5 Best Barbecue Joints in Los Angeles
|Combo plate from Bigmista's|
Bigmista just sounds like the sort of place where you want to lay out a really big order for brisket. It is. Pit master Neil Strawder started out on the BBQ competition circuit. But by 2008, he had decided to sell those competition creations at, of all places, the Watt's Healthy Farmer's Market (Strawder and his wife, Phyllis, have since expanded their business to several area markets). There's something satisfying, or perhaps just hilariously entertaining, about knowing his hybrid BBQ (a little Texan, a little North Carolina), "burnt ends" (crusty bits of charred meat and fat) and pig candy (sugared and caramelized bacon) are hanging out among organic produce destined for a local vegan restaurant or two. If those Bigmista collard greens can bridge such a vast American culinary divide, we can only imagine their briny presidential campaign trail potential. Farmer's Markets: Sunday, Atwater Village and Long Beach; Wednesday, Harbor City; Thursday, El Segundo; Saturday, Torrance.
2. Phillips' Barbecue:
If pork ribs are your thing, you already know about the peppery version Phillips' has been pushing through its To-Go windows for more than 20 years. They're leaner than some (not a bad thing here), but we'll stop there as Mr. Gold can convince you to taste them more effortlessly than we ever could. The sauce debate is one we try to avoid in polite blog conversations. But as we're talking about Phillips' pork barbecue, not the beef offerings (stick to the pork, the beef often comes off as too dry here), the "hot" barbecue sauce is spicy, tangy and pretty hard to beat if you can hang with the heat. Expect a long wait (Tip: It's wise to call ahead with your order, and you will still wait). Think of it as more time to contemplate the beauty of restaurant sarcasm. 4307 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 292-7613; 1517 Centinela Ave., Inglewood, (310) 412-7135; 2619 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 731-4772.
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