I finally had a chance to drop by Papa's Western BBQ at lunchtime today, being in the general neighborhood for a business meeting. I was eager to sample their Santa Maria style BBQ after having read about the place awhile ago.
Nice clean restaurant that is part of a strip mall, it has several indoor tables and was quite bigger and nicer than I was expecting. No beef ribs on the menu, though, as I've found out at other BBQ places serving Santa Maria style BBQ. They do have beef ribs as a dinner special on Thursdays, but only at dinner.
So I opted for the pork spare ribs & 1/4 chicken combo lunch plate, which included some garlic bread toast and two sides, which I chose the french fries and the garden salad.
This Santa Maria style BBQ is a little bit different that most regular Southern BBQ. These ribs were the smaller spare rib kind, rather than the big long ribs or babybacks, and instead of BBQ sauce, it came with a small cup of au jus sauce that usually comes with French Dip sandwiches or prime rib steaks. This was different, but tasted quite good. I had to gnaw a bit on the ribs to get the meat off, but it was worth the effort.
It was an interesting combo, as the chicken was pretty heavily seasoned with herbs and spices, but was really tender and tasty. The garlic bread was quite good, and I even dipped a bit of it into the au jus, and that combination was great. Fries were skinnier shoestring type fries that were pretty good, while the salad was just standard stuff.
The lunchtime combo was priced at $10.25, quite reasonable for a BBQ restaurant in OC, especially compared to Lou's Oak Oven in Huntington Beach, which also has Santa Maria style BBQ, and a comparable entree would be $16.99.
While it's not a destination place that I would recommend that people drive out of there way to visit, if you're in the neighborhood, and want to try their Santa Maria style of BBQ, Papa's Western BBQ is a nice local restaurant to check out.
Papa's Western BBQ
10900 Los Alamitos Blvd
Los Alamitos, CA