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Jul 12, 2005 12:19 AM

Spring Street Smoke House

  • p

A friend brought me to this place after seeing it in the LA Times. Having not read the article and since we were heading to Chinatown I was under the misconception that we were heading for a Mongolian or some-such barbecue. I was wrong. Walking into the place you get the sense that the old tenants what I assume must have been a low scale convenience store had barely moved out when Spring Street moved in. tables were haphazardly placed around the room amongst cardboard boxes and I'm blanking but I think the tables were covered in plastic picnic table cloths but most striking about the table setups was besides the usual accouterments there was a large loaf of $1.99 Wheat bread at each table, but I digress. Walk to the counter towards the back and side. where a woman is behind a small counter and register siting in a office chair which is way too big for her and slides around the floor way too easily causing her to occasionally grab the counter to keep from sliding back into the kitchen.

After perusing the menu, my friend decided on the burnt ends of the brisket and I think she had the beans and slaw as her sides and I had what was described as the best damn beef sandwich in the world along with fire roasted veggies and slaw. which was brought to our table shortly by a wandering server.

The burnt ends were anything but. They were incredibly smoky and tender with a sauce which was smooth and flavorful. Notice I did not say hot. I don't like heat for heat's sake and this was perfect There was just enough spiciness to let you know it was barbecue, but it did not distract from the other flavors of the meat and sauce.

The Best Damn Sandwich was nearly that. The sliced Brisket was pink in the center with a smoke ring around the outer edge. this was covered in a Gruyere Sauce which went extremely well with the beef. The hoagie roll it was served on was a little dry and had a little too much bread but it was fine. What I didn't remember until after was the sandwich was supposed to come with horseradish on the side which never materialized and if I had that it would have put the sandwich over the top.

My two sides though were disappointing. The fire roasted veggies of squash and zucchini were pre-done and had been sitting around for a while before serving and the cole slaw was the only thing in the place that seemed to come from Smart and Final. Looking around at others' plates, there are some other things I definitely want to try like the mac and cheese and the succotash.

All and all it was an excellent meal and even better that we were out of there for under $20

Spring Street Smoke House
640 N. Spring St.,
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-0535


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  1. I've been twice now and really enjoyed everything I've tried, except for the aforementioned "Smart & Final Slaw." (Cole slaw is not that hard to make, is it?) The potato salad might be bought somewhere too but at least it's decent. Make sure to try the stuffed chicken breast sometime. Very bizarre looking but really yummy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JJ

      I was there last Friday and had the pulled pork sandwich (it was on a specials board) with two sides (mac and cheese and fire roasted veggies). This was the first time I'd had a pulled pork sandwich so I don't have a point of comparison for you to share. It was HUGE, in fact I had most of it left over afterwards and ate it all weekend. Big, long white roll spilt down the middle, huge portion of pork in a bbq sauce topped with cole slaw. I ate it opened face with a fork and enjoyed it.

      The sides were very disappointing. I've never had Mac and Cheese with so little flavor. The grilled veggies were just ok, mostly green peppers, a few zuccini circles and a few mushrooms.

      I would go back to try some of the other things. The hot links looked tasty and there were a lot of sides to try as well.


      1. re: JJ

        Great baby back ribs.... Luv the mild sauce. and i love the whole idea of the 2 sides for $2. I dont think it has anything i wont eat. a little far away from my Market loft, but i love to drive ther and eat it for dinner. I suggest getting a jar of BBQ sauce to go.

        My score:
        1-5 ( 5 best, 1 poor)

        Service: 4
        Price: 5 ( amazing for what i use to pay in the valley at brothers or USA in burbanck)

        Notes: its a must if you live in downtown and want good BBQ. Dont get dissapointed its in china town. its 100% worth it.

        Peter ( New Market loft Resident)

      2. After consulting with my dining companion we came to the conclusion the sandwich was not covered in a Gruyere sauce but Gorgonzola. It was the one thing I was fuzzy about and the only thing not on the website menu.

        The management of this post takes full responsiblity for his error.


        1. Sorry, I've been here a few times and I'm not a big fan. I started questioning myself "I Could do better than these guys, couldn't I?"

          The Brisket was okay, but the sauces have alot of aftertaste. Everything seems over-seasoned on the pepper end (not too salty, just cayenne pepper, etc.) The sides I have not found any that I like.....first of all only about a 4 ounce plastic portion cup...then the contents. Mac & Cheese (somebody is heavy handed on the cayenne again) Cole Slaw (nothing inspirational) Beans (nothing inspirational) Grilled veggies (I could not eat them as they were burnt and limp).

          I'm not making accusations, but some of the posting for restaurants as of late (Pizza place in Monterey Park and this one) sound like somebody "tooting their own horn" or a "friend" of the restaurant giving a free plug to get people jazzed about the place.

          2 Replies
          1. re: robl

            The original post was over 2 years ago.

            1. re: Josh90004

              As the original poster on this [it's a walk down amnesia lane] I went once when they were a new restaurant I have not been back. I will also say we did not order a lot to get a comprehensive review. I agree with Robl that the sides can be horrendous from my experience and others comments. At the time the Entrees Chef Lisa [who was with me at the time] and I had were very good. Maybe Dommy and I will have to go to get a current sense of the place but there is so much other yummy stuff to try in LA it is hard to go to the same place twice.

              And to answer Robl's Question. Yes I can do much better but It will take me a whole hell of a lot of time and energy when all I want is lunch. and for that Spring Street as I remember is just fine.

              Take care

              - P.

          2. This place has filled the bill on the few occasions that I'm downtown and Not hankering for something else specifically.
            I prefer to have the brisket unadorned by ordering it a la carte. It comes with at least 1/2 loaf of bread and sauce on the side (where it should be).

            Spring Street Smokehouse BBQ
            640 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            4 Replies
            1. re: DiveFan

              They redecorated the place and I think it has matured and come into its own. Its more of sports bar now.

              I've been going for a year. The bacon wrapped stuffed is good. I had the burnt ends before and they were really dry. The sampler is good and the hot links always satisfy my cravings. I always order the sauce on the side cause they are heavy handed with it. I have to admit that I'm not a BBQ snob, but I think this place is very decent.

              Sides- Baked Beans are awesome. Mac and Cheese is solid. The grilled veggies are a bit charred but I like it. The corn bread is a disappointment (dry and flakey). Cole slaw is sour.

              Service on the other hand is a bit erratic. We ordered a pitcher once and the "waitress" only gave us 2 cups. We asked for another but she never gave us one. I had to go to the bar and get it. BTW, they use plastic dixie cups.

              1. re: kek is khmer

                The new atmosphere is definitely more polished than when I first came in, but the service is nowhere near as good and when I'm in there, it feels like they want me to leave. Just a general vibe, nothing concrete of course.

                I've had the pulled pork sandwich (good, but they use a LOT of sauce), burnt ends (almost no meat), and baby back ribs (good, but overpriced) as entrees, and the fries, mac n cheese, cornbread, red beans and rice, and hushpuppies. They're only $1 apiece, but the sides are absolutely tiny, and not really even worth the $1. I recommend grabbing a sandwich or entree to go and making your own sides.

                1. re: MeAndroo

                  i just had the shrimp platter and it was great..... good job smoke house keep smokkin....................

                2. re: kek is khmer

                  Disclaimer: i am a smokehouse employee.
                  RE the dixie cups...not true anymore! Glass reigns supreme :)