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pili's & baby blues bbq-reviews (long)

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pili's & baby blues bbq-reviews (long)

petradish | Dec 12, 2004 02:53 AM

friday night around midnight the mr.(creosote) and i needed a snack after seeing tom jones perform. we headed to a newish little place called pili's for our second visit. in the previous visit we discovered that the juicy al pastor was our favorite, the carnitas average(no crispiness, but a pleasant lard-porky flavor), the carne asada bland & dry. this time the al pastor was again great (in tacos and a burrito), like really tasty marinated pork chops. they also have tripe, cabeza, and buche.

for lunch saturday i dragged mr. creosote to baby blues bbq for more pork. we noticed that the smell of smoke was absent from the outside of the place. i crossed my fingers. a friendly hello and quickly whisked to a table. one other diner waiting for his food at a nearby table. i thought about not pointing out the paris hilton themed artwork on the wall to creosote, but since we had just seen her jumping into a car the night before, i felt it necessary to mention. definitely not as southern-cutesy as the pig or johnny reb's decor (we're not fans of their food either).

onto the food: a pulled pork sandwich and an order of dry rub baby back ribs. we tasted the sauces on our table before the food arrived. the vinegar finishing sauce looked nice and cloudy in its tall glass bottle. i was suprised to see whole green peppers(serranos?) floating on the bottom instead of the usual red pepper flakes. it tasted great. the second bottle was tomato-based & mr. creosote thought it didn't taste aged or integrated enough, with its spices sitting on top of the flavors, but it had potential. the third bottle seemed like a blend of the vinegar & the tomato. i liked them all and appreciated their restraint with regard to sweetness. i love tangy.

the food came swiftly. we noticed the sandwich's bun was not the plain hamburger type used at places like jimmy's in lexington. this was closer to la brea bakery. but hey, we're not in nc, and it worked just fine. the pulled pork was flavorful, complimented nicely by the vinegary sauce and the cole slaw on top. i pointed out to creosote the deep pink color of the pork just below the skin.

i thought the baby backs were nice: crusty, w/blackened bits, gritty from the rub. the meat pulled away cleanly from the bones and was very tender. the best part was the small end where solid pork fat was encased in the crust. what really impressed was that the pork flavor seemed vibrant, not held or reheated in the slightest.

creosote thought the experience was tasty, but not the greatest value in bbq-8 small ribs for $10 a la carte. he really really loves phillips. i thought the pork & sauces showed great care & technique and were worth the price. i usually go to jaybee's in gardena for their pork shoulder sandwich and bring my own vinegar pepper sauce. now i'm just as happy to get my fix in venice.

pili's
11924 santa monica blvd (brockton)
WLA

baby blues bbq
444 lincoln blvd
venice

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