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BBQ in West Hollywood....

s
schrutefarms Mar 22, 2009 04:36 PM

A place just opened where Cha Cha Cha's was, on Santa Monica near Crescent Hts. Baby Blue BBQ? Something like that. I know they have another location in Venice, but I haven't been. Anyone have anything to say about the WeHo location?

  1. b
    bsquared2 Mar 22, 2009 06:25 PM

    Went there yesterday. Hate to say too much since they just opened.

    Thought the Pulled Pork and Brisket weren't very exciting. The sides were good. Somebody mentioned on the board that the Ribs and/or Chicken were the way to go. The Chicken did look good but I never order chicken at a BBQ Joint.

    I will try the ribs and then report back. Thought the prices were pretty high for what you get. For WeHo BBQ (which isn't saying much) I prefer Zeke's.

    1. q
      QualityMart Mar 22, 2009 06:39 PM

      The one in Venice rocks ... search for it on this board. Haven't been to this one yet. Yes, the sides are amazing. BTW, they have an incredible hamburger, sort of a secret weapon on the menu!

      1. m
        miwine Mar 22, 2009 10:28 PM

        one time experience. Food was so so. Very blah, no smoke, no heat, no flavor. I prefer Zeke"s. And Zeke's is not that much of a wow.

        4 Replies
        1. re: miwine
          sbritchky Mar 22, 2009 10:51 PM

          I haven't been to this new Baby Blues location, but I think Zeke's in Montrose is far superior to the Venice BB, which is near the bottom of my list for its terrible brisket -- prepared in a "pulled meat" style that is inappropriate for the long, tough muscle fibers in beef -- and grungy pork ribs. The pulled pork was OK but not nearly as good as either Zeke's or Blake's in Anaheim or Big Mista' or any number of other places.

          1. re: sbritchky
            b
            bsquared2 Mar 22, 2009 11:07 PM

            Yeah, what's up with that brisket? Unlike any brisket I've ever had and that is not a good thing. Reminded me of the shredded meat you get at bad mexican restaurant tacos. Many people I know were in Austin at SXSW. Made me jones for some Texas BBQ beef.

            1. re: sbritchky
              m
              mdpilam Mar 22, 2009 11:16 PM

              Yeah, I've only been to the Venice location, but I never understood what the fuss about this place is. I find it to be rather sub par BBQ. And definitely overpriced. I think they just bank on getting westsiders not wanting to travel east of the 405 to get BBQ, and therefore win their loyalty as a result.

              1. re: mdpilam
                b
                bsquared2 Mar 23, 2009 10:39 PM

                Yeah, maybe there should be an East/West of the 405 standard for BBQ. Me, I'll stick to East.

          2. wutzizname Mar 23, 2009 07:25 AM

            I beg to differ. Like all BBQ places, Baby Blues does some things better than others. In their case, it's all about the babybacks.

            Though rib styles are a matter of taste as well, if you love tender, fall off the bone babybacks with a deep char on the outside, then nothing in LA beats Baby Blues.

            6 Replies
            1. re: wutzizname
              sbritchky Mar 23, 2009 09:34 AM

              Sorry, wutziz, but if Baby Blues is "all about the babybacks," then they should go into hiding. My BB babybacks were not tender. They were as tough as an old boot, without the haunting flavor of shoe polish. Across the board, BB seemed to have no idea of what BBQ should taste like -- as if someone had read a book on the subject without ever eating an actual meal. I encourage their fans to compare with Big Mista's ribs on flavor, juiciness, tenderness, and general porkuliciousness.

              1. re: sbritchky
                Servorg Mar 23, 2009 10:00 AM

                The last time we were at Baby Blue's a couple of months ago in Venice my wife had baby back ribs that were beautiful examples of the art of BBQ. Tender, with a nice smoke presence yet without being fall of the bone tender (we both like a little "pull" to the meat) and I had the long bone ribs which were also outstanding. The time before that we found the pulled pork sandwich quite delicious too. So we may have to give them another try and sample more ribs. But to this point I haven't found any reason to doubt their ribs. I also would like to give their beef ribs a try. They were sold out when we were there back in January.

                1. re: Servorg
                  sbritchky Mar 23, 2009 01:48 PM

                  Servorg, I've seen grumblings hereabouts that BB lost its way at times while trying to get the new place open and produced a sub-par product. That might explain my experience there, but I'm very doubtful about a restaurant that could even conceive of "pulled brisket," for the reason I stated two posts back. Given your favorable report on the babybacks, however, I may have to include them on a second visit in my BBQ survey.

                  1. re: Servorg
                    rednyellow Mar 23, 2009 01:49 PM

                    I haven't tried the WEHO location yet, but will soon. I love their beef ribs. They are like a little steak with a bone attached and delish.

                    1. re: rednyellow
                      Ciao Bob Mar 23, 2009 02:41 PM

                      I would give WeHo some time for their grills and smokers and staff to get (alot) more seasoned. I went for an opening party and didn't think things were very good at all.

                      That said, I agree that Venice is (often) pretty good que...it is not Phillip's...but can be good.

                      1. re: Ciao Bob
                        s
                        shebop Mar 23, 2009 08:41 PM

                        Picked up a bbq shrimp and blackened catfish sandwich yesterday - both were great - love the XXX sauce and the banana pudding!!!

              2. b
                BKinLA Mar 24, 2009 02:14 AM

                If a BBQ joint can't do pulled pork or brisket right it immediately raises red flags. My only experience has been with BBQ in NYC - Tennessee Mountain and Virgils. How does this place compare? Is it as good as Smoke House in Burbank? I was saddened when Cha Cha Cha's expired, so I hope this spot lives up to its promise.

                1. a
                  assassin Mar 24, 2009 03:23 PM

                  Haven't been to WeHo yet but I love the Venice Baby Blues. Delicious pulled pork sandwich that goes perfect with any of their three tasty bbq sauces. I like to mix the mild with the XXX sauce. Great Mac and Cheese and the best side, which flies under the radar for most people, is Okra. Try it! It's super garlicky delicious.

                  I used to work next door to Zekes and it's very mediocre. No comparison.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: assassin
                    sbritchky Mar 24, 2009 04:01 PM

                    Which Zeke's are you talking about, assassin? Can you give some specific objections?

                    As part of my BBQ survey, I'm seriously interested in understanding why tastes vary so much on this elemental food. I look for flavor, tenderness, and juiciness, and, because I've found all three in uninteresting Q, I also add the more-elusive deliciousness. The meats at Zeke's in Montrose, while certainly not the best around, exceed BB/Venice in all those categories to my taste, and their mac and cheese was much better than the mushy stuff I got at BB. I did like the greens, however, and wish I'd tried the okra you describe.

                    -----
                    Zeke's Smokehouse
                    2209 Honolulu Ave, Montrose, CA 91020

                    Zeke's Smokehouse
                    7100 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

                    1. re: sbritchky
                      a
                      assassin Mar 24, 2009 05:18 PM

                      I have only been to Zeke's West Hollywood. I really have nothing good to say about their pulled pork. I found it dry, stringy, and lacking in flavor. It gave me the impression that they are using lesser quality meat. Another thing I really like at Baby Blues is the grilled buns they use. Zekes was just a standard mushy hamburger bun.

                      But I do find Zeke's mustard based barbeque sauce to be quite delicious.

                      1. re: assassin
                        sbritchky Mar 24, 2009 05:45 PM

                        Strings are part of pulled pork, of course. I assume you mean that the strings were tough and hard to chew. I'm also assuming that you've been to both Baby Blues and Zeke's recently.

                        There were no tough strings on my plate at Zeke's/Montrose, where the meat was not only tender but also moist with plenty of flavor. When I finally write a report, I'll make sure that I clearly identify where I ate, since many of these places have multiple locations.

                        1. re: sbritchky
                          a
                          assassin Mar 24, 2009 07:05 PM

                          You assume correctly.

                          1. re: sbritchky
                            b
                            bsquared2 Mar 24, 2009 07:55 PM

                            I prefer the 'dry' pulled-pork, instead of the 'boiled meat' version. Kind of reminds me of meat I ate in an British Train Station and I was really trying to keep that memory locked away.

                            1. re: bsquared2
                              sbritchky Mar 24, 2009 08:06 PM

                              Don't we all, bsquared2! Barbecued pork can be either moist and luscious or dry and chalky. (In fact, over-boiled meats can also be very dry, once removed from the liquid and drained.) I suspect that some BBQ restaurants let their pulled pork sit in broth, water, or other liquid to keep it moist past its prime, because they want to do their preparations early in the day. I had some of that just recently. The pork was as moist as the great pulled pork at Lexington #1 in Lexington, NC, but the liquid tasted as if it didn't come from the meat. I declined further investigation.

                              1. re: sbritchky
                                b
                                bsquared2 Mar 24, 2009 10:26 PM

                                I feel the same way about Carnitas. A little bit of crunch is a good thing. My main problem at the restaurant was that the Pulled Pork and the Brisket both tasted like they were sitting in the juice too long. In fact, they were swimming in it.

                                A little bit of char is a good thing.

                                1. re: bsquared2
                                  sbritchky Mar 24, 2009 10:39 PM

                                  A *lot* of char is a better thing ;-), as long as the inside meat is naturally moist by contrast. Carnitas make a good comparison. Too many places serve carnitas uniformly dry, but the best are crusty on the outside, naturally juicy on the inside.

                    2. b
                      Breakbread Mar 24, 2009 06:49 PM

                      have to say rather go to cha cha chas

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