Friday, June 29, 2007

JR's Barbeque...It is summer officially!


3055 So. La Cienega Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(310)837-6838
Mon-Thu 11AM-9PM
Fri-Sat 11AM-10PM

To set the mood. "Take it away Will"


The rays of summer are upon us and feeling the heat we remember that it's time to savor the flavor of barbecue sauce. When you speak of bbq in LA, people have varied opinions as to who is the best. While I'm not going to argue as to who I believe is the best(as it will never be decided, and can never be decided, cause it's all about taste), I will say that JR's BBQ is an outstanding entry into the annals of Los Angeles Barbecue hotspots.

When you go over to a friends place for barbecue you bring an appetite and expect to help yourself. Going to JR's is like going to a close relatives house where you feel welcomed immediately and are at home when you sit down. One of the owners (Bobby) was helping take care of us and was one of the nicest guys we've met. It seemed like every 4 minutes or so he was making the rounds making sure everyone was all good and chatting with them for a little. He had the attitude like he actually wished you were in his family.

How do I begin talking about food that leaves such a strong impression that after you've had it you still talk about it and taste it on your mouth the next day? By saying it was one of the best BBQ plates I've had ever. We got dinner plates (comes with 2 sides and both of us got the classic combination of potato salad and baked beans) of the chicken links (served medium heat) and a dinner plate of the pork shoulder meat (also served medium). The chicken links, which they make themselves, were absolutely to die for. Thinking about them right now makes my mouth water. They were tender and exploded with juicy chicken and spicy flavors. The BBQ sauce they serve it with is their own special recipe and packs a wallop of dense Memphis flavor. As I said we got the links medium and they were just that. By the end of the plate our mouths were a little warm but not in pain. As a side note, they can make them hot and if you do get them be prepared as they're NOT for the faint of heart.

The pork shoulder plate had a huge serving of incredibly tender pulled pork meat. Once again what we have here is a plate of meat that stands above the rest with each bite tasting better than the last. I grew up in both Puerto Rican and black families for get togethers. Puerto Ricans have a dish that's called Pernil, which is essentially roasted pork shoulder. I've had many examples of Pernil as well as lots of Tennessee style pork meat. This is the closest you're going to get to authentic Memphis in LA.

The potato salad was different in a very cool way. Lying somewhere between traditional potato salad and mashed potatoes with their own extra seasonings (Celeste thought maybe ground celery seed). This was something of a special signature on the plate. The baked beans were wonderful with the taste of liquified sweet bacon in the sauce. Man... intensely good! We ordered a side of mac and cheese to split between the two of us that was great. I love how it had the ever so slightly crunchy top but creamy underneath.

To finish off we had the Sock-It-To-Me Cake (as recommended by Bobby, with a scoop of ice cream) and it finished us off perfectly. Let it be known that Jeannie (Bobby's mom and the other owner along with Bobby) used to make desserts for restaurants, so she knows a few things about satisfying a sweet tooth. The Sock-It-To-Me Cake (shown below) is a sour cream based cake with a streusel of cinnamon, pecans and brown sugar in the middle that is so soft and so well balanced that you feel you just might die eating it! I do admit that the ice cream was the absolute perfect side for it as it kept your mouth from being overwhelmed with the sweetness. A single cake is a good enough size for two people. At $3.50 this things is a STEAL! The other two desserts worth recommending are the 7 up Cake ($3) which is a butter yellow cake made with yes...7 up as a main ingredient as well as cream cheese. And lastly, the sweet potato pie ($2.50) which is dynamite.

The rest of their menu meats consist of Chicken, Turkey Breast, Chicken Breast, Pork Ribs, Beef Ribs, Beek Brisket, Links (chicken and beef), Small End Ribs, and Rib Tips all of which can be made into a sandwich from what I remember. A word about their beef brisket, and about the way they do their meat in general... it's all done fresh in their BBQ pit in the back of the restaurant. Brisket is a tough meat to work with requiring time to be any good. That's why they do their brisket for 14 hours! On yelp I see great reviews about them and then the occasional post that says the meat is dry and not happening. It makes me wonder if it's a random anonymous writer who happens to work for the competition. I say this for two reasons. 1) How can meat that's being done this way, randomly have a bad batch just for that person? and 2) their customer service and attention to how much they want their customers to love everything they're eating is at such a high level, that if by some miracle chance you were to get a dry piece of meat and you didn't like it, they would've asked you if everything was okay and how it tasted and they would have done so for certain since the owners are always there checking in on their patrons as if they were their own family. They would have rectified the situation immediately. Had to go into debate mode cause sometimes I have a problem with Yelp. Sometimes. This place should AT LEAST be a 4 out of 5 on every BBQ lover's list. It's even gotten raving reviews from people such as the LA Times and (one of our personal favorites) the Wally's Wines newsletter.

It's summertime, and though I love the taste of BBQ I'm not always down for doing it myself or waiting for it to be cooked up. This 4th of July why don't you call JR's and have them make you up a batch of some of the best Memphis Barbecue you may ever have! (check out the family meal deals for four starting at $23 for chicken up to $30 for the brisket & ribs)

Free Drink Refills: Only on their Tiger Woods' (raspberry ice tea and lemonade)
Entree Price Range: Sandwiches about $8 and Dinners (which include 2 sides) are about $10 to $12

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Craig said...

This place is amazing. The first time I ate there (I believe on your rec) the owner guy upon finding out I was a first timer and was having trouble deciding, brought me out a sampler plate with all of the different kinds of meats! It was almost big enough for a full meal! I love this place.

Another place you should check out that is near there is Uncle Moki's World's Greatest Shrimp. It's in a little strip mall a little further south across from target. Good stuff.

January 7, 2008 at 2:04 AM  
Blogger Aubrey said...

Duly noted!

January 14, 2008 at 2:32 PM  

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