Welcome to Sinosoul on this day, October 10, Taiwanese Indepedence Day.
I would not call myself a religious man. Yet sometimes The Man touches me. Every time Smetana’s tone poem, The Mouldau (Vltava), is played – usually the Leonard Bernstein issue – shiver slivers down my spine. When Grant Achatz was interviewed by Mr. Ruhlman at the Steppenwolf Chicago (March ’07) and spoke of his epiphanous “stage” at El Bulli, same shiver…
Prelude: sometimes, you know you shouldn’t eat too loudly, e.g. at the movie theatre, don’t crunch down on Skittles too hard; at the Met. don’t chew gum with voracity. I was similarly forced to consume Bludso’s brilliant barbecue in silence this July: Lang Lang had just ponced on first few bars of Tchaikovsky’s No. 1 and I was trying, with all my might, not to boldly masticate the crunchy cartilage of the charry, smoky rib tips which I’d brought all the way from Compton earlier that evening.
And then The Man touched me. Twice. or, should I say simultaneously? For both the long awaited Lang Lang concerto (I first made attempt to catch him back in ’05, under CSO’s Borenboim), and the porky rib juices mixed as I silently chewed.
Beyond the Judith Martin-esque advice, this is what everyone needs to know: The Bludso clan stuffs their own links during “beer nights”. Not just links, three kinds of links: beef, pork and chicken. My fave: the poulty links, smoked quickly in the Old Hickory, with barely a hint of sage.. It’s almost… Asian with its fine grind and spices. Everything is home made except for the white bread/buns. This goes for the sauce, sames goes for the sides. I’m not even going to talk about the sides here. All I care about is the protein portion of the store front rib shack. And what cue this is! Beef brisket smoked with apple / hickory and sometime oak, for 13-15 hours. Pork and beef ribs smoked for 3.5-4 hours. Them pork shoulders used in the pulled pork? Smoked in iron drums, perfect texture with just enough chew, no need for sauce. Have you chased rib tips like I have? All through out Compton and vicinities? This joint is it. Charred to perfection, chopped to contain just pertinent amounts of cartilage, yet still meaty. It is lovely.
While Mr. Kevin Bludso previously enjoyed the likes of Sonny Bryan’s in Dallas and Vergies in Houstons (a friend), since opening in April, he hardly gets to taste of his own Q. Often, instead of ribs, he wants fried chicken when he roots for his fave team, the Cowboys, on Sundays. That said, his customers seem to enjoy the ribs the most, followed by the beyond moist brisket (which I suspect may be finished off by foiling), then rib tips.
Want to be touched by Hermes, god of meat and feast? Hit up Bludso’s, one of the gems along Alonda Blvd, the gastro-highway of Compton*
* Honey’s Kettle and Mom’s Burger, 2 of my dietary mainstays, are all within foodcrawl distance.Bludso’s BBQ 811 S. Long Beach Blvd. Compton, CA 90221 T: 310-637-1342