Bludso's La Brea > Bludso's Compton

Yeah I said it - F Bludso’s Compton.

Man that old fashioned at Bludso’s La Brea is so damned good. And those sides - so damn good.

I haven’t been to the Bar&Que but since the OG location seems to send all calls to voicemail on the weekends (at least mine), they don’t even exist to me anymore.

Pies by Nicole Rucker are supposed to be at the La Brea shop. Have you had a chance to try?

By the by, your post is on the SF Bay area board. Bludso’s “love” spreading this far north?

DAMNIT, I just read that too and totally forgot today!!!

I sent a message to the mods asking for this to be moved.


I’d actually give the nod to La Brea too, but based only on the presence of booze. The reality is that they are both only slightly better than mediocre BBQ and that they only shine because LA is such a barren wasteland for properly smoked meat. (Maple Block being the exception)


Maple Block has made it a lot easier to blow off Bludso’s. Still - Bludso’s large party tray is dearly missed by my family and friends.


A trip to culver city is only marginally shorter than a trip to austin.


a few things:

  1. i agree about the old fashioned at the bludso’s la brea. very tasty.
  2. i’ve always maintained few if any could pick out the difference between the meat
    at the two joints in a blind tasting.
  3. apropos of nothing, someone told me the other day el paso is halfway between austin and l.a.
    texas is really just too darn far across.

that is all.

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I’m not a big drinker, but having alcohol is nice at the La Brea location. Perhaps because it also has a dining room and I can enjoy the food when it comes out of the kitchen and not 30+ minutes later out of styrofoam as for the original location, but I also think La Brea’s sides are generally superior. I do think the meat is better at Compton, and obviously the pricing is hard to beat. I wished there was a smaller and cheaper combos at La Brea like they have at Compton.

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For the uninitiated, can you explain what makes Maple Block so much better? I’ve been to both Bludso’s and Maple Block. I liked both and thought Bludso’s had a richer flavor but Maple Block had better quality meat. I thought Maple Block was also just too expensive. What am I missing?

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On my first visit, the counter person mentioned the wood MB smokes with was peach wood. I don’t know if this is still the case but what ever wood is being used along with the process results in a flavor that agrees with me more.

I feel MB’s smoking process is more focused, more controlled. I’ve gotten ribs that have been creosote-like from Bludso’s. This has never been the case at MB. The ribs are chewier - I like this texture - but the flavor of the pork comes through. In fact, the brisket and chicken have consistently imparted a nice smokiness while almost always being perfectly moist as well. My only experience with dry brisket from MB was on my first visit. I ordered fatty, and the pieces were fatty but the meat was dry. After that, it has been spot on.

In the end, the issues in differences are probably more related to scale and style, but the quality of the meat does seem better at MB.

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It’s that darn brisket. It’s so darn good. Best I’ve had outside of Austin. So smokey, tender and juicy. Definitely in my opinion the best in LA…


I’ll have to give Maple Block another try. I don’t like chewy ribs (but, as @bulavinaka said, that’s prob more style than actual technique), and the brisket was fine. I like fatty, but I thought that the brisket might be TOO fatty for me (I’ll try the leaner one next time).

I don’t love Maple Blocks ribs either. They do give you a choice on the Brisket of Fatty or not, and I aways get the fatty…Their BBQ Pork Belly was wonderful too.

@paranoidgarliclover and @wienermobile - yeah, the ribs are a point of debate in our household. I’m the only one who prefers the ribs at MB over Bludso’s style.

To me, the ribs from Bludso’s are fine. They are tender and flavorful with a smokey barbeque pork flavor. As long as they aren’t overdone, they are delicious.

The MB version is more primal to me, but in a good sense. The flavor of pork is far more pronounced, more fresh and clean. These ribs taste like they were off the pig a short time ago. The simple salt and pepper rub and the smoke are all there but only adding layers of flavor to the pork. The burnished finish on these ribs is beautiful. While the traditional bark isn’t there, the smoke flavor is.

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I’m not in your household debate but I am with you - not even close for me, MB >> Bludso’s

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@CiaoBob, the water’s warm - hop on in!

And yet you wouldn’t go to Jitlada? Gentrifier indeed.

Also, I’m not sure whom I’m replying to, but: people who don’t drink shouldn’t evaluate the worthiness of Bbq based on alcohol availability.

I was the first non-black to document Bludso’s Compton. The fact there are Bludso’s Atlanta and Australia does not change my allegiance. Noah Galuten will concur on all points.

And you can eat at Bludso’s Compton. They’re called benches. Pull yourself up with a brown bag. Don’t forget to share.


This is pretty much my experience, too. I much prefer the ribs at Maple Block to Bludso’s Compton (never been to LaBrea). I would describe them as “toothsome,” in contrast to “falling off the bone.” I also think the seasoning really elevates them above the competition.

I also prefer the fatty brisket at Maple Block, but the gap is smaller between there and Bludso’s than with the ribs imo.

Just a heads up, you can also order small (less fatty) or large (more fatty) ribs by the rib at lunch. It’s a good way to hedge your bets and try a variety of items all at once without going with a group.

@paranoidgarliclover, you might want to give Maple Block another try. I go a couple of times a month, and while they’re usually on point, it is possible to get a mediocre meal there. Also, you might want to try the smoked chicken. That’s actually one of the most consistent items on the menu. Moist, tender, and smokey…


Very true. Can’t beat the party tray for a group.

since this thread got bumped, I’ll also say for my taste buds Bludso’s La Brea > Barrel & Ashes > Bludo’s Compton > Boneyard Bistro

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