Bludso's La Brea > Bludso's Compton


I’ve been unsuccessful calling in orders for the past three-four attempts. I tried calling multiple times each try and have to assume that they were so busy that they stopped answering the phone or took it off the hook.

Ordering a party tray at the counter = ~one hour+ wait. Add in round trip drive time and how good the La Brea location’s goods are, and it’s become an easy decision where to go.

I’m hoping the Compton remodel (their brick&mortar and their website) will improve things there. Until then, Bar&Que is a great alternative.


Went for lunch on Friday and ordered 1/4 lb pulled pork, 1/4 lb brisket, 1/2 rack of ribs, 1 hot link, small greens, and large bbq beans. This cost $38 and is probably only 2/3 the amount of food you get compared to the $30 Texas Sampler. Brisket did not really have any smoke flavor, but the rest was as good, if not better than the Compton location.


I have to also surmise that the remodel/rebuild has to do with the ever-increasing demand for their que. The lines have progressively gotten longer.

I think the Compton location has had quality control issues as well because of the increased demand and limited space. The last time I was actually able to get my hands on a party tray, it was not up to expectations. Our ribs were creosote on the outside - beyond bark.

The counter people were not the same in personnel and demeanor as well. Frantic, tired and unable to give me correct change - twice. I let it go the first time - I just considered the shortage to be their tip. I had to say something the second time - the shortage was far more considerable. No foul play - just an honest mistake and same procedural math error - and it was the same person as last time. We always order the same things so I know the total, thus know the amount of change should be returned. She sincerely apologized.

Bludso’s growth has been considerable over the past few years. Hopefully their partnership with the Golden State folks has allowed them to gain additional perspectives and expertise on the business end.


The quantity is definitely less than what you get at Compton, and for more $. I chalk it up to being a full-service joint in a high-rent area. But I just feel the quality of the goods compensates for that. Seems The Golden State crew learned a lot from Mr. Bludso and hopefully making him proud (and wealthier) by showing they are more than competent.


That makes a lot of sense and explains the recent reviews of Compton. It was a small bbq spot doing brisk business. Now it’s a whole other animal. Rough adjustments.

I have only had the rib tips from Compton and have never been to the locale. My cousin serves them as appetizers. She also likes to eat them on glutinous rice :yum:. They’re crispy, fatty, juicy goodness.

We recently had Maple Block. I didn’t try the ribs. But my BBQ loving husband said the meat quality blew Philips away. He didn’t mention Bludsoe’s :wink:. MB’s fatty brisket… Oh.My.God. It was even better reheated the next day. The fat rendered down and melted into the brisket :heart_eyes:. Me being a chicken person… I have to say I like Bludsoes’ (La Brea) chicken better. It’s my favorite thing on their menu.

Gotta’ try Bludsoes’ (Ruckers) pies!

I was going to ask how the heck the La Brea/Compton partnership came about. But you explained it. Gotta’ give credit to that brainchild.

Once again, bulavinaka!


Hi @TheCookie,

Yah MB’s brisket can be amazing! :slight_smile: although like you, I don’t eat brisket that much. :stuck_out_tongue:


The quality of the meat at most BBQ places is what @TonyC refers to as being from “downer cattle,” or something like that. That makes the quality of Maple Block’s meat really stand out.

BBQ seems to have very humble roots, so I guess one could expect that of the quality of the meat as well - BBQ wasn’t a food of the well-to-dos.

The Maple Block example is tantamount to immigrant food. Most arriving here are modest people. They struggle with finances both personally as well as with their businesses. The ingredients at their eateries tend to be modest, but their abilities to apply mastered techniques will hopefully compensate for that and result in something at least above acceptable and affordable. When a Wes Avila, David Chang or Aaron Franklin comes along, elevates a once-humble food and gets it out to a more well-heeled audience in one way or another, it’s a collective wow-moment.

Maple Block also smokes their food with peach wood. I don’t know if they exclusively use this wood in the smoking, but one definitely senses that they are not only catering to a different crowd, but they do things differently.

They were one of the early embracers of Mary’s chicken - their smoked chicken is really good. One friend still raves of it as he was very skeptical of finding a BBQ place that had exceptional bird.


Ahhh… That explains why my husband (the bbq lover) continues to go to Phillips, even when he sometimes ends up with a batch that is not tender. I asked him once. He said “It’s not supposed to be filet mignon or falling off the bone tender. It depends on the ‘cook’ that day.” With that said, he loved Maple Block :smiley:.

Unfortunately, as much I wanted to, I didn’t love MB’s chicken, especially since it is a Mary’s bird and that makes me happy. Our batch had too much smoke or lighter fluid taste. I love crispy or tender skin. But as sometimes happens with smoked chix, the skin was a little rubbery. I prefer Bludsoe’s chix. But who knows where the heck their birds come from :slightly_frowning_face:.


Sorry to hear about getting a stinker bird - that sounds bad. That’s a waste of a good bird. I have to wonder what caused your bird to come out so bad. New smoker that still needs breaking in? Bad charcoal? Some brands of briquettes are know to give off that lighter fluid smell. Propane?

Our half-bird from Bar&Que was pretty good - nice smoke but not overbearing.


Indeed. And not just here in LA. It’s true of many of the well known TX places, too.

Oh no! I love the chicken at MB but that sounds awful.




I’ll give the chix another try. My husband loved the ribs and we both loved the brisket.


Sorry - Bludso’s Bar & Que.


I would only give MB’s chicken another try upon mentioning the sorry experience you had previously and MB acknowledging that and comping you folks in some way. Their prices are in line with their reputation - they should show their willingness to back it up IMO. I don’t know how long ago that chicken purchase was, but a call may be in order.


i’m guessing that they have caller ID and ignore the high maintenance customers. i know i would.


Ahhh… I thought it was a new spot.


I hadn’t thought about it that way. I chalked it up to a me problem. But you’re right :angry:!


I’ve always felt that BBQ, by its very nature, is inconsistent. I’ve had some of the best, and worst, BBQ from the same place on different days, at Flint’s in Oakland, CA (RIP – “We don’t use any particular cuts of meat”). As stated above, when someone like Aaron Franklin starts doing it consistently, that’s something special. I expect to be in San Antone for business in a few months, and plan to visit to either Franklin BBQ in Austin, or Snow’s in Lexington, where Tootsie Tomanetz is also known for consistently great BBQ. Neither is a short drive, and both involve waiting in long lines (something I almost never do), but great BBQ is worth it, to me.


If you’re in San Antonio, try a BBQ spot called Granary. It’s pricey and on the hip side relative to a traditional Texas spot, but they do some pretty good BBQ during lunchtime and also have a great beer selection on draft.

If the lines at Franklin are intimidating, hit up La Barbecue in Austin. Phenomenal stuff.


Thank you! I remember people arguing on July DOTM (BBQ). Someone was disputing what another said that even a good place will occasionally have a bad “cook” (a batch that comes out bad). The person was adamant that a good BBQ-er should never have a bad cook. I’m not an expert, but thought that was a little ridiculous. My husband and I love to watch the pit master competitions on Destination Channel (Franklin sometimes judges). If the circuit guys with custom cookers & smokers - who live, sleep, breathe BBQ can have a bad cook anyone can. That’s what I think anyway :blush:.