Bludso's Bar & Q
You may be a lettuce-loving, calorie-counting gym junkie (there’s a lot of you in LA – I should probably hop on the bandwagon), or you may be like me – putting off that extra-healthy lifestyle for uh, later. If you’re the latter, this post is for you. It’s my goal that after you read this, your mouth will be watering and your stomach will be begging you to be stuffed with BBQ.
While my eating habits aren't terrible, I admittedly tend to over-indulge at times -- especially when it comes to a good ol' plate of meat. Chicken, beef, pork, fish -- they are all best friends of mine. I’m currently on a mission to make healthier food choices… but, a diet? What’s that? I melt for a good beef brisket, and when I tried Bludso's Bar-&-Que, I broke down all the way.
The Food (& Drinks)
You may have noticed Bludso's cute spin on barbecue by their taking on the title "Bar & Que." It offers a to-the-point menu of barbecue meats and traditional sides, as well as a full selection of specialty cocktails, wine, and brews. Our super friendly, hipster-ish and tattooed suggested a 1/2 lb. of meat per person, with two or three large sides to split between the three of us in our party. I knew what I wanted before even walking in. I go OFF for a good beef brisket. I can't think of the last time I've gone to a BBQ joint and not ordered it, and this time was no different.
Biting into the brisket was the equivalent of biting into the most tender corner of edible heaven. I would have stopped to close my eyes and savor each chew, but my taste buds wouldn't allow any breaks -- only more bites. Its incredible smoked flavor was made even more delicious when topped with a blend of their mild and spicy sauces. I couldn’t believe how succulent it was, I just kept asking myself “WHY is this beef so bomb!?” And then I learned that this tasteful tenderness is achieved by being smoked for 14 hours overnight. Picture it. 840+ minutes of robust smoke absorption, in which your favorite meat becomes so juicy, you almost want to go kidnap the chef. Just…Yum.
I was no less satisfied upon venturing to the rest of the food that was brought to our table – pulled pork, collard greens, and mac & cheese. The pulled pork was equally as tender and flavorful. The collard greens were well seasoned with a bit of a spicy kick that hit the spot. The peppered macaroni was thick and cheesy and absolutely delicious. Oh my gosh. Now let me just say, I come from a family who throws down on southern delights such as collard greens and mac & cheese; I know good soul food. Not everyone’s attempts can woo me – however, I was indeed wooed by Bludsos’. It. Was. Perfection.
To be fair, I will admit that the brisket was kinda fatty (again, don’t eat here if you’re on a health kick), but what good chunk of beef/pork doesn’t come with some fat? With it being one of the most delicious briskets I’ve ever tasted in life, I could hardly complain. Everything was superb; it was actually the best meal I’d eaten out since moving two months prior. I left entirely elated that I found a go-to bbq spot in my new home city, and by accident, at that.
I also had enough to take to work for lunch the next day. Its fragrant aroma spilled through my office when I heated it up and had my coworkers swooning, much like I was swooning over the pleasure of enjoying this meal all over again. The leftovers were just as spectacular.
Imagine a classic, old-fashioned picnic area turned sexy and contemporary. Its darkish lighting gives it an intimate, sultry feel, but the surrounding TVs and wooden picnic benches as tables remind you that you’re getting ready to throw down and have some fun. With no less than about four feet spacing the several flat screens against the walls, every seat in the house offers a front row view of the Clippers (or Dodgers, Lakers, Kings, etc) game that will likely be broadcasted on a given evening. Bludso’s is simple and to the point, with its minimalism in design and menu offerings. It’s laid back with a touch of upscale – perfect for a first date, night out with coworkers, or a place to bring your parents when they come in town.
· Pricing: Bludso’s is appropriately priced in the middle range ($$). Expect to pay about $20/person + drinks, should you indulge.
· Parking: street parking is sparse around here, so you will probably have to go with the valet for $6.50.
· People: the staff here was great, from the hostess, to our waiter, to the valet. I cherish great customer service and they get an A+ here.
· Crowd: I went on a Thursday night. I thought it was pretty busy, but our host told us it was actually a slow night. It gets extremely busy on the weekends.
· Apparently, white bread is part of their “secret menu,” and you have to specifically ask for it if you want some slices to complement your meal or make a sandwich.
· Your whole party must be present in order to be seated. I assume this is because they bring the food out pretty quickly once you put your order in. Our food was placed on our table less than 5 minutes after giving our waiter our menu card.
· How I found it: I happened to be in the area with plans to visit nearby dessert/café “Milk,” quickly browsing through Yelp for dinner before dessert, and I had been craving some good BBQ. I saw that Bludso’s was closeby and had a 4/5 star rating, so I plugged it into the GPS without any further research. It wasn’t until after I pigged out there that I learned many hail Bludso’s as LA’s #1 barbecue restaurant. And here I am just stumbling across it, well I’ll be! Feel free to do some more research to see what others have to say about Bludso’s, or just go ahead and make your reservation right now. You won’t be disappointed.
What are your favorite BBQ joints in your city? What do you opt for when you go?