In a city known for its diverse population, where even the vegan restaurants are very meat-centric, it can be hard to find a good, authentic, and most importantly, genuine BBQ joint.
Fortunately, Los Angeles is also home to some of the best and most unique barbecue spots you will find anywhere in the world. With summer here and our thoughts turning towards red pandas and picnic lunches in the park, we’re thinking about all things grilled.
This means that this is the perfect time to check out some of L.A.'s best BBQ spots for an end-of-the-weekend reprieve from this humid heat. Here are six must-visit BBQ spots in L.A. for your July weekend:
Hunan: A Good, Old-Fashioned Chinatown BBQ Joint
The best place to start if you’re looking for a truly authentic Chinatown BBQ experience is Hunan. This place is, as you might expect, a bit rough around the edges and not a place to go if you want a fancy or modern experience.
However, it is a great place to go if you want a good, old-fashioned Chinatown BBQ experience. When you arrive, you’ll be handed a menu with all the standard Chinese barbecue fare on it. Think roasted pork, roast chicken, beef, duck, and lamb.
There are a few other things on the menu as well, but these are the highlights. You can get anything from steak to curry on the rotisserie, and you can even help them put it on if you want. They’re also happy to make you something if you want something specific.
At the end of the night, your table will be packed up with all the leftovers, so you can take them home if there’s anything you wanted to try but didn’t get round to. This is the best of both worlds. You get the quality of a restaurant but the convenience of delivery.
Smoky Shisha: Middle Eastern-BBQ Fusion
If you’re in the mood to try something a little different, why not head over to Smoky Shisha. This is a Middle Eastern-BBQ fusion restaurant, and it’s an experience that you’ll remember.
The first thing that you’ll notice when you walk in is the aroma of the shisha that they’re serving. And this isn’t just your average shisha. They have flavors like grapefruit, watermelon, and blueberry that you definitely won’t find at your local shisha bar. They have a rotating menu and can make almost anything if you ask them to.
Some examples of things that they offer that you might want to try are the pulled pork sandwich, the jerk chicken sandwich, the mushroom and spinach omelet, or the Mediterranean salad. If you have any specific food allergies, let them know and they can accommodate you as well.
Everything at Smoky Shisha is served with their homemade chips, which are just as delicious as their drinks. They’ll let you know what’s fresh that day, and then it’s up to you to tell them what you want. They’ve got chicken and lamb, so you can have one of each if you want.
Shin-Sen: The OG Japanese BBQ Experience
If you’ve ever been curious about trying the original Japanese BBQ experience, then there’s no better place to do it than Shin-Sen. To start with, it’s pretty cheap. The meals are all around $15 each, which is incredibly reasonable for what you get.
The food they serve at Shin-Sen is traditional. While they do have some more modern options, it’s the classic dishes that make this place so special. You can expect to see things like shabu-shabu, sukiyaki, and kalbi on the menu.
Fairfax: High Quality, Low price ribs in L.A.
Fairfax Bar & Grill is one of the most famous BBQ spots in L.A. They’ve got a pretty wide menu, but ribs are the thing to order here. These ribs are the genuine article; slow-cooked for a good long time until they’re fall-off-the-bone tender.
Just make sure that you dig out some of the meat from the bones before you eat them. This is a full-service restaurant, so they’ll bring you sides like coleslaw and baked beans with your ribs. They also do burgers and sandwiches if you’d rather have something a little less messy.
Sumiya: Everything you love about Oban! 3
For those of you who are wondering where your favorite Oban chef has gone to, he’s been running the kitchen at Sumiya ever since he left his old restaurant. This isn’t quite Oban. It’s a little bit more casual, and the menu is a little bit different.
However, if you miss the shio ramen or the pork katsu sando, then you need to head over to Sumiya immediately. If you love casual, but quality dining experiences and are looking for something a little bit different, L.A. has you covered. With all of the different kinds of barbecue that you can experience, you’re sure to find something for everyone.
From Middle Eastern-BBQ fusion to Japanese shabu-shabu, you’ll never run out of options when it comes to barbecue in L.A.