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Someone's Trying to Bring True Austin Brisket to a Downtown LA Parking Lot

Pearl's BBQ wants to be your next smoked meat destination

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Looks like there’s more barbecue on the way to Los Angeles, as newcomer Pearl’s BBQ hopes to land in the Arts District doing true Texas brisket and other smoked meats soon enough.

The quiet new option wants to take over a chunk of outdoor space around the corner from the American Tea Room, inside a parking lot on Violet Street. In a similar manner to Downtown taco newcomer Chicas, the idea is to have outdoor seating while serving folks from an airstream trailer. It’s the sort of open sky dining that Austin does particularly well (especially with food trucks and barbecue), and Los Angeles is finally starting to get embrace, with creations like Salazar in Frogtown.

Pearl’s BBQ is the work of Dana Blanchard, a serial hospitality developer and the founder of Voyager Hotel Group. His name and concept first came to light via this post from Craigslist in Austin of all places, where Blanchard asks around for a trained pitmaster who’d be willing to relocate to Los Angeles for a fee.

In the post, he indicates that Pearl’s plans to cook using a pair of Southern Pride SPX 300 commercial smokers, mostly focusing on brisket (and perhaps ribs in the future), plus tortillas, beans, cornbread, and a variety of sides. Over on Facebook, this nascent page shows what is likely an early menu iteration.

For what it’s worth, the name Pearl’s comes from Balnchard’s grandmother, who moved years ago from South Texas to downtown Los Angeles. There’s no official timetable for Pearl’s to open, though it seems something could be in the works before the end of the year — particularly if there’s a menu on the books already.

Pearl's BBQ
444 Violet St.
Los Angeles, CA