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Best BBQ restaurants in Los Angeles-area

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When you're looking for authentic Southern-style barbecue, you may not think Chinatown, but that's where the Spring Street Smoke House in downtown Los Angeles is serving up tasty smoked tip meat.

The restaurant serves what's called "The Kitchen Sink," a platter filled with pulled pork, barbecue chicken, hotlinks and three kinds of barbecue ribs.

"This is like what people would want to make if they had time and could put in the effort to make it at home for themselves," said Chris Patterson of Spring Street Smoke House.

You'll be licking your fingers and they've got a huge beer selection to wash it down.

"It's just this whole mix of things," said Patterson. "It's just like L.A., a lot of the best stuff."

In Echo Park, try Filipino-style barbeque. Appropriately named The Park's Finest, this family restaurant started as a catering operation.

"The food we create is really Los Angeles barbecue," said Johneric Concordia, co-founder of The Park's Finest.

The tri-tip special is generously rubbed with Filipino spices and smoked for hours. The coconut beef, Cornish game hens and pulled pork are all prepared with recipes handed down for generations.

And don't forget the cornbread, which is influenced by the bibingka, a Filipino sweet rice cake, and it's amazing.

"The grandmas and lolas that do bibingka will snub their nose at it, but once they have a bite, it's usually one of the first things that are out," said Concordia.

In Mid-City, Gish Bac is the place to go for authentic Oaxacan-style barbacoa.

"Our specialty is barbacoa, lamb and goat," said David Padilla, Jr. of Gish Bac Restaurant. "It's seasoned differently."

Barbacoa is an old family recipe using dried red chiles, cloves, ripe tomatoes and more. It takes one to two days to prepare, and the meats cook for at least five to six hours, which is why the delicacy is only served on the weekends.

"It's very flavorful. It's very juicy. The meat is very tender. It will come off the bone really easily," said Padilla.

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