Zeke's BBQ - Photo by Mar Yvette

Ask Mar: Best BBQ in Los Angeles

Summertime is here again, folks. That means it’s the season for outdoor grilling and cold beer swilling. And of course, you think outdoor dining, you think barbecue. So it was only a matter of time before someone emailed me for a few BBQ recommendations. Read on for the latest installment in my “Ask Mar” series …


Hi Mar!
I’m looking for some great BBQ for labor day weekend. It can either be to go or at the restaurant. Do you have any faves to recommend? Thanks and I love you on GDLA – I tivo every Thurs!!!


Sent from my HTC on the Now Network from Sprint


hi alex!
thanks for ur note. even tho i’m not a serious meat eater (my fiance is!) i definitely have some recs for you. i know there are a million BBQ joints around, but these are some of my own personal takes. make sure to ck out each resto’s website in case they’re closed on the actual holiday. have a yummy labor day weekend!

Smoke City Market – say BBQ and i immediately think of this place out in the valley. it’s all about texas-style ‘cue (i actually put ’em on my Top 12 Dishes in LA list). i always do the smoked turkey along w/a side of the homemade mac ‘n’ cheese. my fiance also swears the pastrami RIVALS that of Langer’s — that’s a huge statement, but i think jonathan gold said the same thing. it’s juicy, flavorful, coated in pepper/spices with slices that are thick but not too thick. i can honestly say i’ve been here about 6-7 times in the last four months … that’s saying something considering we’re coming from the westside. www.smokecitymarket.com

Bigmista’s BBQ – omg LOVEZ the bigmista! he is truly outtacontrol! and lovez the mrs. mista! i first met these cool ‘cue cats when i had them on my GDLA segment & they really smoked out the joint. i couldn’t get enough of the deliciously brined & slow-smoked turkey and everyone was going nuts for the ribs & brisket. and the sweet potato pie is sooo good & i don’t even like sweet potato pie. they don’t have a restaurant, but they’re @ different farmers’ markets every week (Torrance, El Segundo, Atwater Village & Sherman Oaks) and you can pre-order for pick-up at any of their locations. Ck out their site for the online menu. www.bigmista.com

Bludso’s BBQ – omg how had it taken me so long to finally try this joint? food critics love this place and now i know why. bludso’s is straight outta compton but it’s all about texas-style ‘cue. like bigmistsa, i had these guys on my segment & they blew me away with their JUICY DEEP-FRIED TURKEY! they also have tasty collard greens (with bits of smoked turkey), mac & cheese, old-school potato salad (gotta love those boiled eggs & paprika on top), not-too-sweet red velvet cake and BANANA PUDDING ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! www.bludsosbbq.com

Boneyard Bistro – this is another good valley pick right on ventura. lots of space, good option for dine-in. hickory-smoked dry rub is smudged on everything from the baby back ribs to the pulled chicken and pork. as far as sides, i like the mac ‘n’ cheese (are u sensing a trend here?) which is unlike any other mac i’ve had cos it’s actually fried into triangle-shaped chunks. kinda reminds me of agadashi tofu. they also have 40+ beers on tap from all over the world. www.boneyardbistro.com

Baby Blues BBQ – this joint in venice is where i go when i really want to drink the kool-aid. (seriously —  they serve kool-aid here.) i try changing it up once in a while, but i always end up ordering the chicken sandwich for $9 cos it’s like half the price of ordering the regular chicken entree, which is always too much food (and too many bones) for me. admittedly, the chicken is pretty dry, but my fiance says the baby back ribs are yumz. also, if you go by 3pm on the weekdays, order the Cherokee Spike lunch special — pulled pork, brisket & smoked link for $13. there’s also another (much larger) location in weho which has some different menu items. www.babyblues.com

Uncle Andre’s BBQ – omg what can i say about uncle andre’s BBQ?! this place is totally outtacontrol old-school style. it’s shoe-box tiny in a studio city strip mall & the red walls are lined w/photos of celebs (usher, mo’nique, whoopi, levar burton) who are apparently fans. the food is delish (all the slow-cooked meats are slathered in a sweet yet tangy sauce — lovez) but unless you have lots of time on ur hands & enjoy milling around funky-ass BBQ joints in random valley strip malls, i would highly suggest calling in ahead of time cos they are RIDICULOUSLY slow — they even have a sign that says as much! (and fyi, they’re so old-school they don’t even have a website – boom!)


Now … what’s your question?

Related links:
Ask Mar: Best Santa Monica Eats
Ask Mar: Where to Eat in Whittier
Ask Mar: Restaurants for Birthdays

There are 6 comments for this article
  1. Michael Stein at 1:32 pm

    Boneyard Bistro has the best ribs, seasoned with their dry rub. I could eat them every day of the week and twice on Thursdays. You can’t miss.

    • Mar Yvette at 11:45 am

      omg LOVEZ that you commented – ha! i hadn’t even posted this yet on fb/twitter — will have to get over to one of your farmers’ markets soon … and yes, I WILL BE hungry!

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