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Sep 20, 2009 06:26 PM

Seeking good Carolinas-style BBQ on the Westside (vinegar-based sauce, fall-of-the-bone tender)

I want to know who in L.A. serves respectable Carolinas-style BBQ ribs, very tender with vinegary sauces. This can be the East Carolina variety that's largely vinegar and peppers, or the Western Carolina Dip style that adds in a tomato component (also called Lexington Dip or Piedmont Dip) or even South Carolina Mustard Sauce.

I want to avoid Memphis, Kansas City and Texas variety sauces ... no thick, no chipotle ... and no dry ribs!

There's a taxonomy of BBQ and sauce types here under the "United States" heading:

I did have some decent tender ribs with a rather sweet but vinegary sauce at Britt's BBQ, a new place in El Segundo.

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  1. I haven't found any Carolina Q in LA. Baby Blues attempts a Carolina style pulled pork sandwich, but fails.

    1. I'm shocked to hear of the place in El Segundo, because the only acceptable Carolina 'Q I've had in SoCal has been the stand at the Orange County Fair.

      East Carolina is my preferred barbecue and it just ain't happening here that I know of, Westside or not.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Well, let's just say it's the closest I've had here in L.A. so far, and it's been awhile since I had bona fide Carolina style. It's sweeter than what I like but is a welcome break from all the gooey-sauce-on-dry-ribs BBQ out there.

        Please vet the place by more Chowhounds before driving across the entire expanse of L.A. on my mention, in other words.

        On a non-Chowhound board the reviews ran the gamut from great vinegar-based sauce to someone who claimed it came off like a "sugar infused teriyaki sauce" (which it is nothing like).

        Man, I miss SE BBQ, Cuban food and hot wings now. (I know wings are NY, but they're nearly an official food of Florida these days.)

      2. While I can't say it's authentic Carolina BBQ, I can't say enough great things about the Spring Street Smoke House. It's phenomenal BBQ and I head there whenever I'm downtown (which isn't all that often).

        1 Reply
        1. re: mrsantora

          Spring Street is most definitely not Carolina 'Que.

        2. not westside, but the only place where i've had passable south carolina style mustard-based bbq is zeke's smokehouse. there's one in west hollywood (or thereabouts) and one in montrose.

          i've been looking for 10 years, and there is no eastern carolina barbecue anywhere in LA. lots of people who call it carolina-style even though the flavoring and saucing is completely unrelated (usually some generic thick, sweet stuff)

          1. check out bigmistas for some very, very good barbecue. This guy does it right. And a little apple vinegar in the sauce makes it work just right. He hits up different farmers markets from Watts to Glendale (no longer at the Lawndae one, but the website has not been updated). Check him out slanging slow cooked ribs and brisket at a famers market near you


            1 Reply
            1. re: erice008

              BigMista is the best Q in LA (IMO), but it is definitely not Carolina style.