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BBQ Brisket - LA Dish of the Month Nov 2012

After a very close vote, the dish of the month for LA for Nov 2012 is BBQ Brisket.

The goal is to collectively try as many versions of BBQ brisket as possible during the month of November! So let's start exploring and eating—report back with reviews and photos.

Here's a link to the voting thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875527

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  1. 1) Bludso's BBQ - In a class of its own. Just amazing.

    2) Smoke City Market - Tried the moist version. Very good, but not as juicy and smoked as Bludso's.

    3) Bigmista's Barbecue - I had it at the Century City Farmers Market. It was on the leaner side, with a very pronounced smoke ring, but was a bit dry. Still tasted good though, but I was a little disappointed by it. Will give it another go soon.

    18 Replies
    1. re: chrishei

      I second Bludso's bbq brisket. We always get an extra 1-2 pounds to go with their party tray and it still disappears before everything else.

      1. re: bulavinaka

        I am looking very forward to the new Bludso's on La Brea when it finally opens up.

        1. re: wienermobile

          Same here. Without looking at your link, do we have an ETA?

          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

            Last July they said end of this year, but I haven't heard anything since then.

      2. re: chrishei

        I really liked Smoke City's also. Have not had Bludso's or Big Mista's yet....

        Any one have any other restaurants to recommend? Like the one in Studio city (can't recall the name but its relatively new)?

        1. re: chrishei

          Care to post up some photos of the 3? :)

          I will be doing Smoqued and Rancho to Go BBQ from the OC with brisket pics when I get back in town next week.

          I think to make it fun we should make an effort to go this month, even if its one we've been to before and specifically post a picture of the brisket with an angled photo so we can see the top crust, the sliced center, and the smoke ring for comparison.

          Maybe even vote for best looking photo at the end of the month?

          1. re: Porthos

            Blake's Place is another to hit up in OC.

            1. re: JAB

              How about you do that one? ;)

              I don't know if my system can take 3 briskets this month especially considering I'm cooking breast of veal (which includes the brisket cut) for Thansgiving!

              1. re: Porthos

                Porthos...do you stuff the breast of veal? My grandmother and mom each made a wicked stuffed veal breast. Wish I had their recipe...yum!

                If you haven't tried the BBQ brisket from Blake's Place, you should. It's really quite excellent...and I do like their BBQ sauce which they sell by the bottle. I always have some around

                1. re: josephnl

                  Salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, olive oil. Slow toast 300 degrees for 5-6 hours. Serve with gremolata.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    Sounds simple, yet delicious. What time is dinner being served?

                  2. re: josephnl

                    I realize I'm bumping an old thread, but here I thought I was the only one obsessed with stuffed veal breast. I crave the version at Dominick's on Arthur Ave, and try to go every time I'm in NYC. Sadly it just doesn't seem like something you can find out here.

                    I swear every year that I'm going to make one myself, but have yet to actually attempt it.

              2. re: Porthos

                I have photos of all 3 on my blog and Flickr account, but the quality is pretty crappy...

                1. re: chrishei

                  Guess you'll have to do it again ;)

              3. re: chrishei

                I've also had Bludso's , Smoke City Market and Bigmista's Barbecue. - My vote, Smoke City Market and not only for their barbecued brisket but their PASTRAMI (also, technically a brisket). Best pastrami in town.

                1. re: Steve2 in LA

                  Big Mista does a great BBQ pastrami but they don't always have it.

                  1. re: Steve2 in LA

                    I've tried the pastrami at Smoke City too - basically a cured version of their lean brisket w/ a very peppery crust. Hate to say it, but wasn't impressed at all - tasted like the packaged slices I've had from Trader Joe's. Personally, I'd stick to the moist brisket + beef ribs there.

                  2. Love the brisket at Dr. Hoggly Woggly's. The other meats are meh, but that brisket and a side of beans and macaroni salad makes for one happy Buckeye.

                    1. Of everything in LA Big Mista's is the best I've had outside of Austin Texas, but Bludso's must be pretty darn great because every time I've gone it's been gone.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: wienermobile

                        It's not a dish that I've had a lot in LA. I like Big Mista's and Mess Hall does a pretty good one too.

                      2. Joey's BBQ, Chino. Large, thick slices of brisket that they put grill marks on for some reason, but the meat is tender and flavorful. Get it with some of their garlic bread and coleslaw on the side, then make yourself some killer sandwiches.


                        1. any non-american style bbq brisket?

                          asian style bbq brisket?

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: ns1

                            Let's put you and PeterCC on that! :)

                            All I know is the smoked brisket at Chef Hung's.

                            1. re: Porthos

                              I thought Red Medicine had a version?

                              1. re: JAB

                                Never tried it but you're right! The imperial wagyu beef brisket!

                                Maybe someone can do that with pics!!

                                  1. re: ns1

                                    Go get it! Take a picture with it sliced open!

                            2. re: ns1

                              I went to the most recent 626 night market at Santa Anita racetrack and tried an Asian Brisket Pro' boy from a booth called Bomb dot com. I thought maybe I was on one of those hidden camera shows because I couldn't bite through it. At all. Cheesy spam wonton was tasty though...

                            3. recently had a brisket at the tarzana whole foods. it was actually ok. it's no smoke city/bludso/big mista but still pretty good in a pinch.

                              also had smoke city's moist last night. must have been an off night because their moist brisket was pretty dry. at the prices they charge, i'm not so sure they have that luxury to be off at times.

                              1. when someone says bbq brisket, I immediately think of the usual suspects like Bludso's, Phillip's, etc...however, one need not look much further than their local Jewish deli for some fine bbq brisket. I think I will try Art's deli and Brent's deli (Northridge) soon...

                                just a thought...

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: orythedog

                                  try marv's deli in north hollywood. a pretty damn good brisket sandwich.

                                  1. re: cdub

                                    Brisket from a Jewish deli is indeed delicious, but it is roasted or braised, not smoked (BBQ).

                                2. Is this a trick question?

                                  It's hardly controversial that the answer begins and ends with Bludso's.

                                  In fact, I think anyone who hasn't yet tried Bludso's brisket should be immediately disqualified from posting until they do.

                                  Mr Taster

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                    He's just SO strict. I think the real problem with sampling briskets is WHEN the particular piece you get was cooked, sliced, served. Brisket continues to cook for a time after it's off the heat and the first slice will ALWAYS be moister than the last slice.

                                    That said, I'd like to invite the "big 3" to my house with a freshly cooked, unsliced brisket at which point, I'll be able to make a truly accurate assessment. No strings attached. I'll make my address available upon contact and let y'all know how it turned out. (I know, I know. I'm a giver.)

                                    1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                      I agree on the homemade thing. I smoke my briskets from 10 to 14 hours. I get them from Jim's Fallbrook Market. There is no comparison. I like Smoke City, and the late, lamented Dave and Romero's, but there is no way they stack up. Apples to oranges. For those who do their own Ernie, the butcher at Ralphs on Burbank and Van Nuys will sell point cut brisket rather than flat, but you have to ask.

                                    2. re: Mr Taster

                                      It's not a question. It's a get out and try some brisket this month and post some pics.

                                      Feel free to go to a few you haven't tried before and come back with a report and some pics :)

                                    3. Does brisket from KBBQ count?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: chrishei

                                        Not really but lets throw it out there. Some hounds want to know!

                                      2. Outside of Bludso's and Smoke City, I had a good brisket sandwich at Hambone's in bellflower. Go easy on the sauce though. It's too sweet for brisket but it would be good on pork or chicken.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: bigmista

                                          Hambones! People don't talk about Hambones enough. It's surprisingly good Q.

                                        2. Since this thread has sort of dried up, I'm going to throw a couple of suggestions out there.

                                          Boneyard Bistro (haute BBQ brisket)

                                          Ish Kitchen (fusion brisket)


                                          1. Does anyone else do BBQ Pastrami Brisket besides BigMista?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: wienermobile

                                              See above re: Smoke City. Not a fan of it personally from the one time I had it, but everyone else seems to like it.

                                            2. Has anyone tried the smoked brisket at Mess Hall?

                                              1. Surprised that no one other than JAB and I have recommended Blake's Place as a very good choice in OC. Has any other CH tried it?

                                                1. Picked up some BBQ from Smoqued in Orange today.

                                                  Got the Brisket, pulled pork, half rack ribs, and smoked sausage. The take out order came with pickles and corn bread with were both really good.

                                                  Brisket had fatty and lean portions. The fatty portions were delicious, tender, and worth going back for. Outstanding really. The lean portions were dry and a disappointment.

                                                  Pulled pork was tender but a bit light on flavor.

                                                  Ribs were okay. I don't like my BBQ ribs melt in your mouth fall off the bone tender but this had a bit too much bite to it.

                                                  Tomorrow, Rancho BBQ to Go. Order is in.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Porthos

                                                    mmm...you might not like the brisket from Blake's. it tends to be pretty lean, but we ask for it that way...for health reasons. It's still pretty tasty and very tender. With their BBQ sauce, it's not at all dry. I think if you asked for it not too lean, they'd probably be able to comply.

                                                  2. Hit a little bit of the jackpot with Rancho to go BBQ.

                                                    I'll just put the brisket portions here and do the full write up on a separate thread.

                                                    Basically big winners with the brisket and pastrami here.

                                                    Brisket. Well trimmed. Moist. Delicious by itself. Outstanding with a little bit of the sauce.

                                                    Pastrami. Same cut and process as the brisket except it has been brined for 3 days and then rinsed prior to smoking. Just superb stuff.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Porthos

                                                      Do give details of Rancho to go BBQ.

                                                      I'm really, really hoping that somehow I've never noticed it in Rancho Park, so I can grab some after golf!

                                                    2. Agree... Smoke City (moist/fatty version) is really incredible. The brisket was my least favorite dish at Bludsoes

                                                      1. Went to Famous Dave's BBQ in Santa Ana for office lunch today. Basically a TGIF of BBQ.

                                                        Ordered the brisket. It looked promising, smoke ring and all but it was overly salty and tasted like commercial BBQ was taste.

                                                        Incidentally, the other items were actually pretty decent: pork ribs, BBQ chicken (most, tender, a nice hint of lemon), cornbread muffin, and fresh white corn. Side of beans has bits of brisket in it.

                                                        There is a smoker in the back. Not sure if that's for show or what. Not bad for chain BBQ. Definitely prefer it over Lucilles

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Porthos

                                                          Lucille's is pretty awful. Have you tried Blake's? Rancho's sounds awesome!

                                                        2. Ate at Smoke City tonight. The moist brisket was disappointing. Good meat but little taste. The beef ribs however were incredible!!!! Four of us were in agreement on this. The ribs were tasty, done really nicely and big.
                                                          For sides we had mac n 'cheese, potato salad, slaw, baked beans and chili. All very strong except for the beans, which were bland. If you order right here, you can have a great meal. GIven that Hogly Wogly has been on a downhill and inconsistent trend for a few years, I say it's Smoke City for dining north of Inglewood.
                                                          Also, totally authentic Texas q, right down to the butcher paper and white bread.

                                                          1. If you're interested in a trip to any (or all) of the places in this thread, here's a map to help you plan!


                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: aching

                                                              Just how fucking awesome are you?!


                                                              1. re: aching

                                                                You're en fuego! Appreciate it.

                                                                Not to sound all ungrateful and stuff, but could you add Rancho to Go BBQ?


                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                  Sure! Rancho To Go doesn't exist in Google Maps for some reason, but I looked up the address (665 N Tustin St, Orange, CA 92867) and have added it now.

                                                                  I did have to make some guesses about some of the other places where there were multiple listings, so if anything looks wrong, please let me know and I'll fix it.

                                                                  1. re: aching

                                                                    Thanks! You're awesome. Appreciate all the hard work.

                                                                2. Had the brisket at Hardy's BBQ (Coldwater and Moorpark) on Sunday. Really good. They are only open for BBQ to go on weekends, 2-7.

                                                                  1. Tomorrow is National Brisket day. Go eat some!