Yep, I finally hit up fucking The Maple Block in Culver City. They did quite a competent job of erase any memory or semblance of the old Villa Italian space, save for re-gussying up the iconic neon sign a bit.
The bbq brisket was a thing of utter beauty for the most part. It’s exceptional stuff. It’s up there with Big Mista for me. I would have to do a side-by-side taste test to see which one would be better. But on a great day, Big Mista would be better beause when those burnt ends are on it’s completely a masochistic pleasure par excellence, second to none in these parts (LA/OC/SD Counties) working in conjunction with that supreme smokeyness.
Maple Block’s brisket was fatty (i asked for the fatty end which is where all that flavor is at) and tender and had some burnt ends attached to the fat which were the perfect fucking bites. It’s a great find. I ordered up a 1/3 of a pound, then when I took a closer look at the gloriously marbled brisket, changed my order to a 1/2 pound, and once I received the order devoured it barely a few moments. I proceeded back to the butcher counter and ordered another 1/4 pound which was great but didn’t quite reach the heights of the first 1/2 pound. Melting in your mouth tender with top notes of smokeyness was the order of the fucking day.
The vinegar slaw was beyond horrendous; the pickles were so fucking LA. But what I wanted was a real pickle and jalapenos, not a high-falutin pickle that would be more than apropos at your neighborhood tempura joint.
The coffee soda was disgustingly delicious. Beyond disgutingly delicous. Though curiously it helped to cut down the richness of the fatty beef brisket to size. The bitterness from the strong coffeee worked somewhat as a digestivo, as a piece of pickled ginner would be between bites of hirame nigiri and Hokkaido uni nigiri. The soda worked well too.
Prices are decidedly high though potentially not out of line with the other by the pound joints in LA.
I skipped the strawberry rhubarb hand pie. Ultimately, I was in hurry to get back, which is why luckily I didn’t have to wait on line to go for my last 1/4 of brisket.
Sorry for the above quickly write down impressions, it may sound supremely fucking pretentious and it’s pretty fucking unedited.