Saturday night, flavor sensations from Texas, Newport Beach, the South, the Carolinas, and other points East
and West decended on a quiet residential neighborhood in West L.A. The event: The 2004 L.A. BBQ Tasting. The result: No clear concensus except that the best 'Q at the tasting didn't come from here but comes from Texas.
First, sincere and grand thanks to Elisha for hosting the event and opening his home to a swarm of ravenous Hounds intent on devouring what appeared to be an average of about 97 ribs per person (plus sides). Kudos also go to Wayne (Chino Wayne) for being the provacateur of this notion and, Wayne, you were there in spirit if not in stomach. And kudos, of course, to Sandra (Dollparts) for assuming the laboring oar on coordinating the many tentacles of this evening (although tentacles is the subject of another event altogether).
Second, profuse apologies for the tardiness of this posting. A combination of mild catatonia induced by eating leftovers from the tasting and my inherent mathematical inabilities resulted in the delay. So following are the choices of the Hounds' best BBQ in L.A., together with who brought them then followed by the numerical rankings and other statistical mumbo jumbo for which Sandra believes I was hunkered down in my basement. I have no basement but I was hunkered.
1. Smokin' Mo's BBQ
301 Main St
for pulled pork and pork ribs donated by Shuji, (Professor Salt)
2. Rib Nest
for country ribs courtesy of Sandra. Not to forget the wonderful Lemon Chiffon cake homemade by her.
Dorothy brought ribs from Blair's but it apparently was not rated.
4. Greece's BBQ
901 South La Brea
provided pork ribs courtesy of our hose Elisha
5. Russkar's BBQ
Russ brought his famous homemade BBQ ribs known to many from the previous Chow Fiesta together with two varities of grilled sausage and tamales. He also donated a delicious caramel apple pie from "The Filling Station".
6. Dr. Hoggly Woggly's Tyler Texas BBQ
was the source of beef ribs supplied by Ana (andiethecat/bunnybroooks)
7. Bad 2 Da Bone
yielded pork ribs from Veronica/Zoe/Rufuschow together with a homemade delicious spinach salad.
8. Mike's (formerly JayBees in Cypress)
served up pork ribs thanks to Cindy (lbcutie). Lovingly homemade by Cindy were delicious chocolate chip brownies.
9. Michael's on Topanga Canyon in Woodland Hills
provided pork ribs and
El Paso BBQ
on Ventura in Tarzana provided pulled pork and cole slaw courtesy of yours truly. Also supplied was South Carolina Caviar, a raw vegetable foil to the various spicy sauces.
had pork ribs coutesy of Robert (Robclu) as well as a delicious tabouleh salad.
11. Black's BBQ in Texas was the source of delicious Texas brisket courtesy of Joey, affectionately known as Texas Joe.
Now the numerical results. Bear in mind that not everyone tasted every dish and not everyone voted for every dish that he/she did taste. In addition, as it seemed to take hours to grade only the "Q", no grading was done of any of the sides or desserts. In rank order, then, with appropriate statistical information (such as it is), are the results:
1. Black's Texas BBQ
mean ranking: 8.75, total ranking: 105 with 3 abstentions
mean ranking: 8.37, total ranking: 67 with 5 abstentions
3. El Paso BBQ
mean ranking: 7.61, total ranking: 68.50 with 3 abstetions
4. Smokin' Mo's BBQ - Pork Ribs
mean ranking: 7.50, total ranking: 82.50 with no abstentions
5. Smokin' Mo's BBQ - Pulled Pork
mean ranking: 7.30, total ranking: 80 with 2 abstentions
6. Rib Nest
mean: 7.27, total: 80 with 3 abstentions
7. Blake's Pork Ribs
mean: 7.16, total: 86 with 2 abstentions
8. Bad 2 da Bone
mean: 7.12, total: 85.50 with 2 abstentions
9. Dr. Hoggly Woggly
mean: 6.55, total: 59 with 6 abstentions
10. JayBee - Beef Ribs
mean: 6.50, total: 26 with 10 abstentions
11. JayBee - Pork Ribs
mean: 6.33, total: 57 with 5 abstentions
mean: 6.33, total: 76 with 2 abstentions
13. Michael's Pork Ribs
mean: 6.22, total: 56 with 3 abstentions
So now the 2004 L.A. "Q" Tasting is history. So far as I can tell,the numerical rankings are too close to call, unless you want to travel to Texas for brisket or go over to Russ' for ribs. but, like a certain Supreme Court Justice once said, "I can't define great BBQ but I know it when I taste it." I know the other Hounds will supply addresses, telephone numbers, and other pertinent information regarding their respective venues. We all had a great time, even though our cardiologists will tell us otherwise.