Thanks to another poster on this board informing us about this new BBQ place last month. Beach Pit BBQ just opened up in Costa Mesa earlier this week.
I usually don't check out new restaurants within the first two weeks of opening, just to allow the restaurant to work out any kinks and issues, but when ribs are available, the urge to chomp on a half-rack overwhelms any patience I have for waiting.
I stopped by for lunch today. Super-small parking lot has only space for 6 cars, but there is plenty of street parking available. A very casual dining area, the restaurant has 4 dining tables inside, with another 5 or 6 tables outside. There is a counter to place orders for take-out also.
Because the restaurant is just starting up, not everything on their printed menu was available. I can't recall exactly what was crossed off the menu. All of the meats on the menu, like the ribs, chicken, linguica, and pulled pork were available, but things like the sweet potato fries and hush puppies were not.
When I asked about what types of ribs were available, they only had pork ribs for now. No baby backs, no beef ribs, I figured this was as good a selection to start with as any. I was not disappointed.
Pork ribs are not usually very big. Baby backs are small, ranging in the 4" to 5" range. Pork ribs usually are bigger, in the 6" to 8" range, but smaller than beef ribs. Beef ribs are usually the big gargantuans of the rib world, in the 10" to 14" range.
The pork ribs I got were the size of beef ribs, in the 10" to 12" range. I ordered their lunch portion rib plate. I asked about the difference between the lunch and dinner portions. Lunch gets you 3 ribs, dinner portion gets you 4. Well, these monster-sized pork ribs would've qualified as dinner portions at almost any other rib joint, and collectively were about the size of a full-rack of pork ribs.
Lotsa lotsa meat on these pork ribs, they weren't quite fall-off-the-bone tender and were slightly pink, but they were tender enough and very tasty, not chewy in any way. Definitely a thumbs up for the ribs, at a very reasonable $10.95. I was pretty much stuffed afterwards, which rarely happens after only 3 ribs unless the ribs are as huge as these were.
The side orders were nothing special. The BBQ beans were decent, and the potato salad was OK, but the portions were small and served in little plastic cups you might get in a cafeteria. But hey, I'm not complaining, because if portions are gonna be small and skimpy, I'd prefer that on the side orders than on the ribs.
The meal was served in a plastic basket with a paper lining, which I found to be slightly odd for an order of ribs, but more appropriate for sandwiches or burritos.
I did ask about whether they might be adding beef ribs to the menu, and they said it is something they're considering for the future.
Would I go back? Yes, but I might wait until they're at least open for a month, and see if their menu expands any. It is definitely a nice option to have in BBQ-starved OC. I don't think it's worth the drive for LA residents to make a special road trip to visit, but if you're in the neighborhood, and starving for a slab of ribs, this is certainly a good choice to add to the list of options.
Just to give a comparison to the last few rib places I've been to, I thought these ribs were better than the pork ribs at Burrell's in Santa Ana and R&W BBQ in Long Beach. It's about on par with Lou's Oak Oven BBQ in Fountain Valley, but the portions are way larger and the prices much more reasonable. Joey's BBQ in Pomona set a new high standard for me for beef ribs, which the Beach Pit doesn't quite reach. I hope the Beach Pit adds beef ribs sometime soon so that I can do the comparison.
Beach Pit BBQ
1676 Tustin Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA
(cross-street E. 17th St.)