Little complements a warm sunny afternoon better than some killer barbecue. And in a city where such afternoons come so frequently, the need for BBQ is constant. Here are some of the best go-to spots for a dose of delicious smoky meats. – Katie Robbins
Bigmista’s BarbecueAvailable weekly at Farmer’s Markets around the city; check website for schedule 562-423-4BIG More Info
Neil Strawder, the big mister behind Bigmista’s, famously learned the tricks of his smoking trade by seeking tips and recipes on the online BBQ Bretheren Forum. Now each week at farmer’s markets around the city, he shares his acquired proficiency in pork and his brilliance with brisket. And while he may owe some of his smoking skills to the folks he met online, his signature “pig candy” (sweet, earthy bacon bites) and the moink balls (bacon wrapped meat balls) prove that the Bigmista is a true barbecue master.
J N J Burger and Bar-B-Q5754 W Adams Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323) 933-7366 www.jnjbar-b-queandburgers.com
Dining at plastic chairs and tables on the makeshift gravel patio at this friendly Culver City shack gives the barbecue experience its appropriate fun, easy feel. More importantly, it gives fans the leeway to get as messy as necessary as they dive into the fall-off-the-bone beef ribs, juicy barbecue chicken, and hearty, sweet baked beans.
Kansas City BBQ Company10863 Magnolia Blvd North Hollywood, CA 91601 (818) 754-0030 More Info
Kansas City is known for its paprika-heavy dry rub barbecue and tangy tomato based sauce, and this North Hollywood bastion of KC-style BBQ doesn’t disappoint. The down-home style joint serves up all the requisite favorites including burnt end sandwiches, dry rubbed baby back and beef ribs, and succulent, tender brisket, alongside meat-rich baked beans and sweet potato fries.
Park’s Barbeque955 S Vermont Ave Los Angeles, CA 90005 (213) 380-1717 More Info
It may be more South Korea than South Carolina, but no list of L.A. barbecue would be complete without firing up the table top grill for some seasoned galbi with a side of kimchi pancake. In its sleek Koreatown location, Park’s is pricier than its brethren, but with superb cuts of Kobe beef, famously tender pork belly, and all the Korean fixins (fried makerel, rice, and kimchi), it’s well worth it.
Phillips Barbecue4307 Leimert Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90008 (323) 292-7613 No website
For those who find glitzed out, fancy-schmancy barbecue suspect, Phillips offers the perfect remedy. Hidden in an unassuming mini-mall near Leimert Park, the tiny BBQ joint is ostensibly take out only. But because fans can’t wait to sink their teeth into juicy ribs, crispy tender ends, and sliced tri-tip, all slathered in a piquant vinegary, tomato sauce (including a fiery extra hot version), the place often feels like an old-fashioned drive-in, as the ravenous dine a la car.