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BBQ Ribs?

  • k

Hello all,

I've seen a few posts on here about BBQ joints, but I'm having a hard time finding any reviews for the best down home style fall off the bone BBQ pork ribs. We've been to the Woodfire place in the Grove, but it faired an overall "eh" on the lovable scale. Any suggestions for the LA area that might also have great martinis to start a long weekend off right?

Any and all help is as always appreciated.


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  1. I've always been fond of the "Knife and Fork" baby back ribs served at Houston's. It's technically not a barbecue place, but that makes the dish even more special.

    1. I like Nic's Martini Lounge in Beverly Hills
      Get the Maytag Martini and some of the oyster appetiers.

      1. Scroll down to the 2004 BBQ post - there's a review of many places, all good.

        1. Gotta' say, in my limited experience, good Q joints do not have martinis! Do look at our recent (2nd) BBQ excursion, and add to that list one of my favorites, Tasty-Q on Crenshaw BLvd.

          Here's a link to our 1st BBQ get-together a few years ago, almost completely different places. Most of them are still in business (Hot-Diggity-Dog is gone but I didn't like them anyway.)

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sandra W.

            Just had a Tasty Q Chopped Beef Sandwich today, with coleslaw on top........yummmmy.

            It was on special for $2.25 can't beat that.

          2. r

            I LOVE Ribs USA in Burbank...probably some of the best ribs I've ever had. The meals are huge, the atmosphere laid back, service is friendly and it's not pretentious at all. Expect a wait though--it's usually pretty crowded in the weekends. Everything on that menu is good, including the sides.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RoundTheWayGirl

              I'm not sure why people revised this ancient thread, but I'm posting in the hope that I can save someone from going to Ribs USA for ribs. The extra spicy wings are fabulous, but the ribs are truly awful. So are most of the sides, especially whatever they call macaroni and cheese.

              For better barbecue in the valley, do a search of Chowhound. Mom's is pretty good, though it can take a while to get served.

            2. Mom's Bar Be Cue House
              14062 Vanowen St, Van Nuys, CA 91405
              (818) 786-1373

              Hole in the wall. But great pork ribs. And the ribs actually have a lot of meat on them. About $11 for 5 ribs.

              Beef ribs are great too.

              1. One of the best plate of ribs in town is at Zeke's Smokehouse on Honalulu Ave in Montrose. No martini...but one of the best plate o' ribs you can have. Like any good smokehouse, the ribs are slooooooooow smoked and served with sauces on the side. I suggest the Memphis style baby backs, Longhorn Beef ribs, or the Carolina pulled pork is always fantastic. Try beer instead of martinis, they have a nice selection.



                2 Replies
                1. re: jerikojosh

                  Forget Zeke's....They placed 10th...Not very good for 2 high priced ex-chefs.

                  1. re: Harry

                    Yeah, 10th in a reheated ribs competition...
                    Zeke's is mighty fine, Tasty Q the same, the Outdoor Grill in Culver City ditto. But then I must be a philistine since I think Hogly Wogly's has become a joke (it was great 20 years ago), yet for some reason is still revered here.

                2. JR's on La Cienaga (about 1/2 mile south of the 10 Fwy.) serves up some amazing BBQ.....nice and smokey. Jeanie told us she's going to be on Food Network's smoked BBQ special. As an added bonus, the owners and staff are some of the nicest people you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting.

                  1. We LOVE the Outdoor Grill in Culver City, right at the intersection of the "two Washingtons", next to the Lazy J car wash. Where Gooey Louie's used to be for anyone who's been on the westside that long. There is NO atmosphere, just a small bar with stools and some tables upstairs, and it IS next to a car wash. A very popular car wash. Therefore, it is takeout time for us when we want BBQ.

                    They literally DO que the ribs on an outdoor grill, using mesquite wood. The ribs and chicken are particularly excellent, but we like the tri tip as well. The sides of beans and slaw are above average, and I also like the macaroni and cheese. Other sides are french fries, potato salad, macaroni salad.

                    We find them far better than JR's on La Cienega (which is a lot closer to us) -- the ribs there have been usually dry and not particularly meaty, and I don't like their bbq sauce.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: NAspy

                      The only reason this place is still open is that the owners also own the car wash!
                      The food is sub-par at best!

                    2. Coming from the south and being a true foodie, there are 2 in LA that I would personally recommend and eat at. Off of the 101 near downtown. BBQ King. Outside seating only. Great rustic large kettle smokers with decent prices. Very southern and don't dress up. :) Second is Baby Blues BBQ in Santa Monica. Great BBQ with good beans and excellent corn with lime and mexican cheese. More expensive than the first but it is still good.
                      P.S. I love Houston's all of the same and actually been to the original and eaten at several all across the US but please don't go there for traditional BBQ. Go to the small mom and pop, whole in the wall where they take their time to cook it and you will enjoy it much better.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: drted

                        Hasn't BBQ King been closed for something close to 2 years!

                        1. re: Hershey Bomar

                          The BBQ King is still open and they have very good ribs. OT their brisket is not close to Texas quality. BTW they have even expanded, including into the SFV.


                          NEW ADDRESS
                          5309 South Vermont Ave.
                          Los Angeles, CA 90037

                      2. I can't believe Philip's hasn't been recommended! GREAT ribs. Outdoors only...or To Go. Best black BBQ in LA. Southern Greens are a must.

                        Two locations: Liemert Park and So. Central. Crenshaw south of Adams is the easiest one to find.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: bigmidget

                          I've lived all over Texas, the South, and the Midwest, and I'm not sure what you mean by "black BBQ." For a long time I've seen people of many races, persuasions, and backgrounds in every kind of BBQ joint. In any case, I agree that Phillips can be very good -- although I always get the sauce on the side -- and they're certainly a favorite with many on this board. When the current thread started in 2004, plenty of our fellow 'hounds were raving about the place. Why no one mentioned Phillip's above, I can't say. (BTW, it's easy to find old reviews in a Google site search. For example: site:chowhound.chow.com Phillip's barbecue 2001.) Big Mista, Blake's, KC BBQ, and many others in LA and OC also have good-to-outstanding ribs, although I don't know if you'd consider the barbecue at all of them "black." Are these some of the ones you had in mind when you declared Phillip's "best"?

                          One more thing: there's a new Phillip's in Chino at 11748 Central Ave. and 909-517-3500. It's almost as easy to get to from the 60 as the Crenshaw location is from the 10, and very friendly people run the place.

                          Phillips Barbecue
                          4307 Leimert Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

                          Phillips Barbeque
                          2619 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

                          Phillips Barbecue
                          1517 Centinela Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302

                          1. Bludso's, 811 South Long Beach Boulevard, Compton - near corner of Alondra. Best bbq in town in my opinion. And I've eaten an awfull lot of bbq all over the place.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: estone888

                              I have heard good things about Bludso's thinking about going there today.. Anyone else like to chime in. I read thath they have a sampler combo for $25. Thought that that and the Chargers game will make for a nice afternoon..

                              1. re: Foodandwine

                                i don't get the texas sampler. too much miscellany, imo. i'd get any combination of these highlights:

                                beef ribs (weekends only, 6 to a slab)
                                pork ribs (around 12)
                                rib tips
                                any sauce on the side
                                coleslaw, collard greens, mac&cheese, cornbread, red velvet cake

                                1. re: Foodandwine

                                  Bludso's is good, in my Top 3 in LA. I wouldn't get the Texas Sampler though; I don't care for their links (which made up a fairly sizable portion of it). I'd get some combo of pork ribs, beef ribs and brisket.

                              2. Not a recommendation - yet - but the Gourmet Cobbler Factory on South Catalina (half a block north from Colorado in Pasadena) is now advertising ribs, tri-tip and sides - greens, beans, and mac'n'cheese. I get my hair cut next door, and always love the smells coming from the cobbler place, but we don't do desserts much and never buy them. This is different! I spoke to the owner for a bit, and he said he'd been test-marketing from a tent in the alley for a while, and had been encouraged to expand his business into real food. When it stops raining again I'll go get some and report.

                                1. Bodacious Q and Old Fashion Flavor BBQ are the two best rib places I've been to.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mrshankly

                                    bodacious was my favorite in high school! they make excellent st. louis style spare ribs, links, and chopped beef sandwiches. the sauce is mild and tastes exactly like kc masterpiece with a little water to get it to the right consistency.

                                    i've only gone to old fashion flavor once, but the ribs were dry, the brisket very dry and tough, and the sauce and sides were unappetizing. the meats had just the right amount of smokiness, though, and i imagine they would have been great on a better day.

                                  2. I agree with the fans of Tasty-Q on Crenshaw, in L.A. I especially love Tasty-Q's side dishes; great potato salad and incredible sweet potatos/yams. Their ribs are smokey and tender. I take mine with the sauce on the side, and then make my own Montreal-style rib sauce, based on my memories of the sauce at La Cage Aux Sports -- the best darned rib sauce I've ever had.

                                    1. La Cage Aux Sports is a sports-bar/restaurant chain which originated in Montreal. They have the worst, slowest service I have ever encountered, but their pork ribs have the most amazing sweet sauce you will ever taste. And their potato skins, with La Cage's own chive dip, will bring tears of joy to your eyes. They are so good that the first time you take a bite, you will stop breathing, your body unable to do anything other than process the flavours and textures of the skins in their dip. The chicken and ribs combo dinner is great, too. The food is well worth the bad service, if you can believe such a thing.

                                      And for you Americans living close enough to the border, it is worth a day trip up to Montreal to have breakfast at Cosmo on Sherbrooke, lunch at La Cage Aux Sports, a sesame seed bagel warm from the wood oven as a snack, and a cheap steak at Schwartz's on St. Laurent. At midnight, find a good Poutine truck, and drive home with the aroma of cheese curds and hot gravy filling your car.