(credit: Shutterstock)

(credit: Shutterstock)

There are few combinations of just three letters that instantly grab people’s attention. BBQ is one of those combinations. From the wood used to smoke, to the rub, to the sauce, California has become a source of slow cooked BBQ greatness from places like Texas, Carolina, Kansas City and Missouri. A cornerstone of any BBQ menu is the brisket. The cut of meat from the breast or lower chest, restaurants around LA are cooking up brisket in a variety of ways. We scoured the city and found the best of the best.

(credit: Robert Earl’s BBQ)

(credit: Robert Earl’s BBQ)

Robert Earl’s BBQ
703 E. Artesia Ave.
Long Beach CA. 90805
(562) 762-1116
www.robertearlsbbq.comDiscovering family owned and operated gems like Robert Earl’s BBQ almost seems to make the food taste better. Slowly smoked by Mr. Robert Earl himself, Brisket here is combined with the hours of time in the smoker to make for a cut of tender brisket that almost pulls apart. Combined with an array of flavorful sauces that serve as a perfect compliment to Mr. Earl’s brisket, there is a tragedy in that you might never even need the sauce. The brisket is stand alone good backing up the restaurant’s claim that it might make you want to ‘Slap yo’ mama”.

(credit: Beachwood BBQ)

(credit: Beachwood BBQ)

Beachwood BBQ
131 Main St.
Seal Beach, CA 90740
(562) 493-4500
www.beachwoodbbq.comOpting for a potent dry rub and super slow smoking process that includes a combination of oak, applewood, and almond, there is a fragrant quality to Beachwood’s brand of beef that is indicative of the name. The marriage of wood and the salt of the dry rub create a fork experience that is not for the BBQ novice. The bold flavor approach is likely a product of Beachwood’s brewery. It’s no secret that the perfect palate wash after a salty bite is a swig of cold beer. In any case, you’ll find yourself eating (and drinking) until you can’t anymore.

(credit: Baby Blues BBQ)

(credit: Baby Blues BBQ)

Bludso’s BBQ
811 S Long Beach Blvd.
Compton, CA 90221
(310) 637-1342
www.bludsosbbq.comWhile the trendy Fairfax location is fashionable, the Compton location is where the magic started. Pitmaster Kevin Bludso has continued his family’s secret barbeque recipe for generations. The result, Bludso has become a staple of California BBQ. Embracing his Texas roots, Bludso’s brisket is piled high and always best with a lather of the spicy sweet tang of Bludso’s housemade sauce. Smoked with oak and pecan wood, the portions, like the flavor, are massive. When you are ready to skip the pomp and circumstance and get down to business with some brisket and white bread, THIS is where you go.

(credit: Horse Thief)

(credit: Horse Thief)

Horse Thief BBQ
324 S Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 625-0341
www.horsethiefbbq.comOccupying a revitalized Grand Central Market of LA just across the way from Angel’s Flight, Horse Thief’s brisket nails a portion of the meat that few people get right – those crispy ends. While most people trim the charred ends from their brisket, likely because it’s over cooked, over smoked, or the equivalent of a salt rock, Horse Thief’s balance of the meat’s natural fattiness and a tempered seasoning hand make the ends of the brisket some of the best bites of the meal.

(credit: Baby Blues BBQ)

(credit: Baby Blues BBQ)

Baby Blues BBQ
444 Lincoln Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 396-7675
www.address.comFundamentally California, the guys at Baby Blues have created a mesh of BBQ styles that might offend some purists, but redirects the focus on just making great BBQ no matter where it originated. Completely unconventional, Baby Blues brisket is actually braised in a bath of Guinness beer. Folding together the natural salt of the beef with the sweetness of the beer makes for a unique experience that almost transcends BBQ. Combined with Baby Blues assortment of housemade sauces (ranging from brown sugar sweet to smoke pepper spicy), the hearty serving of beef brisket is one of the best in LA.

Article by Ramon Gonzales.

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