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The Pig

  • l
  • lil mikey Apr 1, 2002 10:52 AM

This is a small place on La Brea south of Melrose. It's right next door to the Regent theater, so dinner and a movie is very convenient.

I had the brisket dinner, which came with corn on the cob and mashed potatoes and gravy. My bride had the baby back rib dinner, which came with potato salad and another side, which I can't remember at the moment.

We also ordered a side of corn bread.

Both the ribs and the brisket were dry. This is not necessarily bad for barbecue, in fact I rather liked being able to try each of their 4 barbecue sauces on the meat. I think I prefer to put the sauce on dry meat instead of being stuck with a bunch of sauce that either isn't too good to begin with, or that you get tired of after about 10 bites.

The flavor of the meat was very good, although the sides were unremarkable.

This is a small place. You go up to the counter to order, and they bring the food to you. There are about 6 tables outside on La Brea. Inside there is one large table that can seat about 6, and three side-by-side tables that can seat 2 each. There are also 2 counters inside. One looks out onto La Brea, and seats about 6, and another looks into a wood wall, behind which is the kitchen. This counter is right where people walk in, so it looks like it can get a bit hectic if it's crowded.

It's good barbecue, but due to the size my recommendation is to go when it's not likely to be too crowded. We arrived about 6:00 pm, and were able to easily find a seat. However by the time we left, it was getting a little more crowded, and I can see how at certain times you might not be able to find a seat (say right before or after a movie next door).

We're definitely going back, but next time I'm going to order a'la carte, and pick some other side dishes. We also learned (unfortunately after we ordered) that on Fridays they have a brisket taco special. Two tacos with the same brisket meat I had (which I really liked).

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  1. The Pig does Memphis style 'Q, it was reviewed by S. Irene Verbilla in the L.A. Times when it first opened. Don't remember what she thought of it. Sounded a little "Hollwyoody" to me, rather than like a classic 'Q joint.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chino Wayne

      I use The Pig frequently for take-out; it's near my house. The 'Q isn't bad really, nor the chicken. I especially like the pulled pork. I suppose you could call it Hollywoody, but so what? I mean what is AUTHENTIC when it comes to 'Q? Where Snoop Dog buys his ribs? He's gone Hollywood too. Long ago.

      1. re: roger simon

        Snoop Dog has a very nice estate in north Claremont, at the foot of the San Gabriels - so I would agree with you on the Snoop.

        By "Hollywood" I meant sort of a set decorator's idea of a southern BBQ joint, you know the antithesis of say an Arthur Bryant's.

        As long as the 'Q tastes good, though, that is all that counts.

        1. re: roger simon

          IMHO the first sign of what makes Q authentic is some smoke billowing out of the place. I smell/see/taste it at Phillip's, Woody's and Jay Bee's...couldn't find one puff of it at the Pig.

        2. re: Chino Wayne
          t
          THEE STEALTH

          If I remember correctly, She did a Critics' Notebook or First Impression review-based on a takeout order. And she was not that impressed!!!

        3. I like the Pig; it's not one of LA's great bbq joints but it's good if you're in the area and I've found it consistent. I like the pulled pork and pork sandwiches. Also, the pecan pie and apple crumble are good. I also do take out to avoid the crowds.

          1. I like the Pig a lot, actually. I disagree with the people who write it off as yuppie. Sure, the decor's a bit twee, and it's got a quite Hollywoody vibe, but it and Philip's and Leo's are still my top 3 for 'cue in LA. The Pig makes a mean spare rib (and baby back, too), with high-quality meat, smoked well, with subtle sauces. Here's a tip: since they sauces they give you by default are pretty wimpy heat-wise (although the hot one has a very nice flavor nonetheless), ask for the back-room sauces. They have 2 or 3, with quite high heat and delicious flavors. The desserts are also top-notch, albeit intensely sweet. The chocolate chip cookies, the Apple Rumble Crumble and the pecan pie are all terrific. I'm also a fan of the baked beans and the pickle chips (they're a little weird, but very tasty; we had a discussion of them on the SF board a few weeks ago). I'll agree that the cole slaw isn't anything special, and the pulled pork could use a little more flavor, but c'mon, not *everything* can be first-rate. The ribs are damn good, though, if you ask me, and many of the other items are pretty great, too. Unfortunately, the counter guy with the bright-blue conical beard spreading outward from his chin isn't there anymore. He had a lot of spirit. It's still a favorite of mine, easily wiping the floor with Mr. Cecil's, which has the same inauthentic atmosphere and even higher prices, but it makes up for that by having truly mediocre ribs. And it's better than Hogly Wogly and Woody's, too (although that's not to say that Woody's isn't pretty good--it's plenty fine, although Hogly Wogly kinda sucks compared to any of the others I've mentioned, aside from Mr. Cecil's).

            13 Replies
            1. re: David Boyk

              My favorite thing about The Pig is their sauces. I've always asked for extra in my to-go orders, which I can hoard and use at my own pleasure. Mwa ha ha.

              Now, as to the gentleman with the blue-purple beard, he was my favorite person at Kokomo's (you know, in the Grove's food court?). He left Kokomo's a few years ago - right about when said eatery started a downhill decline, IMHO - and now he's left The Pig...? I wonder if there could be a pattern emerging. I'll have to visit The Pig and find out. Please keep your eyes open for the next place the man with the blue-purple beard lands!

              1. re: Lisa Bee

                IMHO the sauces at the PIG are WEAK, I would rather pay for some extra sauce from Phillp's, Woody's, Dr. Hoggly Woggly or J&J, and have good sauce!!!

                1. re: Burger Boy
                  t
                  THEE STEALTH

                  Dr. Hoggly Woggly sauces are WEAK & WATERY!!-The BBQ is just so-so!!

                  1. re: THEE STEALTH

                    Boy oh Boy, okay, name the time & the place, BRISKET at 50 ft. and sauces, we shall see. that stuff the call sauce at the PIG is as commercial and sugary as it gets, and why do i need to order special back room sauces, if it is that good, why ain't it on the menu???

                    1. re: Burger Boy

                      Oh, you're a brisket person! That explains everything. Pork ribs are the One True Barbecue, and you can't convince me otherwise.

                      1. re: David Boyk

                        Pork ribs are the One True Barbecue, >>
                        Hey, what about a nice ribeye?

                        1. re: mc michael

                          Not if it's these two rabid 'hounds, it will be a rib in the eye.

                          1. re: Chino Wayne

                            a rib in the eye.>>
                            Maybe if I call it a Spencer (wink).

                        2. re: David Boyk

                          No, Beef ribs are the real test, how easy is it to cook some baby baks my friend, now a great spare rib is a whole other test. Bring it baby, St Loius at 50 paces !!!!!

                        3. re: Burger Boy
                          c
                          Chino (Big Tony The Arm Breaker) Wayne

                          Yo, you tell em homeboy! I got your back covered.

                      2. re: Burger Boy

                        The mustard, vinegar and mild sauces are weak at the Pig, but the hot and backroom sauces are very good. The vinegar one's alright, actually, just not amazing. I don't remember Hogly Wogly's sauce specifically, but their 'cue in general is totally inferior to the Pig's. Haven't been to J&J's, but I'll agree that Philip's and Woody's are good. It's just not convenient to always go to Inglewood, though. Nobody said you're only allowed to like one BBQ place.

                        1. re: David Boyk

                          I totally disagree, the PIG is an absolute waste of good meat. Put that in your smoker and fire it up!!!

                    2. re: David Boyk

                      Maybe we need to break down the BBQ quest into catagories:
                      Best Brisket:
                      Best Beef Ribs
                      Best Spare Ribs:
                      Best Baby Backs:
                      Best Pulled Pork:
                      Best Suace: Mild & Hot
                      Best Side Dishes:
                      Best Dessert:

                    3. d
                      Dylan Yolles

                      I put my vote for the Pig firmly in the "mediocre to weak" segment. Who cares if it's "twee" or not? The meat is too dry, not smokey enough, no character to the sauce. I guess if you live in the area it's OK, but other than that, why bother.

                      1. Why would anyone go to The Pig, when you can travel south to La Brea and 8th, and get Q from Greece's? Beautifully smoked meat.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Sandra W.

                          Did Greece's move up the street? I used to see the smoke pour'n out of the place when it was on LaBrea just south of Washington, when I was calling on a young lady in that neiborhood. (Now true, that was a loong time ago, back in the day when you could also enjoy the Parisian Room on Washington and LaBrea.)

                        2. I wasn't going to jump in on this one but I have to say I liked The Pig. I was surprised. A friend kept swearig by it and we finally went. We had the pulled pork which was very tasty - NOT dry in the least. And the rest of the food was decent too. I wouldn't claim it's the greatest on the planet but I've been to places like Hogly Wogly's and Cecil's Ribs, etc and I think The Pig's holds up fine.

                          Different likes for different tykes I guess, but if you haven't tried it, give it a shot. It ain't gonna kill ya.

                          Take that from a Hog who knows. :)

                          Link: http://www.swine-and-dine.com/Larest.htm

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Fun Hog

                            oh fun hog, liker of pulled pork, try the pulled pork at 4J's BBQ on Lincoln, in Venice, across the street from the Smart & Final. excellent pulled pork, served as it should be, with the coleslaw in the sandwich, bring me 2 and some of thier SMOKED chicken wings, ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm GOOD!
                            Enjoy my pork lovin compadre!

                            1. re: Burger Boy

                              LOL... sounds good my friend. Thanks. And oink. :)