Zeke's Smokehouse in Montrose
Honolulu Street in Montrose is kind of like San Fernando in Burbank. It’s a little shopping and restaurant area with diagonal parking spaces, nice trees and a pleasant walking environment. Parking’s tough on Honolulu, but you can easily find it within short walking distance.
They have about 20 tables, including 5 or so outside on the sidewalk, and a large open kitchen area in the back. It smells delicious.
There are 3 different barbecue sauces on each table, one is a little sweet, one is a little spicy, and one tastes like it has molasses in it.
The lemonade is tart, served cold and goes well with the ‘cue.
The filing in the pulled pork sandwich is unique, and the sandwich really doesn’t need any of the sauces on the table (but I tried them anyway). They meat itself is tender and stringy, as I like it. They put a little barbecue sauce on it, but not too much. What really makes this a nice filling is they add fresh cole slaw. So there’s a little crunch. And together with the touch of barbecue sauce, it’s tangy and very interesting.
The disappointment was the bun. It’s non-descript, and a little dry. They’d do well to reconsider the bun, maybe make it an egg bun with sesame seeds on top. Even if they barely toasted the existing bun instead of serving it cold, that would soften it up a bit and take out the dryness.
The fries were dreadfully over salted. They use kosher salt, which I like, but I’d like it better if they used about half the amount. The fries themselves were awesome – double fried so they were nice and crisp on the outside but still soft on the inside.
The beans were unusual in that they had lentils in there with the small red beans. This gave it a different texture, and I’m not sure I liked it. The flavor was a little shallow, too. They might put a hamhock or other smoked meat in there to give it some depth.
Overall, it’s not the kind of ‘cue you get at Phillips or Woody’s. But I also really liked this style; and I’ll be back to try the tri tip and the ribs.
2209 Honolulu Avenue (at Verdugo)