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Sep 14, 2009 05:52 PM

Beef Ribs

We were up in San Luis Obispo for the Thursday night farmer's market and they've got these serious BBQ set-ups in the street doing the Santa Maria thing - tri-tip and ribs - and I had a total yen to try some beef ribs. I wouldn't admit this to my friends, most of whom have only contempt for anyone who would choose a beef rib when pork ribs were available - but I think comparing beef ribs and baby backs is like comparing sirloin steak and salmon steak - a completely different animal (literally.)

Anyway - back to SLO. There were two places selling single ribs for $2.50, and they wound up giving me two and three ribs respectively (I shared with family). Meaty, smoky, sauced up and truly terrific. The third place might have been the best - it was a Chinese joint that was dishing up chow mein but they had beef ribs - $3.00 each - and mine was huge, meaty, tender and barely dusted with a little hoisin sauce. Incredible flavor.

But now - back in Santa Monica - I want that experience close to home. Not that many BBQ places do beef ribs. Mr. Cecil's does, and I had one last night - it was good, kind of pulled away from the bone but tender, sweet sauce on the side. At $3.50 for a single rib, kinda steep. Then there's that place on Lincoln, Bennie's BBQ I think? that had a beef rack I really liked - vinegary sauce, lots of meat, a little fatty. Not a lot of people like that place but I'd go back there.

So finally the question: any other beef rib fans out there? Where's the awesome spot? Bonus points if it's within shouting distance of the west side. But I'm ready to travel for the real deal.

Thanks - BIM

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  1. Only place I've had acceptable beef ribs is at Lucille's BBQ, and sometimes they can be hit or miss.

    Good beef ribs are hard to come by because people prefer pork ribs and poor beef ribs are tough and chewy, they don't cook them long enough. Also when you consider standing rib roasts are sold with the ribs, there doesn't seem to be an abundance of beef ribs even at the supermarket and if they do have them, they 've been trimmed pretty close so there's not much meat.

    1. Dr. Hogly Wogly's has the best beef ribs I've ever had anywhere. I know many 'hounds are divided over the Doctor's pork ribs, but I've never heard anyone complain about his beef ones, which are simply divine.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Arthur

        But Dr. Hogly Wogly's sounds so much better than Dr. Beefy Weefy's.

        I remember beef ribs being quite good there.

        1. re: Arthur

          The beef ribs at the Dr.'s were tough and not very meaty. For $50 (for 2) I was quite disappointed. A long way to go (Panorama City) for a very so-so meal. There are too many better places, Tasty Q BBQ for one at HALF the price. OK, no atmosphere, but the food was great.

        2. Phillips - any of their 3 or 4 locations - would qualify as the best beef ribs I've had in LA. I like them with mixed sauce. Hot is too much, and mild is too little. Mixed is just right.... Note that they don't have medium. They have mixed. I don't know where this comes from or why its so, but it is indeed so.

          While you're waiting for your food, someone might ask for medium, and you'll hear what I've just laid out for you first hand. And you can be glad it was someone else who asked for medium, and not you.

          But rituals aside, these ribs are really good. Baby backs, too, but I like the beef ribs. I've had the ribs in SLO at the farmers market too. Yummy.

          1 Reply
          1. I know exactly what you are talking about...Mrs. TravelPath and I crave these ribs done in the Santa Maria BBQ style...they are very good. I have looked in SoCal for something similar to no avail...I am afraid you will have to go to SLO or Santa Maria for these!...You may want to try Dr. Hogley Wogley...their ribs can be quite good.

            1. Baby Blues in either Venice/Marina Del Rey or WeHo does very good beef ribs. They are a big seller so sometimes they run out, which always bums me out.

              Baby Blues BBQ
              444 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

              Baby Blues BBQ
              7953 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

              11 Replies
              1. re: Servorg

                You wouldn't assume this but Awash, the Ethiopian place on Pico, near Fairfax, does really incredible char-grilled beef ribs. I absolutely recommend people give 'em a shot.

                5990 1/2 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                1. re: odub

                  To follow-up with my own review: we went to Awash again recently and got the ribs again. I think the order is 4 ribs for less than $20. Might have been less than $15 actually but I cant remember.

                  This time, they were still delicious BUT a bit too charred, as if they had been left on longer than they should have. It wasn't like charcoal but could have been better.

                  I still think beef rib fans should give Awash a shot, especially if other folks in your party like great Ethiopian food too!

                2. re: Servorg

                  I second Baby Blues for their beef ribs. They are very meaty, like steaks on a stick (the bone) and delish.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    I've had Baby Blues BBQ on my radar for a while and finally went. Boy, was I disappointed. I opted for a single rib at $13!, the rib platter (still only 1 rib) was $20 or $21. These prices are BS. The place is a dump and the rib was fatty and tasteless. I wouldn't mind the setting if the food was great, but it was far from it. Cute waitresses, but that's no consolation for so-so food. Boy do I miss "Dem Bones" from West L.A. Great food at a decent price. Boo hoo. Don't waste your hard earned money at BB BBQ. Two words; Rip Off.

                    Baby Blues BBQ
                    444 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                    1. re: Urbanman

                      Holy *%$! Even Claim Jumper gives you FOUR beef ribs for $20. Is there at least a half-pound of beef attached to the darned thing for that money? I'll keep doing mine at home thanks.

                      1. re: Midlife

                        I haven't been there in a little over a year, but I believe you can still get a plate overflowing with FIVE of Dr. Hogly Wogly's spectacularly enormous, meaty, scrumptious beef ribs for under $20. (And they come with bread and two side dishes.)

                        1. re: Arthur

                          Trekked all the way out there from South OC with my son one day because of reviews here. Thought the pork ribs and brisket were very good, but not earth-shattering (maybe it was the long drive). Beef ribs were for the next visit, which hasn't happened yet.

                          1. re: Midlife

                            Midlife - Sorry you missed out. Like I indicated higher up on this thread, I think the beef ribs are Dr. Hogly Wogly's most celebrated, least disputed menu item. Make sure to order them next time you go, at least as part of one of their combo plates.

                      2. re: Urbanman

                        Yes, the Venice BB is carefully maintained as a "dump," and the prices are too high, but for me, Urbanman, "the rib was fatty and tasteless" is the key point in your post. I had the same experience with their beef rib and won't even get into the stringy brisket (for which I hope that sad-looking homeless person at the filling station down the street has forgiven me).

                        1. re: Harry Nile

                          Just had to chime in - I've given Baby Blues a few tries - and found it to be very disappointing. A long wait on top of it. Overpriced. You can fool some of the people all the time and they've been doing it for years.

                          1. re: foodiemahoodie

                            Better late than never, and how terribly true. Decent greens, but lousy ribs, horrifyingly mushy "pulled" brisket ... food that would be put on trial in Texas or the South. Someone should tell them, "It's all over now, Baby Blues."