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Pursuit of THEE perfect Q pit

Friday my 14 y.o. granddaughter gets her braces off after 3 years. She's dying for some ribs. I used to go to Carl's many years ago when I lived in l.a. I've been to JnJ's, JR's and Phillips, again many years ago and loved them all. We now live in Ventura. Anything in Ventura county comparable? If I were getting in the car right now I would head for JnJ's. All the posts I can find are several years old. Any new places to consider? Is JnJ still as good as always? I want to make this special for her so the geography doesn't matter it's the food. Thanks for all your help.

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    1. My new favorite is Big Mista's BBQ. Not in Ventura county I'm afraid. They're in Atwater Village farmers market on Saturdays. I drive out there from the west side, just for the Q.

      4 Replies
        1. re: munchabout

          i was looking at options in ventura and found simply marvelous bbq. guess who one of the pitmasters is? none other than mr. strawder! they're a caterer, so this is of no help to the op.

          1. re: raizans

            THAT's funny ... thanks raiz ... have to keep that in mind for parties ... maybe Superbowl, huh?

            1. re: raizans

              Just wanted to clear up a factual error. Calling Neil one of the Simply Marvelous pimasters isn't exactly correct. Steph Franklin runs Simply Marvelous and when he books the occasional huge gig and needs another cook, he will call friends like Neil for backup. They cook Steph's way, he's the boss.

              Simply Marvelous doesn't vend on a regular schedule like BigMista does. Steph just does the more traditional, on-site catering type BBQ for parties, corporate events, and so on.

              Steph and Neil are both friends of mine from the contest circuit, so I'm not allowed to offer my opinion on their food (site rules), but I can correct factual errors..

          2. Order the Brisket and Pork Ribs at Bludso's BBQ and you will be a star with your granddaughter:

            Bludso's BBQ
            811 S. Long Beach Blvd,
            South of the 105 Freeway
            310 637-1342


            Exile Kiss's review of Bludso's BBQ:



            2 Replies
            1. re: Norm Man

              Strong second. It's worth the drive.

              1. re: jblee


                Best BBQ in town.

                Just went there last weekend and got a slab of ribs and a whole chicken with sauce on the side. SO GOOD! Definitely worth the drive.

            2. I can save you some time and drive, yet probably not money, by recommending you just head for Sherman Oaks and try the ribs at the Boneyard Bistro, on Ventura a couple of blocks east of Woodman.
              Many posts on chowhound, pro and con, but there is no saucing on the ribs, just smokin good smoke. If you are looking for sauce, options are available and will be served in a side container.
              Dare you to not like the side dishes and the ribs.
              Now whether they are the kind of ribs you are looking for, well......

              Boneyard Bistro
              13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

                1. re: rtom816

                  I've went about 2-3 weeks ago but didn't have the BBQ, which I love. I tried their burgers and damn good burgers.

                  1. re: reality check

                    Thank you, Check, looks like ,,, if the rain cooperates ... we'll be at JnJ tomorrow. I'll be sure to provide a report back to y'all. Thank you so much to all of you 'hounds for the usual great feedback. This is such a brilliant resource.

                2. I again want to thank Chow nation for all the helpful responses.

                  Here's the payback ...

                  Wife, grandaughter and I, indeed, visited JnJ Burgers and BBQ today. We hit there about 3:30. It does, as I saw in a post or two, feel very much like someone's backyard. It was clean and well tended. There is an obvious attention to detail and a pride of ownership despite the age and rather crude construction. We were made to feel very comfortable.

                  My wife had a hamburger and fries. Both were very, very good. Food was hot and cooked perfectly. Fries came out of clean oil for sure. Grandaughter had the 3 meat combo - pork ribs, beef hot links and brisket. I had the 3 meat combo as well - pork ribs, rib tips and brisket.

                  The links and tips were very nice, cooked perfectly - a couple of the tips were a tad overdone but that happens with tips sometimes. 90% were right on. The brisket was delicious - juicy, very tender and a rich smokey wood flavor that complimented but didn't overpower the meat..

                  The sides - beans, potato salad, corn bread and, oh yeah, the lemonade were all quite good. The sweet potato pecan pie should not be missed. Grandaughter had the half and half sauce which was clearly superior to my mild. Ordered the sauce separate. We both ate over half the meat with no dip in the sauce.

                  But, OMG, those ribs. Those ribs are rock star ... succulent, cooked to perfection. tender but still well attached to the bone with a nice smoke ring and bark leaving no doubt where and how it was cooked. You could come up with 50 reasons to eat here - not the least of which would be the very nice, warm and friendly proprietors, Karen and Mr Nelson - but at the end of the day ... it's the pork ribs, baby. It be ALL about those badazz ribs.

                  While enjoying our meal we had a nice conversation with both the owners. Karen had some interesting comments about regulations and permits. That big ol' locomotive smoker that has so much history and character? ... they can't use it any more 'cause it ain't stainless steel. 15 years they fired it up and never killed anyone. They recently added a couple of additional tables on the side patio ... city says, that'll be an extra $700 a year for the permits. We need to support our legends and traditions by finding and patronizing the JnJ's and Bludso's and Big Mista's before they are all gone at the hands of those who think they know better and believe we need to be protected from our own free decisions.

                  Thank you Mr. and Mrs Nelson for a great meal and sharing part of your day with us. It was, in a word, EPIC!

                  JNJ Burger Shack
                  5754 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016