Of course, we wouldn't deprive our dear readers of our tangy, flavorful finds. Go on, grab the extra napkins and plug these ten spots into the GPS — but, no matter what you do, don't wear white!
Photo: Via Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
Like many BBQ spots, this one is a family affair. Back in Greenville, South Carolina, young Lucille was bussing tables and helping at her grandma’s lunch shack. But, she fell head over heels for a man stationed in Long Beach during World War Two, and headed west. She missed the authentic Southern grub so much, though, that she opened up a shack of her own (with grandma's blessing of course!). Now, Lucille has two outposts, both of which serve up some of the best buttermilk biscuits and peach cobbler in town. When you swing by, be sure to say hi to Lucille and Joe's children and grandchildren — they're part of the crew, too!
Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, 7411 Carson Street (near Nectar Aveue); 562-938-7427; 6000 Sepulveda Boulevard (near Green Valley Circle); 310-390-1227.
Though it makes us giggle to order 'Pig Candy' (sugared and caramelized bacon) while holding a tote bag filled with fresh produce, we love the fact that the only way to experience Neil and Phyllis Strawder's award-winning eats is to hightail it to the farmers' market. They don't own a brick-and-mortar, so fans of their pulled pork and burnt ends (crusty bits of charred meat and fat) are forced to visit Atwater Village and Long Beach on Sundays, Harbor City on Wednesdays, El Segundo on Thursdays, or Torrance on Saturdays. But, the roaming locations are a good thing — doing laps around the fruit and veggie stands helps us recover from the food comas!
Bigmistas, at Farmer's Markets throughout the city.
Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ
Johnny Greene (a former Piggly Wiggly delivery boy from Texas) set up his spot in 1969, and BBQ-lovers worldwide have been stopping by ever since. Counting calories? That's too bad, since salads are nonexistent, unless you count the macaroni or potato variety. We tend to order a two-way combo, with the brisket being our favorite half of the meat selection. The sides are nothing to shake a stick at — but, should you feel the need, order the sweet potato pie.
Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ, 8136 Sepulveda Boulevard (near Sepulveda Place); 818-780-6701.
Photo: Via Bludso's BBQ
While we highly encourage you to make the pilgrimage to Compton for Kevin Bludso's Texas-style fare, we understand if you choose to visit the convenient WeHo location instead. Though, the brand-spankin'-new spot is hardly settling: Bludso teamed up with the guys at Golden State for a bare-bones restaurant with a backyard-appropriate menu. Whether you're on Long Beach Boulevard or La Brea, grab your buddies, order the party tray, and load up on sides like the mac and cheese, cole slaw, and potato salad.
Bludso's BBQ, 811 South Long Beach Boulevard (near East Alondra Boulevard); 310-637-1342; 609 North La Brea Avenue (between Melrose Avenue and Clinton Street); 323-931-2583.
A hole in the wall if we ever saw one, the original Phillips is located in a nondescript parking lot with just a single take-out window as a tip-off. But, even if you place your order ahead of time, you'll still stand in an obscenely long line — the grub is just that popular amongst BBQ die-hards. If you're feeling bold, don't shy away from the extra-hot sauce.
Phillips Bar-B-Que, 4307 South Leimert Boulevard (near West 43rd Street); 323-292-7613.
JNJ Barbeque and Burgers
Don't get us wrong, the burgers here are pretty delicious, but you'd be disappointed if you passed up on JNJ's hot link sandwich. (That, and the chicken are hard to top.) Why? Well, Jay Nelson Jr. — hence, JNJ —was once in the lumber business in Louisiana, so he's pretty passionate about the wood he burns. Snag a seat on the no-fills patio with your paper plate and get ready to rethink the way you picnic.
JNJ Barbeque and Burgers, 5754 West Adams Boulevard (near South Spaulding Avenue); 323-933-7366.
Spring Street Smokehouse
We've traveled to some odd spots to get our BBQ fix, but Chinatown is pretty far up on the weird list. What's more disorienting, is the vibe: Part sports bar, part biker hang-out, the devil-may-care attitude is reflected back in the menu, which features an expansive and always-changing beer selection. Heck, make the most of it by stopping by during weekday happy hour. $3 drafts and $5 sandwiches? We're there.
Spring Street Smokehouse, 640 North Spring Street (at East Cesar E Chavez Avenue); 213-626-0535.
Photo: Via Mom's Bar-B-Q House
Mom's Bar-B-Q House
Apparently, mothers do know best! Louisiana-born Genevia (a.k.a. 'Mom') has brought her hometown cooking to Van Nuys for us Angelenos to enjoy. While the red meat and poultry options are tops, we gun it for menu items featuring ingredients fresh from the sea, and most likely an ode to her Creole roots. We're talking about catfish, red snapper, and special gumbo (the latter is available on Fridays and Saturdays, only). If you've managed to save room, order the peach cobbler for dessert — you'll be daydreaming about its sweet 'n gooey goodness for weeks to come.
Mom's Bar-B-Q House, 14062 Vanowen Street (near Hazeltine Avenue); 818-786-1373.
If you're looking for a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am meal, keep searching! BBQ is a slow process, and so is the service at JR's. Not that we're complaining — in fact, we're entirely charmed by the place. The decor is far from trendy, and we appreciate the laid-back approach to cooking, something that Jeanie Jackson and her son Bobby Johnson brought with them from Memphis. Plus, the pulled pork sandwich has won praises from diners from all corners of the globe, including the crew over at The Travel Channel (and you can imagine how many sandwiches have been consumed there!).
JR's Barbecue, 3055 La Cienega Boulevard (near Smiley Drive); 323-292-6622.
Baby Blues BBQ
If you're not partial to any particular region of BBQ, head to Baby Blues, where the cuisine can be narrowed down to a single style: hybrid. There's a Memphis-style St. Louis-cut rib, a seriously addictive sauce that hails from North Carolina, and Mexican Tiger Prawns covered in remoulade that tastes like it's straight-out of New Orleans. Take a seat on one of the cafeteria chairs, squirt some sauce from a squeeze bottle marked only with masking tape, and dig into the killer babyback and beef ribs with some equally delicious sides of corn on the cob and okra.
Baby Blues BBQ, 444 Lincoln Boulevard (near Sunset Avenue); 310-396-8023.