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Memphis Style BBQ Ribs.

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Smoked Baby Back Ribs, Dry Rub, flavored with the smoke of 1/3 cherry, apple and pecan wood chunks and traditional charcoal, cooked super slow and super low. Not fall of the bone and not fighting the bone, but a comprise between you and food, both letting go. sauce created from local scratch.

Traditional sides are cool, slow smoked baked beans with a touch of brown sugar and molassas, cole slaw that's fresh and crisp, potato salad and a Michelob & Budweiser - slice of white bread, prefer Wonder Bread.

Sausage Cheese Plate with Medium to Sharp Chedder, White Saltines, peppers and it gives me such pleasure.

**I try at least once a month to measure pork ribs like the dirty south, but it just can't be done. Recommendations Welcome. Especially, West LA/ Topanga/Malibu/Valley/SM...

mmmm, can smell them now...

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  1. As a former Memphian of long residence, the closest I have come to authentic Memphis ribs is Jay-Bees in Gardena. The pulled pork sandwich also has a lot in common with a Memphis sandwich. The sides are largely hit and miss, and I usually fill up on the meat. Sometimes the service is very hurried and even grouchy at times. And, the barbecue itself is not consistent. But, when they get it right it well recalls Memphis. BTW, the owner is Jim Neely's sister and the barbecue has a lot in common with Interstate.

    7 Replies
    1. re: stuffed

      Sadly, Beverly Neely died a while ago. RIP.

      1. re: raizans

        RIP Bev. Jim does a great job and Neely's is a classsic, as is Central on Central Ave. and BBQ Shop on Madison. They get it correct .... thanks for the rec. thought, I'll give JayBeez a shot and let ya know about the lil shop in Venice..._Rib Shack in Thousand Oaks has potential if they'd switch the product and quit opening the smoker...Shout OUT to: Neely's, Central on Central Ave ,, The BBQ Shop on Madison and all the lil' jewels of the mid south BBQ shake shack joints.

        1. re: CharlesKochel

          I am not really familiar with true Memphis style bbq, and I only ate there once. You might try JR's BBQ on La Cienega where Fairfax running south dead ends into La Cienega. http://jrs-bbq.com/index.php I did talk to the son the one time I ate there (got pulled pork). He told me that he and his mom were from Memphis and they served Memphis style bbq. The meal was tasty, but I guess I'm more into Texas style bbq like Big Mista or Bludso's. http://jrs-bbq.com/index.php

          1. re: Feed_me

            OH MY SHIT. did you say that out loud...you like Texas bbz over ARKANSAS bbq. Difference is pork and beef, so for this , well texas has no idea what the delta are doing to make it so good, but ... oh, nevermind. I'm feeling' a Rib OFF. hosted by ..... CHOW HOUND. in Topanga, CA at the community house. I'm in

            1. re: CharlesKochel

              all these lines blurred long ago. i've had excellent pork ribs in texas.

              1. re: linus

                yea, but it's still not right. Texas Beef Briquet, Mid south Pork Ribs, they get saucy east and west. sweet west and vinegar west.

                1. re: linus

                  The lines are blurry here and in places like NYC where there is ecumenicism about regional styles. There is still a lot of fierce regional allegiance in barbecue strongholds like east North Carolina, west North Carolina, central Georgia, low country South Carolina, east Tennessee, west Tennessee and mid-south, Lexington, KY, and regions of Texas.

      2. Bludso's all the way. Now, I've never been to Jay-Bees, but I will fight a fool over the supremacy of dry ribs over wet, and Bludso's is the best I've ever had. Ever. Supposedly there's a Hollywood offshoot opening soon, but for the time being, hightail down to the CPT for some Bludso's.

        23 Replies
        1. re: Rosiepigs

          Is Bludso's Memphis-style 'Q?

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Bludso's is "A Little Taste of Texas" printed right on their menu.

            1. re: wienermobile

              we shall soon see for sure.

              1. re: CharlesKochel

                if you're really set on babybacks, bludso's only does spare ribs. i think the dry rub is essentially memphis style, but i'm not sure.

                another place to consider is randolph's. they don't get as much business as bludso's, but if you go when the bbq is fresh, they're even better. i like how their dry rub is spicier, too.

                1. re: raizans

                  Fresh being the key because its pretty bad otherwise.

                  1. re: Jase

                    yup. turnover is the bane of most bbq joints in south LA.

                  2. re: raizans


                    1. re: raizans

                      I likes spareribs, but they ain't baby back, know what I'm sayin...there is a reason they sell for 1/3 the price...but sparteribs good, don't get me wrong.

              2. re: Rosiepigs

                sounds like the real deal. I'm heading that way tomorrow or Monday, I'm gettin' that nervous kinda' feelin' ... Bludso's, I'm comin home to see ya.

                1. re: CharlesKochel

                  Except Bludso's isn't Memphis style.

                  1. re: Jase

                    Yea, I'm getting the feeling there is no such restaurant in LA. I'll just have to sit 7 hours, with a cooler full of Coors Heavy and watch them smoke...tending the fire at 215', not opening to let the smoke out...

                    1. re: CharlesKochel

                      CharlesKochel, did you ever get around to trying JR's on LaCienega? It's Memphis style and the son and mom are from Memphis. I noticed you said (on a thread about Culver City eateries) that you've been in the Culver City area recently and they are very close to Culver City's eastern boundary.

                      1. re: Feed_me

                        I did not, but will be back in Culver Monday and JR's is on my list. Thanks bunches for the tip...I may not be able to hold off that long. I have noticed a huge swing towards southern style and a bit cajurn inspired restaurants opening. Let me know if you have some other tips, alway appreciated ~ck

                        1. re: CharlesKochel

                          I think the closet and only the closet to Memphis style you will find in Los Angeles is at Jay Bee's which if I'm not mistaken is a relative or relation of Jim Neely of Interstate BBQ in Mephis.

                          Also, I don't think anyone in LA is doing the style of BBQ at redezvous by charlie vergos in memphis, nor do we have a hotel like the highly esteemed floor show at the peabody. :)

                          1. re: kevin

                            quack, bring out the red carpets. That was cool before duck commander got a TV show. Whatever Rendezvous does is correct. Best dry rub around and it's no matter they mass produce. Sausage Cheese Plate, Full Order and a Michelobe, I must have ordered this 1000 times. Jim Neely is a staple, but I never did understand why, except for the white "wonder bread"

                            1. re: CharlesKochel

                              That Central BBQ was my favorite dry rub. Ate a full rack on back to back days because I couldn't stop thinking about it. The unforunately high standard by which I now measure all dry rub ribs.

                              Interstate BBQ wasn't dry rub was it? I remember it drowning in sauce. Looks like Jay Bees also douses their ribs with a similar heavy hand.

                              Reading through this thread, it sounds like the answer is "no". I hope someone turns up with something.

                          2. re: CharlesKochel

                            CK I hope you find something that satisfies at JR's. Please report back. Like I posted before I'm ignorant in the ways of Memphis bbq. If it's at least a reasonable facsimile I'd at least have some reference point to start my education.

                            1. re: Feed_me

                              JR's lunch today. Disappointed, they seemed to have everything in place, but the baby backs were not fresh, 2 say old would be my guess. This thread had a "right on" conversation re: turnover is the key & JR's us not getting it. Nice set up, but no dry rub & slathered in spicy source dies nothing for a smoke flavor, but waste good wood. Compton is next on my list. Jim's Fallbrook in woodland hills has a great half & half sandwich on the weekend to satisfy the Que fix

                              1. re: CharlesKochel

                                CK, I admire you going down there to at least try the food. I went down close to closing time so the food was fresh enough the time I went. The son was on duty and a nice chap he was.
                                I wasn't blown away by the food, but seeing as it was my one and only time eating "Memphis style" bbq I thought my taste buds had been perverted by the few Texas style places I had tried previously. If you ever find the real deal Memphis style bbq I think we'd love to hear about it.

                          3. re: Feed_me

                            Where's this BBQ shop on Madison ???

                            1. re: kevin

                              Correct. Madison. Great Q, ambiance is so Memphis - often referred to as the "dancing pig" Famous for the BBQ spaghetti, but I'll stick with their Ribs. Central (on Central) is another classic, when you start heading downtown - most all are the same. many restaurants even "co-smoke" so there is not much difference. What I do Love about Memphis, Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri is that they understand no seasoning is needed outside the smoke, the rest is up to the patron. "Strawberry's" in Holcomb, MO is the best I've had in the world. (BBQ Pork Steak, off the charts)

                              1. re: CharlesKochel

                                I'm pretty old, so I remember when the place on Madison was Brady & Lil's and the Vernons purchased it to open Bar-B-Q Shop. No doubt it's one of the best. So is Cozy Corner.

                                I agree that Interstate is a little different style, but I started eating at Neely's when it was just a grocery store in the 70s. I also loved Leonard's and Payne's. Payne's charcoal sets it apart. Also, there was a great place in the old Curb Market at Cleveland and Poplar called Lamb's Eat Shop. They had great pulled pork sandwiches.

                                Unfortunately I moved away from Memphis well before Central opened.

                                1. re: stuffed

                                  Wow. Lamb's is the first "new" one on me. I know about Neely's when grocery, Payne's is still strong, Leonard's I know, The Cozy is classic, it's quite amazing how many shops are serving authentic in this area. You all have gotten me excited enough to continue my trek through LA with JR's, Bludso and the rest of the recommendations around. I have had some success, but like others on this thread, I'm out of control discerning when it comes to pork baby backs. I still have a top 7 or 8 that never cared to "restaurant" but back yard. I have visited the World BBQ championships a few times and the back yard division is, in my humble opinion, the strongest. I'll let you know if I hit a homerun - I often wonder and will ask chowhound, if a rotisserie is used on any slow smoking in LA.