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Nov 30, 2008 01:37 PM

BBQ Joint in LA County with Best Cornbread & Atmosphere

I have guests coming in from Austin next week and they want to visit some BBQ Joints that have great cornbread and a cool vibe and feel to it. Assuming that the "Q" will be very good to great that's what their looking for. A sit down kind of place with cold beer. They will be staying in Glendale and will travel anywhere.

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  1. Looking up the page a couple of inches from your request we find:

    I do think that the cornbread at Baby Blues in Venice is pretty damn fine.

    22 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      I've gotta second the Baby Blues rec. People seem to love or hate the vibe, but I think even detractors will admit it's distinctive. Try the long ribs and chicken, which are both awesome. For sides, I love their cole slaw, but would suggest avoiding their beans, which are watery and uninteresting.

      1. re: a_and_w

        Baby Blues has the right "Venice" vibe. Strangely enough I don't think the beans are that bad with their mixture of 3 types of beans. Yes the "bean gruel" is a little thin, but the taste of the beans is good and I add a splash of their house made "hot pepper" sauce for a bit more bite. I had the long ribs just the other night and they were outstanding.

        1. re: Servorg

          I like the medley, but they don't use pork, which is big negative for baked beans, imo. Even the "pork and beans" is just the same veggie beans with a few shreds of pulled pork dropped in. No effort is made to simmer the pork and beans together. Honestly, I've had better baked beans (again, imo) at Honeybaked Ham on Wilshire...

        2. re: a_and_w

          Here's the vibe I get at Baby Blues, and you can decide if it fits your description of a BBQ vibe:

          Baby Blues treats you as if you're lucky to be there. I like a place who treats me as if they're happy to see me. A place that fits the "happy to see me" description is Tasty Q Bar-B-Que. It's in a neighborhood that used to be daunting to non-locals, but is more welcoming every day. Inside, they treat you like family.

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

          1. re: BeenThereAteThat

            I have to say that the way I have been treated at Baby Blues is nothing like your description. When we went the other night it was packed but the young woman who first asked us if we wanted to sit at the counter couldn't have been friendlier when we said we would just wait outside at one of their little sidewalk tables. She smiled and said "I'll come and get you as soon as a table opens up" and she was true to her word. Our waitress was friendly and efficient and saved me some money by pointing out another way to order the combo I asked for that was cheaper. Another waiter, (not ours) brought us our drink refills right away and was super nice about it. I can't see how they could have been any more friendly or accommodating.

            1. re: Servorg

              In my limited experience (I've only been twice before being put off forever), the waitstaff was adequate. However, my problem was with one of the principals (an owner, I would guess) who happened by my table as asked how things were. I told him I was happy with most of the food, but had a dissenting, but polite, opinion about one of the sides (my concern was about unmentioned significant ingredients).

              He gave me a stern look, as if I had just insulted The King, smirked at me and said, "Oh, well," and walked away. I've never received treatment like that, so Baby Blues is off my list of acceptable destinations.

              But, I guess we can agree that the dining experiences at Baby Blues are not uniform. I'm glad you were treated well.

              1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                I wouldn't know the owner even if he was chewing on my ankle. What was the side and what were the unmentioned significant ingredients?

                1. re: Servorg

                  There was something in the mashed potatoes that was, for me, very weird. I think it was bleu cheese, or something.

                  Hey, I have no problem with bleu cheese in mashed potatoes...just let me know it's in there so I can avoid it. It's simply listed as "mashed potatoes". I ate a few bites and it really didn't sit well with me.

                  I knew something was "off", but I couldn't put my finger on it. An employee (not a server) was hovering around the tables, engaging the diners, which is great. Here's how our conversation went:

                  Guy: How is everything tonight?
                  Me: Very good, except my mashed potatoes. They taste a little strange to me. Is there something in them besides mashed potatoes and butter?
                  Guy: Yes. Bleu cheese (at least that's what I think it was).
                  Me: Oh. It would be helpful if you would note that ingredient on the menu. This didn't work for me at all.
                  Guy: Oh, well (walking away).

                  Seriously. No one was loud, obnoxious or angry. We were both 100% calm. Except, his calm was disinterest in what I had to say. I mean, why ask if you don't want an answer?

                  1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                    I know they put a small amount of bleu in the mac & cheese for added flavor. But it is very subtle. I don't think they put it in the mashed potatoes but I have never had their mashed so I could be wrong.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      To me, it wasn't subtle. My wife tasted it and made a I knew it just wasn't me.

                      I've never had the m+c, so I can't speak to that.

            2. re: BeenThereAteThat

              I've been treated well both in person at the and over the phone for delivery orders. I think waitresses are cute and sassy. It's not like any bbq place I ever visited in the south, but I personally like the Venice vibe. Then again, if I had your experience, that might change my impression of the place.

          2. re: Servorg

            Baby Blues puts a lot of sugar in all of its food. It's just plain wrong. Despite this fact they seem to do a brisk business. Must be the McDonald's formula...

            1. re: estnyboer

              Nothing I have eaten at Baby Blue's has been particularly sweet, so I am at a loss about your "puts a lot of sugar in all its food" comment. Even their BBQ sauces don't seem very sweet to my taste buds. What have you eaten that you have found overly sweet?

              1. re: estnyboer

                Anyone that confuses Baby Blues with McDonald's needs to get their tastebuds checked...

                1. re: a_and_w

                  You mean you haven't had Baby Blues' McRib?

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    The bbq sauce is not excessively sweet - I agree. But all of the sides that I tasted had been sweetened. Big turnoff for me. You could argue that southerners love sugar, and it's true. But it seemed more like a copout (see the above comment about the pork and beans). Re McDonald's - lighten up - it's only a joke premised on the correlation between McD's, corn syrup, and success.

                    1. re: estnyboer

                      I am the one who disagrees with you about their food being overly sweet. The mac & cheese isn't sweet. Say what you will about the beans, they aren't sweet. I haven't had the mashed potatoes but I have had one of their vegetable sides before and it certainly wasn't sweet. So I have to say, being critical of Baby Blues because you think their food is full of sugar seems completely off base to me (based on all the things I have eaten there).

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Can you get the burger here with cornbread?

                        1. re: ReelMike84

                          I have not tried their burger (as many good things as I have read about it) as when I go I am looking to satisfy my "rib" itch. So I can't tell you. But I am sure they would give you a piece at a nominal price (I'm assuming so anyway).

                      2. re: estnyboer

                        I still think you need to check your buds. The aforementioned beans are not particularly sweet, especially relative to more "authentic" versions I've tried. You yourself admit the bbq sauce is not on the sweet side. Might help if, instead of explaining your humor, you were specific about which dishes you actually found too sweet.

                        1. re: a_and_w

                          alright. i'll have to go back. i haven't been there for years; maybe i was there on an off night.

                    2. re: estnyboer

                      Baby Blue's service has always been very friendly and I've never found anything to be sweet, and I don't like sweet food.

                  2. The original comment has been removed
                    1. If geography should end up being a factor (yes I see that they'll travel anywhere, but just in case...), we've liked both Gus' in South Pasadena, and Robin's in East Pasadena. Kansas City BBQ seems to be pretty authentic in a down home sort of way - also very reasonable and tasty. A friend and I also really enjoyed Ranch House BBQ & Grill‎ in Van Nuys, but I've only been there once.

                      These are all convenient to Glendale, and very worthwhile options.
                      Avoid Barn Burner in Pasadena.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Briggs

                        which one serves good kansas city style bbq?

                        1. re: kevin

                          Um, I guess that would be Kansas City BBQ (g). Seriously, can't answer how authentic it is. I just liked it.

                          1. re: Briggs

                            I'll second this place; it's very good, down-and-dirty, and really reasonably priced ... though I'm not sure if they have cornbread or not (just can't recall).

                            Boneyard is also another close-by option that is really tasty, and I LOVE their little sweet cornbread rolls.

                      2. I took a home-bred Texan to Dr Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ, and he loved it. A native Canadian was my guest there...he still talks about it. It definitely has the atmosphere, but I'm not sure about the cornbread, as I focus exclusively on the MEAT!

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

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                          Get real - Asking a Canadian about BBQ is like asking a Nigerian about skiing! Baby Blues is, for the most part, the best BBQ place in LA. Hands down. But for warm, pleasant people and atmosphere more like Texas, go to JR's on LaCienega. Eveything's real good and the staff is genuinely friendly. So much so that Bobby, one of the proprietors, constantly asks me about my job - I'm a lingerie designer.

                          1. re: Jeryy

                            I love JR's. They truly make you feel at home there.

                            Forget cornbread, give me the Sock-It-To-Me cake...yeah!

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

                        2. Well, why has NO one mentioned Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, much better and closer to Goondale. Best beers and ribs of any place mentioned. And the corn bread and bread you get when you first arrive have convinced more than one customer that it is the place to have ribs, just based on those items alone.
                          The pork ribs are truly wonderful, the other options from the bistro menu are even better.
                          Superb wines and beers - judge for yourself.
                          See you soon