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Jan 4, 2008 03:23 PM

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.

      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.

              3. 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%) 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.