… and I can’t quite grasp what it is.

Horse Thief Grand Central Market

Horse Thief just opened recently, and everyone should be ecstatic about a locally owned place that offers consistently good brisket north of The 105. I love Compton and all, but sometimes [not very often] I’d like to eat brisket while sitting down at a table. Horse Thief is so good they run out of brisket every day at 1:30 PM. Forget about the weekend dinner. I don’t see this as a viable source of smokey beef for me. Don’t get me wrong, the brisket is on par with anything else in LA, and they’ll get a beer license soon, so I’m all gung-ho for them to succeed. But how are you going to call yourself a restaurant when you run out of the best stuff 4 hours before your restaurant closes? Every time I think about going to Horse Thief, I end up sitting back down and grabbing a beer from my fridge because I’m so afraid of the looming meat missed connection. That is some serious mental anguish caused by a side of dead cows.

Horse Thief BBQ guest sampler (unavailable during actual business hours)

Let’s be honest with ourselves, the parking isn’t the easiest either. But this might be the “best” quality beef being used in a brisket in all of Southern California. (At $24 per half pound, it better be.) Did I mention it’s really tasty? You know what I’m going to do one day? I’m going to show up to Grand Central Market right when the briskets come off the smoker, and order a whole brisket (something like 7 lbs worth) just as a big “FU” to all the weekday LA Times employees who always get to eat it Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Friday. I’m going to shrink wrap the hell out of that chunk of beef, and peel off a few slices that Saturday and instagram the resulting amazing brisket sandwich (married to my lef-toverBludso’s sauce, natch) just for a little wee bit of humble-gloat.

Horse Thief BBQ
Horse Thief BBQ on Urbanspoon


And so the rest of LA waits for more BBQ champs to visit our town. Most people aren’t that disappointed because Adam Perry Lang has been running a parking lot green egg cology in Hollywood since about the same time Horse Thief soft-opened. Some say the ribs are great. They say the pork butts are unparalled by Los Angeles institutions. They also say the lot’s inaccesible without paying $10 parking, and forget about going for dinner, or anytime during the weekend. So it’s basically the equivalent of a BBQ middle finger perpetually flipping you off on Twitter.

Seriously, what is going on here? Is there a conspiracy?

This is clearly a BBQ conspiracy because there’s even more impending cue for Los Angeles. Robbie Richter is also coming in the form of a Fleischman/Umami Group/SBE fancy BBQ restaurant. And he keeps teasing LA with BBQ. But the BBQ is never the BBQ I really want to eat. Whole roasted lamb? That’s nice, but I can get barbacoa any day of the week by walking 2 blocks from my house. Where’s the pork butt? Just open your restaurant already, please! It’s August, it’s dead middle of cloudy, cool, summer. Is there a better time to eat ribs? Nay.

Why are these out-of-state monsters bbq gurus teasing us like this? I don’t understand. For example, this Saturday and Sunday (August 17 – 18), Trace Arnold is rolling into The Grove with this piece of American stainless steel:

trace arnold bbq three stacks

The BBQ truck smokes up 2000 pounds of meat of various renditions, but the public won’t even be able to buy his famous ribs/brisket. What they’ll have on offer for Grove visitors are the (sponsored?) “hickory-smoked and jalapeno cheddar sausage”.

Why does America not want Los Angeles to eat Southern BBQ? Can someone explain? In the meantime, I’m going to wash my Bludso’s T-shirt and beg for some briskets from Mr. Trace Arnold’s super smokey truck on Sunday. Maybe by Labor Day I’ll be able to write about all the “nouveux” BBQ that is currently happening all-around Los Angeles. Maybe. (And I don’t mean the horrible waste of pork that was served in Culver City a few months back).



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