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Sep 1, 2013 03:45 PM

Bludso's For White People™- first visit.

8 of us visited the La Brea location. We ordered the $95 "tray" which is a sampler of everything they sell.

Overarching impressions:

- DRY MEAT (although the white meat chicken was surprisingly juicy-- this is usually the first thing to be screwed up). The hot links were fine. But the actual BBQ-- ribs, rib tips, brisket, pulled pork-- ALL DRY.

- Real lack of smoky depth

Overall extremely disappointing. This was a poor representation of Bludso's name. One of the most important aspects for me of any BBQ joint is consistency, and over my dozen or so visits to Bludso's on Long Beach, it's been consistently great. Meltingly tender brisket, deep luxurious smokiness, tender ribs. By contrast, BFWP™ was a real disappointment.

This was my only visit, so I'd be interested to hear if others had similarly disappointing visit, or if this is a one-off experience.

Mr Taster

n.b. The hipsters in ironic mustaches and skinny jeans didn't help. It just further reminded me that I didn't belong here.

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  1. I havem't felt the need to check out the La Brea location but my Memorial Day visit to the Compton mothership left me a bit dismayed. The babybacks' bark was creosote-ish to me. This was the first time I noticed something that wasn't just right about their 'que. Maybe the combination of the holiday weekend and the add'l location had something to to with it. I still love Bludso's though.

    8 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka

      The curse of hasty over expansion?

      There's more than a bit of devious (marketing?) genius to Langer's refusal to expand.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I don't know how the La Brea location is currently tied into the mothership, but I've never had anything less than perfection from Bludso's until that last stop. Makes one wonder...

        1. re: bulavinaka

          I remember reading that the Golden State guys really worked with Kevin Bludso to get his methods down, even going so far as to travel to Texas with him. Then they hired and trained Noah Galuten (noahbites) to be the pitmaster. I only know of Noah's blog, eating through all the various foreign cuisines of LA-- I don't know what his pitmaster qualifications are, or if he personally tends the pit every day.

          I was hosting a group of Brits who were eager to have their first taste of American BBQ. They were going to go to Lucille's or Wood Ranch, but I steered them away to what I hoped would be a better alternative. Unfortunately, choosing BFWP™ left me with egg on my face. Lesson learned-- try the damned place out first before recommending it to foreigners.

          Your post makes me want to head down to Compton and get the Texas Sampler, just to see if everything's OK.

          Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              Let us know if the original location of Bludsos is still great.


              1. re: kevin

                Went to Compton last month and it was still great but also much busier than before. Texas Sampler is my favorite at just around $30.

        2. I agree with you. I was so eager to try the La Brea location based on the great reviews here for the Compton location and was sorely disappointed.

          2 Replies
          1. re: whatsfordinner

            I'm a little confused by your comment. Have not tried the BBQ from the original shop? Were you disappointed without having actually tasted the original? If so, it's interesting to hear that even with no frame of reference, you felt the BBQ was not very good.

            Bludso's Compton has set the bar so high that my experience was really a dramatic failure.

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              I haven't been to the original location and yes, I was very, very disappointed in the food at the La Brea outpost even with no frame of reference. It was just dry and tasteless

          2. Mistake. Should always go to the location in Compton. That's were Bludso works with his long time staff on the BBQ. The La Brea location has an inexperienced staff, and I guess it's reflective of the quality produced...

            11 Replies
            1. re: TripleAxel

              The mistake was that I recommended a place without trying it-- I allowed my enthusiasm for a brand dictate an uninformed decision. I don't usually do that.

              But really, as a Chowhound, if someone said to you, "Where should we go- Lucille's, Wood Ranch, or Bludso's?", what are you gonna say?! This had to be a place with comfortable seating, so the Compton location would have been a no-go. My rationale in making the decision was that even if the food isn't quite as good as the original, how bad could it be? Well, we found out.

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                Yes, between those three choices I would have chosen Bludso's westwide also.

                1. re: kevin

                  I'd like to clarify that the food wasn't offensive the way, say, Bear Pit BBQ at Farmers Market is. It was just profoundly mediocre, and a far cry from the consistently high quality that I had become accustomed to receiving at the real Bludso's.

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    A friend of mine who hailed from Texas says Big Mama's (or something like that name) in Pasadena makes amazing BBQ.

                2. re: Mr Taster

                  But, the Compton Bludso's has comfortable seating, it just happens to be located at a car or a park :)

                  1. re: JThur01

                    I was pretty comfy on the picnic table in the parking lot.

                    1. re: JAB

                      I think there are 4 comfortable stools by the eating counter inside the shack itself.

                    2. re: JThur01

                      Clearly you don't know the family that I was traveling with.

                      Mr Taster

                        1. re: ns1

                          No... 7 persnickety Brits in town for a wedding.

                          Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster


                            Sounds like they wanted the food but were too good for the neighborhood....

                            If that was the case then they don't deserve the food.

                            Nothing personal.

                3. The original comment has been removed
                  1. I realize this is damming with faint praise, but I actually think the smoked chicken and the ribs at the best things at this place. The ribs are ok, and the brisket doesn't hold up compared to Smoke City Market's. Best things going to for BFWP are the fact that it's close, the sides and the mint juleps.

                    If you live in the area, and don't want to travel far, it's certainly better than the other options around.