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                      Bludso's BBQ
                                                                                                                                                      811 S. Long Beach Blvd., Compton, CA 90221, USA

                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                        Blusdo's is by far the best in town. Have gone there numerous occasions and while there were some slight inconsistencies (lack of rub) when they are on they cannot be beat.

                                                                                                                                                        First time we went the mac n cheese did not have any egg, but came back and sure enough the mac n cheese was great.

                                                                                                                                                        Mr. Taster is right, get the texas sampler and go find a nice parking lot and eat it on the hood of your car. This place is getting so popular and lines are getting longer and longer everytime we go.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: A5 KOBE

                                                                                                                                                          Very interesting, can't wait to try. BTW, is it just me or has the bbq in general become WAY more inconsistent -- strike that, BAD -- even at the best places since the great recession hit???

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                          Tried the Texas Sampler from Bludso's today, and it is alot of meat! I usually get a 3way combo, but I figured, hey, it's only $7 more or so, and it should give me an extra meal out of it. The ribs - as usual - were great. Brisket good as well. I didn't care for 2 of the 3 links, though. The chicken and beef (?) were just not very good; they have a weird spice/herb in them. I'm not sure I've even got to all the meat in there yet. Not a big fan of their sides: mac n cheese and potato salad were average at best - I hated their beans the first time I had them. Also, their sauce is a little thin and not spicy at all (yes, I ordered hot).

                                                                                                                                                          Overall, Bludso's is good, but to me BigMista's is EASILY the best Q in LA, and Phillips and Bludso's are 2 and 3.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                                            Check out JnJ Burgers & BBQ on Adams, if you have a chance. I agree that BigMista and Phillips are great.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                                                              I've been a couple times and found them to be mediocre BBQ; I preferred Phillips and Woody's (and now BigMista and Bludso's).

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                                                I just visited JNJ recently and sampled their ribs and their hamburger. The place had real character, with the locomotive themed bbq grill and all the newspaper reviews on the wall, I was hopeful.

                                                                                                                                                                After tasting Bludo's and BigMista's, I found the ribs here lacking. The ribs had no character, no sense of rub or smoke and the sauce was flat. It was the worst BBQ I've had in my Chowhound ventures. I did like the hamburger, and the german chocolate cake was terrific. But as for the ribs, it may have been a really bad day, but I don't plan to come back.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ogawak

                                                                                                                                                                  Big portions, but mediocre at best. The rib dinner is huge.

                                                                                                                                                                  I'll stick with Bludso's.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ogawak

                                                                                                                                                                    My statement, that this was the worst BBQ in my Chouhound ventures came off stronger than I had intended. What I meant was that of all the recommended spots I wanted to try from CH, this was the weakest.

                                                                                                                                                                    My ranking thus far (very general)
                                                                                                                                                                    Baby Blues

                                                                                                                                                          2. I used to go to Woody's on Slauson a lot (it's been 8 yrs since I lived in LA). Does anybody know what regional style of BBQ they claim to be, if any? I grew up in KC, and it always reminded me of the stuff I had growing up, but I could never put my finger on what what it was exactly that triggered my memory.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jllbass

                                                                                                                                                              Pretty sure they claim to be Texan but it sure seems more Mississippian.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Such an old post and so many restaurants, but I didn't see anyone mention M & M Soul Food in Carson. Great BBQ with daily specials (pork ribs on Fridays--from what I remember, but come early cuz' they sell out!) Everything I tried was good here... fried oysters, greens, beef ribs that just swept right off the bone.

                                                                                                                                                              18427 Avalon Blvd
                                                                                                                                                              Carson, CA 90746
                                                                                                                                                              (310) 324-5317


                                                                                                                                                              1. I'm real close to issuing a downhill alert for Baby Blues in Venice. I like the smoked wings they recently added to the menu, but I've had some truly vile ribs there my last few visits. They slather the ribs in sauce to hide the dry, overcooked meat, and the tips are burnt to a char -- just vile. There were always consistency issues with BB Venice, but it's clear their rapid expansion in LA and SF has exacerbated those issues terribly.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                                  Its downhill for sure. Just had some the other day. Dry chewy ribs. Pulled pork had no flavor and no smoke at all. The only good thing about this place is their bbq sauces and okra.

                                                                                                                                                                2. I went to Big Mista's at the Torrance market last saturday & my brisket sandwich (which now costs $1 more) was loaded with fat--I'm talking huge hunks of unedible stuff. I was already at my car eating it & was too lazy to walk back. I hope it was a fluke.

                                                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sparkareno

                                                                                                                                                                    ... and it's very salty. I get mine without any sauce so you really notice.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Hershey Bomar

                                                                                                                                                                      I've had ALL of Big Mista's meats from 2 of his locations and to sparkareno only my portions of briscuit had a bit of noticble fat, including crunchy bits that were the best and to Hershey Bomar I don't like a lot of NaCl on anything and have never found any of the meats to taste 'salty' from Neil's dry rub!
                                                                                                                                                                      I'm curious if both of you had these complants once or on numerious visits?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sel

                                                                                                                                                                        I have been several times & tried the brisket, the pulled pork the pig candy and the meatballs (just so-so) and this is the first time I have had such huge chunks of fat. Next time I will look at the sandwich before I leave the booth or ask them to be careful. I do love their sauce & the salt doesn't bother me.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: sparkareno

                                                                                                                                                                      i've gone to bigmista's several more times recently, and they're definitely inconsistent.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: raizans

                                                                                                                                                                        Can someone comment on BigMista's sauce; I heard he is using a new sauce? That was my one complaint about his Q, I wasn't a huge fan of the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                                                          I recently went to Big Mista's and did not like the sauce. It had a very artificial like flavor, almost like grape juice.

                                                                                                                                                                          I'll stick with Bludso's.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                                                            As a big fan of BigMista, his strength is in his dry rub. He was working on his sauce for the competition, so it did taste differently. I do like Bludso's sauce better.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                                                              yeah, the dry rub is their strong point.

                                                                                                                                                                              the only change in the sauce i could taste was replacing a large amount of onion powder with a smaller amount of garlic powder. the "secret ingredient" is dr. pepper, i think.

                                                                                                                                                                              i love bludso's sauce! still the best in la.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: raizans

                                                                                                                                                                                raizans, Big Mista may have changed his sauce recipe but Big Mista does NOT use any onion powder in his sauce:


                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Norm Man

                                                                                                                                                                                  i know he said that, but what barbecuer is going to tell the truth about the ingredients of his sauce? if something tastes and looks like onion powder, what else can it be but onion powder? i couldn't think of any good alternatives.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: raizans

                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe he uses grated onion or pureed onion.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                                                                                      nah, these were little white granules. it was the most conspicuous visible ingredient in the sauce, and the easiest flavor to identify...up until he claimed that it wasn't onion powder!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: raizans

                                                                                                                                                                                        unless he is using dried onions you would never see granules. I had his sauce today and it did not taste of onion powder. If it is there it is a subtle part of the sauce. I like his sauce but do not love it. Call me crazy but I like Dr. Hogly's sauce, 26 Beaches BBQ sauce and JnJ's BBQ sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: sparkareno

                                                                                                                                                                            Just had some Big Mista's last night and was I disappointed with their brisket. I've had their bbq numerous times and liked it. Yesterday's batch was a seriously off night for them. The brisket was ultra lean, dry, rub was muted and not a lot of smoke flavor. I would have been okay with all of that if it was at least juicy but it was very dry and crumbly. Such a bummer since I have liked them in the past. Hopefully it was a fluke.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jase

                                                                                                                                                                              My first experience with Big Mista was very poor. The brisket was grey and dry as a bone-- *really* disappointing considering all the positive buzz there has been for his operation. I took it to go, so by the time I discovered the problem I couldn't discuss it personally with the crew.

                                                                                                                                                                              I emailed them, explaining the situation, and was told by Neil that he was not able to supervise the BBQ on that day, and he apologized and invited me back to try it again for free. I emailed him before I arrived to make sure that he was supervising the BBQ that day, and it certainly was a great deal better.

                                                                                                                                                                              Having said that, it was definitely a notch below Bludso's in terms of smoke intensity and tenderness, and I do sometimes think that I love Bludso's wonderful BBQ sauce more than I love my cat.

                                                                                                                                                                              Again, as I said below-- consistency is so critical with BBQ, and in my experience Bludso's track record is much better than the other players in town.

                                                                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm generally not a huge bbq brisket fan as I haven't liked most bbq briskets I've tried in Southern California. One of my goals this year is to take a 4-5 day weekend to Austin and do a tour of the surrounding areas to try the bbq. Hopefully I can pull it off.

                                                                                                                                                                                I bring that up to say that Big Mista and Bludso's have been the only two LA area bbq places where I've even liked the brisket. I generally stick with pork and beef ribs. I'm in agreement with you about consistency. That's one of the reasons I like J n J a lot. I really like their pork ribs and rib tips. It's to my waistline's detriment that they're so convenient to where I live. Even when their pork ribs aren't as good as their best, I've found them pretty good.

                                                                                                                                                                                But we've definitely have had consistency problems with Big Mista. We always get it at the Thursday El Segundo farmer's market. Their pork ribs have ranged from pretty good to below average, which can be pretty frustrating. Given the ease and consistency, I'm more apt to go to J n J's.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jase

                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't been to J n J is so long. But, for pork ribs one of the better places in LA.

                                                                                                                                                                                  For brisket I like Dr. Hogly Wogly.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. My favorite topic, PERIOD.

                                                                                                                                                                            When I want to drive, cause I live in the Valley, Philips BBQ, Crenshaw at the 10 freeway of further down Crenshaw in Lemert Park at 43rd.

                                                                                                                                                                            When I am willing to drive farther, it's Bludsos all the way. Kevin knows what he is doing and the ribtips and sublime brisket are fine examples of Q'.

                                                                                                                                                                            Can I get an AMEN?

                                                                                                                                                                            Phillips Barbecue
                                                                                                                                                                            4307 Leimert Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

                                                                                                                                                                            Phillips Barbeque
                                                                                                                                                                            2619 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

                                                                                                                                                                            Bludso's BBQ
                                                                                                                                                                            811 S. Long Beach Blvd., Compton, CA 90221, USA

                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: orythedog

                                                                                                                                                                                Have you been to JnJ Burger Shack & BBQ on Adams 2 blocks east of Fairfax! Try it!

                                                                                                                                                                                Burger Shack
                                                                                                                                                                                9868 Garvey Ave, El Monte, CA 91733

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                                                                                  burger boy, were you the one that mentioned he served great peach desserts there/

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                                                                                    They have some good spare ribs and they are monstrous, but Bludso's ribs are on another level.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I did enjoy the mac salad and JnJ for some reason considering I don't really care for the sweet mac salad in general.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. JR's on La cieniga so. of 10 frwy. 1st. time I went there I saw a guy ask for a knife for his beef ribs the cook handed him a plastic picnic knife. He stripped the meat off those ribs like it was nothing. Been my favorite ever since.

                                                                                                                                                                                  21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mark501

                                                                                                                                                                                    Really, isn't Bludso's the beginning and the end of this question?

                                                                                                                                                                                    I think every time someone chimes in with a new recommendation, the comment should be predicated with "I have tried Bludso's Texas sampler" or "I have not tried Bludso's Texas sampler". Then a least we will have some ballast by which to weigh these new recommendations :)

                                                                                                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                      No. Bludso's pork ribs are only average at best. The brisket and links are very good. But, the Texas Sampler includes the average pork ribs.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: reality check

                                                                                                                                                                                        Where could we get a picnic tray like Bludso's, but with above-average pork ribs? TIA

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                                          My favorite BBQ for ribs is Phillips. I also like their sliced beef, which is tri tip. I think Phillips has a picnic tray like Bludso's, but if you want this for Super Bowl Sun, order it the Mon before Super Sunday. That line is out the door on Super Sunday.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                                            bludso's spare ribs are above average to much more than above average. in my experience, they have a better track record than phillips, which can range from almost awful to sublime.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aizan

                                                                                                                                                                                              If Bludso's is around for over 20 years, then talk about a track record. But, that would still mean Phillips has been around for 40 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: aizan

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been to Philip's in Leimert Park twice, and both times it geared towards awful. Been to Bludso's 4 times and all times his BBQ was equally & utterly sublime. Consistency is critical. If I keep going on Philip's bad days, it doesn't matter how good they can be, or how good they are when you visit. It's a bad restaurant to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The two times I've been to Bludso's the ribs, remember I'm only talking about the pork ribs, were average and bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  To me, Bludso's doesn't do BBQ ribs well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bludso's ribs are excellent; the best I have had locally.....agree with you on Phillips

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Try the one on Crenshaw and Adams, it is much better. I also don't like where it is in the back of the liqour store, it sort of spooky. I have had the best at the one on Crenshaw, also the one on Centinella is good too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you are Inglewood, not as good, but there is Woody's

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paprkutr

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree. My first time to the Leimert Park location was about 4 months ago (normally, I go to the Crenshaw loc.), and I was disappointed with it. I am almost always very happy with Phillips (ribs, links and brisket, 3way). I like their sauce best of Phillips, Bludso's and BigMista.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, the Leimert Park location is very inconsistent; one time great, the next time just OK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The 2nd Phillips in Inglewood is as good as the Crenshaw location, but I'm not in that area often.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                                                                                            try the sauce at woody's on slauson, bonnie b's, j 'n' j, the park's finest, or jay bee's (in no particular order). sauce (and sides) are not phillips' strong points, imo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aizan

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Of those BBQ places listed, only J n J has a good sauce. Of course, that's my opinion, only.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: reality check

                                                                                                                                                                                                                what is it about the sauce at j 'n' j that you prefer? all of them are pretty different, though woody's and jay bee's are somewhat similar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aizan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  what do you like about the sauce at bonnie b's? I thought that sauce was awful with a funny/chemical aftertaste.....now it is possible that the recipe has changed I went to bonnie b's in its early days.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foufou

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i like the raisin-y ancho chile. didn't notice any weird aftertaste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: aizan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                They are the only one that make a decent spicy BBQ sauce IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've tried all except Park's Finest and Bonnies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  it is very spicy, but doesn't have much flavor. you like it more than bludso's? their hot sauce isn't as hot but has a lot more flavor from the spices and meat drippings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: aizan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The best BBQ (most of the time) is Woody's (both locations), and Phillips location at the old Leo's spot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am a links person so that is really all I buy at both of these places, however I will stop by the Inglewood location on my way home just to buy a piece of the SWEET POTATO PRALINE CAKE! It is one of the best cakes I have even put in my mouth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most BBQ places just sell the regular desert fare that is all over town, but this cake is special. Sometimes they are sold out, so I try to go on the days that they come it. The lady with the yellow hair said it was on Monday & Thursday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Neither of these place have decent sides in my opinion. Potato salad from a container, and just some pork n beans is not my idea of good sides, but the sauce at both places are very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. just had smoke city market based on j gold's review. had the moist brisket and the beef rib. it's pretty much the real deal. simply seasoned with salt and pepper. i had bludso's yesterday and thought the brisket was better at smoke city. well worth a try. bludso's was a bit dry yesterday. i'm chalk it up to an off day. also, the beef rib was damn good too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cdub

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Smoke City brisket was indeed good, albeit pricey and they didn't have beef ribs ready the morning I dropped in. Word to the wise, the sides are particularly "meh" so skip 'em.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    So, if all you want is the makings for a kick-ass bbq brisket sandwich, that's the place to go. Hey, sometimes it's worth it, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not at Smoke City. Swingin Door BBQ has a beef rib, for under $10, not as big as Smoke City but the rib is so much better than the beef rib at Smoke City, that are about $18/lb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The brisket at, Dr. Hogly Wogly, Bludso's, Jay Bees, and Big Mista are better than Smoke City.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: reality check

                                                                                                                                                                                                        where is Smoke City? Swingin Door BBQ? so far bludso's has been the best I have had locally but I am always up to trying someplace new.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foufou

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A couple recents threads about Smoke City have been posted on CH, so you an search for Smoke City. It opened in Nov, I believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Swingin Door is in North Hollywood. It used to be Swinging Door, notice the G was dropped, it closed down for about 3-4 months, then reopened under new ownership. I don't think it's as good as before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foufou

                                                                                                                                                                                                            FYI Jonathan Gold recently gave Smoke City a good review.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Swinging Door Texas BBQ
                                                                                                                                                                                                            11018 Vanowen St, North Hollywood, CA 91606

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Smoke City Market
                                                                                                                                                                                                            5242 Van Nuys Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91401

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: maxzook

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm interested to try this, as a good part of my family grew up in TX Hill Country, and I have many a memory as a child of "praying" over my brisket and sausage as I scarfed it down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: reality check

                                                                                                                                                                                                              As has been mentioned above, consistency is a real issue but I've had barbecue and the brisket at Swinging Door, The (gulp) Beat Pit, Swingin' Door, Rattlesnake BBQ, Kansas City BBQ, Dr Hogly''s, Bludso's and Big Mista's (amongst others) so I'm not unaware of their qualities but I've gotta insist that to me, Smoke City's was superior. Not that I'm fond of the price but man, it was gewd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now, my opinion is worth about what you paid for it but I've smoked my fair share of brisket so my opinion is not uneducated. Bottom line, like y'all, I like what I like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Steve2 in LA

                                                                                                                                                                                                              By no means did I think the place was cheap but quality brisket locally for me is great. I've been twice and only had the brisket and beef ribs. Both very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cdub

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Been there once and I thought the brisket and beef ribs were very average. In that location, they won't stay in business serving average food and charging those high prices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Roger's Rib Shack. Anybody been there yet? It's a little hole in the wall somewhere in East Jesus Northridge-ish on Reseda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Their web-site refers to the cuisine as Southern Style Barbecue which is reflected in Chef Roger's (excellent) sweet & hot sauce. We walked in through the back of the store, passing the smoker on the way so, although I saw the meat being finished over a grill inside, it definitely had been subjected to smoke previously.There's nothing to look at once inside except for two shelves sporting a wide variety of other folk's barbecue sauce but their meats are purty durned gewd which is what barbecue is mostly about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The meat choices are limited to chicken, tri-tip, hot links, pulled (actually chopped) pork, spare ribs and rib tips. We tried the chicken, tri-tip, pulled pork and spare ribs. The missus and I agreed that all four were outstanding. Smokey, tender and tasty, reasonably priced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Because we ordered a Three Meat Platter we also got 2 sides,(Greens and Cabbage) and ordered 2 additional choices, (Potato Salad and Mac & Cheese) We just had to try the Loaded Fries with Pulled Pork, kind of a Southern Barbecue Poutine using beer battered fries rather than the nekkid kind. I'd give all the sides a C grade with the exception of the potato salad which was that mashed-potato-pickle-relish style, so popular in the South. Although I'm not a fan, it did go particularly well with the meat so I'm giving it a B grade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The waitstaff was friendly and knowledgeable about the menu so our wait for take-out was very pleasant. If you're in the area and are a fan of that style of Q, check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Roger's Rib Shack
                                                                                                                                                                                                            (818) 741-4070
                                                                                                                                                                                                            8450 Reseda Blvd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Northridge, CA 91324

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Try Smoke Star BBQ. It's a new BBQ restaurant on the corner of Western & Pico. I've had the baby back ribs and chicken which were both delicious! Their mac and cheese was one of the best that I've had in the area and you can tell that they use real cheese. They also deliver which is awesome! Definitely my new bbq joint. Their prices seem to be more reasonable too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              here's their website:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodess101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well this is a long lived topic.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                JNJ Burger Shack, also called J N J Burger & BBQ or J 'n J, but what ever you call it, it is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I also like Original Texas Barbecue King. When they were on Sunset they were convenient for downtown, now they are a bit harder from downtown, but still good and Woody's Bar-B-Que.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Original Texas Barbecue King
                                                                                                                                                                                                                5309 South Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Woody's Bar-B-Que
                                                                                                                                                                                                                3446 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90043

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: scottca075

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not that I'm endorsing the establishment but The Woody's Bar-B-Que link is an incorrect URL. The correct URL for the restaurant web page is: http://www.woodysbarbquela.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Woody's Bar-B-Que
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3446 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90043

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scottca075

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I used to like Woody's a lot. But my last two trips there, it wasn't as good as in the past. The pork was kind of dry. JnJ is still my fave local joint as I live in the Westside. Their pork ribs are consistently one of the best for me. It's actually kind of bad news it's so convenient for me to get it.