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Super Good Brisket But Weird Sauces at Maple Block Meat Co.

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Most of the 'cue is mighty fine

Maple Block Meat Co
Maple Block Meat Co
Wonho Frank Lee

Welcome to the Barbecue Week edition of Good News/Bad News. This time Eater dives into Maple Block Meat Co, chef Adam Cole's Culver City barbecue restaurant that rose to fame when Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn declared Cole's brisket as the California's best. So does everyone else agree?

The review that started it all

"But ok, back to the brisket: I can confidently say that Maple Block Meat Co. serves smoked brisket that would hold up in Texas. (I went back the next day just to confirm my findings.) The crust was well defined by smoke, salt, and pepper, and the texture was perfect. Slices pulled apart easily without disintegrating under their own weight. There was a balance of beefiness and smokiness, and the fatty nuggets from the end cuts had the intense flavor of Texas brisket. I had found my barbecue home away from home." [Daniel Vaughn, LAM]

Everyone else seems to agree more or less

"What Cole does do very well is smoke meat, and, in particular, brisket. The tender slices of beef are intensely smoky, the ratio of fat to lean meat is just right, and the peppery crust on the outside gives just enough prickly flavor. This brisket is as good as any I've had outside of Texas and far better than 90 percent of what the other 49 states have to offer." [LAW]

"I chose fatty; when consumed at the end of the meal, the thick cuts of rich beef can seem like a lofty hurdle. But dip the meat, which gives easily under the gentle tug of a fork, in green chimichurri sauce and it all becomes a little more manageable. Is this the best brisket in the city? I'd say Bludso's still holds that spot. But it's still damn good, and we could use more like it in LA." [TimeOut]

"Texturally, the meat broke apart with ease, but still showed off a satisfying chew, a crisp crust, and a good balance between fat and lean. In terms of taste, smoky and savory were both well conveyed, the inherent beefiness of the cut always present but complemented by spice and char." [kevinEats]

Those ribs are pretty great, too

"Large but thin pork spare ribs had good smoke and came easily away from the bone without falling off." [Daniel Vaughn, LAM]

"Most of the other meat on offer is pretty great, too; the ribs don't fall apart, but the meat is pliant and juicy." [LAW]

"Fall-off-the-bone tender and sporting a beautiful rub, the ribs alone are worthy of sitting through 405 traffic." [TimeOut]

The sauces don't hit the mark

"And I don't love the sauces, either, particularly that weird, chocolate-tinged red sauce." [LAW]

"Loved the brightness of the included chimichurri-esque condiment, though the red BBQ-ish sauce I found way too sugary." [kevinEats]

"Did MBMC fix their disgusting BBQ sauce yet? [...] I just can't see why they continue to serve it. It is almost as if they serve you crap sauce on purpose just so you don't use it on their meat." [A5Kobe, Food Talk Central]

"Maybe it's passive-aggressive? Customers demand sauce, chef doesn't think it needs sauce, puts out bad sauce on purpose?" [The Offalo, Food Talk Central]

Maple Block Meat Co.

3973 Sepulveda Boulevard, , CA 90230 (310) 313-6328 Visit Website

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