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Randolph's Smoke House

raizans Mar 28, 2012 02:51 PM

TonyC's recent review of Randolph's got me on the 110 today. I got the spare rib sandwich, collard greens + corn bread, sauce on the side (molasses-y, mildly sweet). Bottom line, this place is #2 or 3 in LA, and it wasn't even Friday when they fire up the smoker. Bludso's may have to share that throne, but their brisket is safe because Randolph's doesn't have it on the menu. Good greens, though. I love a place with good sides.

I'll check back in a week or two, let you know what happens.

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  1. Peripatetic RE: raizans Mar 28, 2012 05:13 PM

    Here's Tony C's writeup: http://sinosoul.com/2012/03/randolphs...

    Garrett Snyder's writeup also appeared today: http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...

    1. j
      Jase RE: raizans Mar 28, 2012 07:54 PM

      I hit this place last summer on one of my south central explorations. Their sign caught my eye. Maybe I caught them on a bad day but I didn't care for their food. The pork was dry and so was the ribs. The pictures do look a lot better than what I got that day.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Jase
        Professor Salt RE: Jase Mar 28, 2012 09:46 PM

        Yee. The LA Weekly pictures look better than what you got? I have not been to this place, but I gotta say that the pictures on the LA Weekly story says plenty. Those ribs looked charred. There's a difference between bark and burned, and those are flat-out burned. Not appealing in the least.

        1. re: Professor Salt
          Jase RE: Professor Salt Mar 29, 2012 08:20 AM

          Well, I was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. I kind of have a modified J. Gold general personal rule when it comes to reporting on places. If it's a new small mom and pop type place with no previous reports and I had a negative experience, I won't report on it. I'll chalk it up to growing pains and hope I just caught them on a bad day. If someone posts on them later with a very positive report such as above, then I'll weigh in with my experience as a data point because the experiences were so different. It's not to invalidate their experiences but at the very least it could be signs of inconsistency.

          But I usually try to temper my responses. I'm not a big fan of one sentence "this place sucks!" reporting. I

          1. re: Jase
            revets2 RE: Jase Mar 31, 2012 12:24 PM

            Appreciate this point of view. Wish everyone posted (or reserved not posting) like this. More people would read CH if they did!

          2. re: Professor Salt
            aizan RE: Professor Salt Mar 29, 2012 11:18 AM

            The ribs I got looked the same as the ones in those photos, black and burnt. They didn't taste burnt, though.

            Many BBQ joints in South Central are inconsistent because of turnover and meat quality issues, so I would play it safe and go on Friday or during the weekend.

            1. re: aizan
              Jase RE: aizan Mar 29, 2012 02:14 PM

              My original visit was on an early Sunday afternoon, right after lunch.

              Btw, it's this type of conversation that I feel it's valuable data for others. None of the original write ups mention going there on a weekend. It would be disappointing to people who visit during the week and not get the same quality as described in the postings.

        2. TonyC RE: raizans Mar 30, 2012 09:38 AM

          Glad you enjoyed it raizans.

          I find the mole negro looking sauce carries just the right touch of spicines that vaporizes immediately. Dig that.

          It behooves parties of interest to call & check they smoked on the day of. The Sunday afternoon ribs I received was beautiful, and was good even after being left out all day. The Wednesay ribs... well... They're smoking whole fish on the weekend, but I have yet to experience that. Wish they'd do pulled pork + brisket and just nuke the commercially sourced links, but it doesn't seem they'll change their ways unless there's enough public clamoring.

          Amber & Dooney are just the most hospitable peeps, and Mr. Randolph, despite being a total hardass, tend to give hugs rather easily. This is definitely the BBQ Cinderella story of '12, like Bludso was in '08.

          The kool-aid + collards + 2 rib "lunch" is perfectly portioned for a lunch meal. It's worth mentioning the prices are extremely reasonable before 3pm.

          NB: I am, obviously, not involved/related in the restaurant, less the Chowmods get all delete happy again (like my first Bludso post eons ago).

          21 Replies
          1. re: TonyC
            linus RE: TonyC Mar 30, 2012 03:55 PM

            i'm confused. are you saying your wednesday ribs were left over from sunday's smoking, or that on days when they don't smoke, they cook their ribs some other way?

            1. re: linus
              TonyC RE: linus Mar 30, 2012 04:17 PM

              Immediate clarification (since I'm hoping some of yous will head down to S. LA this weekend): Wednesday ribs were smoked Tuesday. The Thursday ribs we had the first time were smoked Thursday. Wednesday ribs weren't as impressive.

              Everything's smoke. They don't do anything but low & slow smoke. The smoker is discussed in the links in Peripathetic's post.

              1. re: TonyC
                kauma RE: TonyC Mar 30, 2012 06:03 PM


                1. re: kauma
                  TonyC RE: kauma Mar 30, 2012 10:05 PM


                  Peripatetic: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8413...

                  End of work day typo. My bad. *shugs*

                  1. re: TonyC
                    kauma RE: TonyC Mar 31, 2012 08:46 PM

                    I knew that must be it. : )

                    1. re: TonyC
                      kevin RE: TonyC Apr 4, 2012 01:57 PM

                      Do they serve beef ribs too? or just pork,

                      and if i'm looking to just have Beef cue should i skip this place in that case?

                      did i notice that they make smoked turkey necks? (i could barely make it out on the menu).

                      also has anyone been to BBQ pitmasters on LaCienega, south of Pico, just before you get to Venice, I believe.

                      Thanks for the heads up on Randolphs though.

                      1. re: kevin
                        TonyC RE: kevin Apr 5, 2012 11:43 AM

                        There's no beef save the tri-tip.

                        Here's a link to the menu: http://sinosoul.com/wp-content/upload...

                        The turkey neck is available only on the weekends, as is the smoked fish. Again, please call in first.

                        I have tried BBQ Pitmasters (which took over the oddly-named NY BBQ). It was decent, but they've shuttered: http://www.yelp.com/biz/bbq-pitmaster...

                        Now, ask about "Smoke Star BBQ" on Western.

                        1. re: TonyC
                          JackonCrack RE: TonyC Apr 8, 2012 11:39 AM

                          OK, i'll bite - what about "Smoke Star BBQ" on Western?

                          1. re: TonyC
                            kevin RE: TonyC Apr 8, 2012 11:48 AM

                            Yea. Sadly, Tony, I fucked up got the tri tip and Mac n cheese and greens.

                            And sweet potato pie which was exceptional.

                            And the guy/pitmaster was awesome. Great advice and tips like you shouldn't order two starches such as mac n cheese and potatoe salad together.

                            Maybe if I try next time I'll grab the chicken links or beef links if I do go next time.

                      2. re: kauma
                        Peripatetic RE: kauma Mar 31, 2012 02:47 AM

                        > Peripathetic

                        I've been called worse.

                        > This is definitely the BBQ Cinderella story of '12, like Bludso was in '08.

                        So, Tony: Bludso's or Randolph's?

                        1. re: Peripatetic
                          Johnny L RE: Peripatetic Mar 31, 2012 04:42 PM

                          From his blog I read it seems it's worth going for the rib. If you are looking for brisket stick to Bludso's.

                          I am definitely going to give this place a try. It'd be sad if he has great food but couldn't get good business.

                          1. re: Peripatetic
                            kauma RE: Peripatetic Mar 31, 2012 08:49 PM

                            Let's not forget what the word peri means (not the prefix):

                            A lovely, graceful person.

                            How appropriate.

                            1. re: Peripatetic
                              TonyC RE: Peripatetic Apr 5, 2012 10:54 AM

                              So, Tony: Bludso's or Randolph's?

                              Don't make me.

                              1. re: TonyC
                                JAB RE: TonyC Apr 5, 2012 06:29 PM


                                1. re: JAB
                                  TonyC RE: JAB Apr 5, 2012 08:56 PM

                                  like Peripatetic, I've been (publicly) called worse.

                                  Thursday night bump for Randolph's. I'm going to (somehow) bump this thread once a week until I see another Chower review this man's ribs.

                                  Even the slaw is good here.

                                  1. re: TonyC
                                    kevin RE: TonyC Apr 5, 2012 10:52 PM

                                    Ok. If I go tomorrow, Friday during the lunch hrs will I be getting the goods?

                                    I'm going for the tri-tip then since there are no beef ribs and potato salade Nd the slaw.

                                    And any desserts I should be getting. ???

                                    I remember you mentioned certain days to go here when the smoking is done. Or ready to go.

                                    1. re: kevin
                                      TonyC RE: kevin Apr 6, 2012 10:14 AM

                                      I highly recommend AGAINST the tri-tip. You have been warned. And I also highly recommend calling first, checking if they smoked this morning (they should've).

                                      No desserts yet. Not in place. If you go in with that planned contratrian menu, you will come away sorely disappointed. Nota bene, caveat emptor, blah blah blah.

                                      1. re: TonyC
                                        linus RE: TonyC Apr 6, 2012 03:53 PM

                                        it would appear randolph's smoke house has joined coni'sseafood/mariscos chente/mariscos chentes/whatever the name is 3:52 p.m. PST 4/6/12 in the baffling business plan for a restaurant sweepstakes.

                          2. re: TonyC
                            linus RE: TonyC Mar 31, 2012 09:33 PM

                            may i beg one more indulgence? snyder's writeup says spare ribs, yours says baby backs. which is it, please?
                            i'll travel for spare ribs; baby backs, eh.

                            1. re: linus
                              Servorg RE: linus Apr 1, 2012 09:52 AM

                              Looks like spare ribs according to this: http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...

                            2. re: TonyC
                              raizans RE: TonyC Apr 1, 2012 02:40 PM

                              the question of when they smoke will need to be clarified. they told me they smoked on fridays, so i assumed they *only* smoked on fridays, but that doesn't sound like the whole story.

                        2. A5 KOBE RE: raizans Apr 7, 2012 04:42 PM

                          I just had the ribs today and they were awesome. Thanks chowhound for the tip, this place makes some mean ribs. Mac n cheese was average and the red beans and rice was a bit of a let down. I did however get to try the banana pudding which was pretty darn good. I definitely recommend the ribs and the banana pudding.

                          1. TonyC RE: raizans Apr 26, 2012 02:22 PM

                            To backup raizans recent inquiry into "smoke days": they definitely smoke on Fridays. And they don't smoke Mondays, so that leaves Tuesdays & Fridays. There are variances when they run out, but right now: Tuesday & Friday.

                            The collards are still fantastic.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: TonyC
                              kevin RE: TonyC Apr 26, 2012 02:25 PM

                              Ok. I'll give it another try Tuesday or Friday.

                              Are the links decent too?

                              I had their sweet potato pie which was tremendously good too. And the pitmaster mentioned he carries an awesome millionaires' cake.

                              1. re: kevin
                                raizans RE: kevin Apr 26, 2012 07:11 PM

                                links are the final frontier of bbq. i'll have to restrain myself from calling it charcuterie!

                                i called last friday to see if they smoked that day, and they said they did it on thursday. i'm going to try persuading randolph to make announcements on twitter or facebook.

                                1. re: raizans
                                  TonyC RE: raizans Apr 27, 2012 10:24 AM

                                  This smoking musical chair is giving me a headache. Thanks for the datum, raizans.

                                  I did a side by side sauce comparo between Bludo's vs. Randolph's. On sauce alone, Randolph's the boss, but really, they're 2 different beasts.

                                  1. re: TonyC
                                    kevin RE: TonyC Apr 27, 2012 10:55 AM

                                    Just based on sauce, I still prefer Phillip's. There's some serious complexity to the sauce in there.

                                    1. re: TonyC
                                      raizans RE: TonyC May 11, 2012 11:45 AM

                                      the stars have finally aligned. a fresh batch of bbq will be ready today around 3:30!

                                      1. re: raizans
                                        raizans RE: raizans May 11, 2012 05:43 PM


                                        i got a slab right out of the smoker and another side of greens. that was more than worth the trouble. if you like ribs that are a little spicy, randolph's is it.

                                        now i'm going to start looking for the best links in town.

                                        1. re: raizans
                                          TonyC RE: raizans May 14, 2012 10:21 PM

                                          Major kudos to your efforts.

                                          Alas, there's yet another new joint that needs a taste ASAP. You know how it goes.

                                          1. re: TonyC
                                            kevin RE: TonyC May 14, 2012 11:25 PM

                                            Dang. What other new joint ? I guess there's still quite a bit of BBQ terrain to cover.

                                            1. re: kevin
                                              raizans RE: kevin May 15, 2012 06:51 AM

                                              maybe rudy's in inglewood?

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