Western Smoke House on Overland in Palms
I went out to pick up something and I pass this place. Texas Style!
Across the street from n/naka. And not far from Yamakase. Maybe this is a great place. Maybe the food center of L.A. Maybe...
I went to a 4th of July party yesterday with BBQ ribs, chicken and tri tip. And macaroni - you know, the usual stuff.
But the ribs were not cook low and slow enough. They were a little tough. And besides being smoked "for a few hours" - these needed about 24 hours in the smoker, at a lower heat. Beef was okay. The sauce was not. Apple cider the caterer proudly declared as the secret to his taste genius. One taste and...apple cider is the culprit. Mental note: never use apple cider in your BBQ sauce. Or use much, much less.
I don't know about you, but when I get excited about food - and end up disappointed - I have go quench my jones somehow. I get a bad massage? I'll get another. Bad sushi? Mori is the cure. It's my wave of shutting the door on mediocrity.
So Western Smoke House? Does Texas Style mean "shitty food"...? I don't think so, but it does here.
A disaster! Damn! Their "famous" brisket is not know for tasting good. Dry, bland, smokeless flavor. What happened to moist and tender? Not here.
Ribs? Dry, bland. I've had better ribs AT EVERY RESTAURANT I'VE EVER HAD RIBS. Spareribs at the worse Chinese restaurant? Better. PF Changs is the French Laundry of rib compared to this place. And the prices were not particularly cheap. They should send someone down to PF Changes or anyplace and bring them back and heat them up. Or the stuff you get in the supermarket meat section? Easily better. This is industrial quality food. Are there MRE ribs? Prison food must be better.
Macaroni - congealed, needed salt.
BBQ beans. Sigh. Like you add BBQ sauce to cheap canned beans and some corn syrup. (honestly, canned beans doctored up with a cheap BBQ sauce and brown sugar would've been an extravaganza of complexity compare to these lazily conceived legumes).
Enough of this. Bad food pisses me off. Must have Woody's.
Not sure it's still owned by the same people but the original owner opened The Texas Rib Joint on Pico, just West of Westside Tavern. Twenty-five years ago it was excellent. They shut down with a sign saying closed for remodeling and never reopened. Some time later, a friend said the Western Smokehouse was the same people. Sure enough, I went and it was. Even then, it was not as good but over the next few years, I would go just to get a taste of smoke. Last time was probably ten years ago. Just kept getting worse. Greasy, fatty ribs. The sides were a joke. Really too bad.
Because it's the closest BBQ place to our house (and there's hardly any alternatives), we've given it a chance every couple of years. On occasion and unpredictably they've turned out a decent meal, but our last attempt, a few months ago, was a near-disaster: extremely slow, mediocre meats, poor sides.
At this point I'd have to prefer even the in-store BBQ stand at Whole Foods Westwood Village.
I ate there about 15-20 years ago when one of the free weeklies (I can't remember if it was LA Weekly or the now-defunct LA Reader) voted it the best BBQ in town. I was simply amazed at how sub-par all of the food was. I never considered giving them another chance, especially after speaking to friends who had the same experience there. It sounds like nothing has changed, and I find it hard to believe they're still in business after all these years of sorely disappointed customers. Then again, I just Googled the place and see that it has pretty consistent 3.5-4-star ratings. Go figure.