Phillips Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

Phillips (Leimert Park): baby back
Smokey. Just tender enough but with great feel on the teeth upon first bite. Not a thing wrong, except the “mixed” sauce isn’t my thang. It was just a bland, thin running sauce with a bit of tang, not spicy enough to be medium, not neutral enough to be regular. Much has been written about Philips and in hind sight, regular spare ribs should have been ordered at the beginning of the crawl. Going to rib shack at 11:00am is probably also a dubious move. It take a 7am kitchen crew to properly smoke the ribs. A more interesting compare would be the consistency of ribs between opening and mid afternoon. Or is that assumption just a bit condescending?

Low End Theory’s 04 entry on Phillips

Professor Salt’s ’05 BBQ list.
The New Diner’s ’06 Phillips review.

What To Eat LA’s ’07 post on Phillips..

That said, the pound of rib tips is nearly on par with Bludso’s offering. There were charred bits, there were fatty bits, there were crunchy bits and there were meaty smokey bits. Part of what makes great rib tips is how the tips are actually butchered off the spares. These beaties came in small bite sizes, larger squares and playful triangles. Just perfect. Couple this with Bludso’s spicy hot sauce, or Bludso’s hot mustard sauce and it’s a fine sample of what good rib tips can be.


Prayer Assembly Church of God in Christ on Urbanspoon

Prayer Assembly Church: spare ribs
Almost no smokiness. Looks grilled, then finished off in outdoor drum smoker to cut cooking time? Huge portions, regular spare ribs. A bit tough, very oily, complete lack of rub and under usage of salt. Almost no peppery-ness at all. Bitter but very distinct collards. Corn bread was surprisingly corny & very rustic with gritty bits of corn. This was a surprising find but does not make up for the ribs which were smoked with what looked like mesquite charcoal briquettes. Mr. Wiviott, Professor of WSM smokers long advised charcoal briquettes usually impart disgusting flavors. These particular ribs were eaten simultaneously in the church’s parking lot against Phillips, and the difference was goliath.

While parishiners are known to the suggest it is the BBQ that built the church, no one can believe people would for and continously donate for this mediocre product.


Jay Bee's House of Fine Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

Jay Bee’s: spare ribs
A nice aroma of smoke, but no smoke ring. At this level of BBQ, dryness isn’t an issue, but if one had to pick, Jay Bee’s had the dryest ribs. The thin sauce was on the sugary side, with no spices at all. They couldn’t stick to the ribs, and detracted from the pork ribs. The collards were nearly bland, with the home made peach cobbler bordering on disgusting. No one can make cold cobbler tastes good. This was Chowhound’s winner in the last round of blind tasting done Kansas City style but on this particular day, no was convinced.


Nate’s Home BBQ: spare ribs
702 W Compton Blvd
Compton, CA 90220
(310) 763-1970

Mrs. BBQ (with the glasses) is AWESOME. Her late husband Nate took over the BBQ from his father, still a working pastor with his own church. I’ve previously written about Nate’s here. In fact, let me call them up right now because there’s supposedly a 50th anniversary celebration. Andrea is the other grill master. Nate’s technique is befuddling. 2 kettles built 90 degrees to each other are used. Links, chicken, ribs and pork shoulder all commingled, sometimes stacked on top of each other. There is constant turning, moving, flipping and other movements, while the lids are up. How this process of “airing” the smoke is able to turn out these particularly amazing ribs makes absolutely no sense.

On this particular today, tho Bludso’s success was as if my own child’s, Mrs. BBQ threw down the Q gauntlet and whooped ass. Bludso’s ribs was just a less smokey, tho with just interesting of a bite and equally impressive of seasoning. Visually viewing Nate’s BBQ ops also gave sense to the complexity of the rib. There was fat drizzling from various links onto the ribs. This wasn’t just a rub. It was the result of pulchritude of fat emulsion slowly seeping into pork cells.

BTW, the 50th Anniversary celebration will be the 3rd week of March. Mrs. BBQ wanted it during Black History Month but… Hey, it just didn’t work out. Subscribe to the comment page to stay informed. It’s gonna be one helluva party because Nate himself? He used to cater bar mitzvahs. No joke.

Previous SinoSoul entry on Nate’s here.


Bludso’s of Compton: spare ribs
811 S Long Beach Blvd
Compton, CA 90221
(310) 637-1342

No need to expound further on this. SinoSoul’s first entry was on Bludso’s.

Same entry was cross-posted onto Chowhound, and yelp! To Cookie & Kevin: y’all rocked my world in ’08 with your hospitality. May ’09 bring you more smoky happiness.


The results of this crawl, with greatest emphasis on flavor, smoke, texture of rib, followed by slight weight on sauce:

1. Nate’s Home BBQ
2. Bludso’s
3. Phillip’s
4. Jay Bee’s
100. Prayer Church

Other LA BBQ lists:
BBQ Junkie Blog
Elina-Shatkin of LA Times



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  • Steve

    You need to go down to Tyler and Taylor, Texas when you get a chance. The bbq down there is unparalleled. Also, that doughnut shop is a total dump and not in an endearing way. I see no reason to go there. I’m focused on the truck on Saturday.

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