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A Handy Guide to the Best Barbecue Joints in Los Angeles

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2008_10_hasmapsbbqmap.jpgThe barbecue scene didn't necessarily explode last year, but there were a number of new entrants that started to change the game, such as Horse Thief and The Crossing. The catalyst, however, might have been the opening of Bludso's Bar & Que on La Brea, which brought over Compton's finest 'que to the heart of L.A. Below, Eater presents a handy guide to the Best Barbecue Joints in Los Angeles.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bludso's Bar & Que

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609 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 931-2583
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Ever since this popular Compton barbecue spot opened an outlet on La Brea, it's shaken up the local 'que game. The team behind the Golden State teamed up with Kevin Bludso to bring his unique brand of Texas-style barbecue, with marvelous brisket, superb ribs, and a slew of great sides.

2. Smoke City Market

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5242 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91401
(818) 855-1280
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This authentic-as-you-could-get Texas barbecue has received accolades from the likes of Jonathan Gold. The by-the-pound system placed on trays, along with the bench-style seating, makes it feel right, but in the end, the smoky, tender brisket and other meat completes the deal.

3. The Crossing

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3245 Casitas Ave
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 522-3488
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Though the takeover was a little unsung, the new management behind the former Atwater Crossing is taking its barbecue seriously, taking cues straight from Austin's Hill Country. The by-the-pound brisket, ribs, and more are deliciously smokey, inbued with more flavor than most other 'cue's around town. Arguably the best brisket in town at the moment.

4. Horse Thief

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324 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 625-0341
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Adjacent to Grand Central Market, this true Texas barbecue takes a decidedly simple approach, with barbecue, sides, and white bread. The ribs and sausage are respectable, but the brisket is the draw, as any Texas-style bbq should be. On its best days, the smoke ring is thick and the flavor is unparalleled. Just be sure to ask for "moist" brisket.

5. Phillips Bar-B-Que

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4307 Leimert Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 292-7613

An old standard in South L.A., Phillips is old school barbecue done right. The flavor is spiceful, the meat is tender to the bone, and the sauce is righteous. What more could you want from a barbecue. Before the newer places opened up, Phillips was considered one of the best bbq spots in the city by Jonathan Gold.

6. Baby Blues BBQ

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444 Lincoln Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 396-7675
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An old Venice standby with an offshoot in West Hollywood, the word is a little mixed on Baby Blues. The Memphis-style ribs tend to get the most attention, while the brisket sandwich on ciabatta, while not perfectly authentic, is still great in a pinch for those living on the Westside.

7. Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ

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8136 Sepulveda Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91402
(818) 780-6701
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The North Valley's barbecue gem, this simple, old-school spot has some of the best sauce west of Texas. The meat itself is a little scattershot in terms of flavor and tenderness, but on its best days, it's very satisfying. And who can deny the great name of the place?

8. Big Mista's BBQ

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Though the location of this barbecue might depend on the day, this farmers market mainstay around town. The style itself isn't Texas or Carolina, just a blend of everything. The pulled pork and the ribs are the things to order. Sundays at Atwater Village (10 a.m. - 2 p.m.), Pershing Square Downtown on Wednesdays, Century City Farmers Market on Thursdays, and Bank of America Plaza on Fridays.

9. JNJ BBQ

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5754 W Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016

The semi-outdoor location of this South L.A. barbecue spot makes the experience that much better. Order at the counter (with the smokers behind in the yard), and take a seat at the picnic style tables. The meat itself isn't revolutionary or mind-blowing, but sometimes digging into a tray of brisket and ribs is the perfect antidote to boredom. Cash only.

10. Spring Street SmokeHouse

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640 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-0535
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Just south of Chinatown and nearby Union Station, this hideaway of a barbecue spot has an impressive beer selection to boot. As for the meat? Stick to the brisket and the burnt ends, and douse it all in the sweet sauce. The pulled pork is also very good.

11. The Park's Finest BBQ

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1267 W Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 481-2800
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This Filipino-style barbecue has many fans on the Eastside, with very low prices that make it easy to try much more than one would typically want. The pulled pork is an excellent choice, along with the dry-rubbed chicken. Don't skip the cornbread with coconut cream cheese.

12. JR's Barbeque

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3055 LA Cienega Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 837-6838
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This Culver City barbecue spot won't win awards, but for the Westside, it's more than respectable. The variety platters are a good way to try a little of everything, from the rib tips to the brisket to the beef links. The sweet potato pie is the right way to finish a meal here.

13. The Hungry Pig

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2920 W Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 387-7787

This competitor to the Park's Finest is another Asian-style barbecue, this time infused with the flavors of Thailand. This is still American-style barbecue. Think baby back ribs, satay, brisket, and beef curry, all under one roof.

14. Boneyard Bistro

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13539 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 906-7427
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This Sherman Oaks restaurant is might be more known for its stellar beer selection, with an epic bottle menu, the barbecue is at least respectable. The brisket can range from very good to just fine, but with this kind of craft beer available, it's hard to complain.

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1. Bludso's Bar & Que

609 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Ever since this popular Compton barbecue spot opened an outlet on La Brea, it's shaken up the local 'que game. The team behind the Golden State teamed up with Kevin Bludso to bring his unique brand of Texas-style barbecue, with marvelous brisket, superb ribs, and a slew of great sides.

609 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

2. Smoke City Market

5242 Van Nuys Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91401

This authentic-as-you-could-get Texas barbecue has received accolades from the likes of Jonathan Gold. The by-the-pound system placed on trays, along with the bench-style seating, makes it feel right, but in the end, the smoky, tender brisket and other meat completes the deal.

5242 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91401

3. The Crossing

3245 Casitas Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Though the takeover was a little unsung, the new management behind the former Atwater Crossing is taking its barbecue seriously, taking cues straight from Austin's Hill Country. The by-the-pound brisket, ribs, and more are deliciously smokey, inbued with more flavor than most other 'cue's around town. Arguably the best brisket in town at the moment.

3245 Casitas Ave
Los Angeles, CA

4. Horse Thief

324 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Adjacent to Grand Central Market, this true Texas barbecue takes a decidedly simple approach, with barbecue, sides, and white bread. The ribs and sausage are respectable, but the brisket is the draw, as any Texas-style bbq should be. On its best days, the smoke ring is thick and the flavor is unparalleled. Just be sure to ask for "moist" brisket.

324 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

5. Phillips Bar-B-Que

4307 Leimert Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

An old standard in South L.A., Phillips is old school barbecue done right. The flavor is spiceful, the meat is tender to the bone, and the sauce is righteous. What more could you want from a barbecue. Before the newer places opened up, Phillips was considered one of the best bbq spots in the city by Jonathan Gold.

4307 Leimert Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008

6. Baby Blues BBQ

444 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

An old Venice standby with an offshoot in West Hollywood, the word is a little mixed on Baby Blues. The Memphis-style ribs tend to get the most attention, while the brisket sandwich on ciabatta, while not perfectly authentic, is still great in a pinch for those living on the Westside.

444 Lincoln Blvd
Venice, CA 90291

7. Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ

8136 Sepulveda Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91402

The North Valley's barbecue gem, this simple, old-school spot has some of the best sauce west of Texas. The meat itself is a little scattershot in terms of flavor and tenderness, but on its best days, it's very satisfying. And who can deny the great name of the place?

8136 Sepulveda Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91402

8. Big Mista's BBQ

Los Angeles, CA 90039

Though the location of this barbecue might depend on the day, this farmers market mainstay around town. The style itself isn't Texas or Carolina, just a blend of everything. The pulled pork and the ribs are the things to order. Sundays at Atwater Village (10 a.m. - 2 p.m.), Pershing Square Downtown on Wednesdays, Century City Farmers Market on Thursdays, and Bank of America Plaza on Fridays.

9. JNJ BBQ

5754 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

The semi-outdoor location of this South L.A. barbecue spot makes the experience that much better. Order at the counter (with the smokers behind in the yard), and take a seat at the picnic style tables. The meat itself isn't revolutionary or mind-blowing, but sometimes digging into a tray of brisket and ribs is the perfect antidote to boredom. Cash only.

5754 W Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016

10. Spring Street SmokeHouse

640 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Just south of Chinatown and nearby Union Station, this hideaway of a barbecue spot has an impressive beer selection to boot. As for the meat? Stick to the brisket and the burnt ends, and douse it all in the sweet sauce. The pulled pork is also very good.

640 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

11. The Park's Finest BBQ

1267 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

This Filipino-style barbecue has many fans on the Eastside, with very low prices that make it easy to try much more than one would typically want. The pulled pork is an excellent choice, along with the dry-rubbed chicken. Don't skip the cornbread with coconut cream cheese.

1267 W Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90026

12. JR's Barbeque

3055 LA Cienega Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

This Culver City barbecue spot won't win awards, but for the Westside, it's more than respectable. The variety platters are a good way to try a little of everything, from the rib tips to the brisket to the beef links. The sweet potato pie is the right way to finish a meal here.

3055 LA Cienega Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

13. The Hungry Pig

2920 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

This competitor to the Park's Finest is another Asian-style barbecue, this time infused with the flavors of Thailand. This is still American-style barbecue. Think baby back ribs, satay, brisket, and beef curry, all under one roof.

2920 W Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90026

14. Boneyard Bistro

13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

This Sherman Oaks restaurant is might be more known for its stellar beer selection, with an epic bottle menu, the barbecue is at least respectable. The brisket can range from very good to just fine, but with this kind of craft beer available, it's hard to complain.

13539 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

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