On a random Sunday last month, I had a craving for BBQ. I think a friend of mine had asked me which BBQ joint was best in LA earlier that week; obviously I answered Bludso’s – critical and blogger darling. But there’s a problem with that statement: I hadn’t been to Bludso’s yet. Since I had nothing to do that day, I figured it was as good of a time as ever to make my trek down south to Compton. Plus there would be no better time to go, since they’re not very close and always close early.
I went right before noon, so there were a lot of church goers walking around in their Sunday bests. Despite this being “the hood,” everyone just seemed so happy and courteous. See people, it’s not so scary. Of course, I was the only non-Black person in sight. No biggie – I’m just that cool. On the other hand, I’m sure everyone else thought that I was one of these sheltered kids who considered the visit as some sort of reputation-building field trip (I know Alex Adams desires such a trip, being the for-the-people bougie that he is). Whatever, I’m here for the BBQ, y’all.
To make this trip count, I ordered the Texas Sampler ($29.50 – I believe it’s $28.50 on their website though), which has a little bit of all the meats on the menu (add a beef rib on weekends for $2). I got the mild sauce on the side, since that was what was suggested to me when you order to-go. You also get two large sides (I chose greens and mac and cheese), and a bunch of cornbread and white bread. The meats, besides the additional beef rib (which I got one of), consisted of: pork rib, beef brisket, rib tip, chicken, chicken link, beef link, and pork shoulder. Lasted me three meals.
Let me start by saying: Bludso’s is definitely the best BBQ I’ve ever had. That was a simple conclusion to come to, once I had my first bite of the beef brisket. So soft, so tender, and so good when slathered with the BBQ sauce. Beef ribs were awesome as well – they actually didn’t charge me for it (FYI: the service is really good). Pork ribs weren’t as good as their beef counterpart, but still held their own. Same with the pork shoulder in comparison to the beef brisket. Add the rib tips, and those five meats were the First-Team All-BBQ.
Not all is perfect though. The chicken had a nice smoky flavor, but was a bit dry and didn’t have that much depth flavor-wise (the sauce helped a bit though). The two varieties of links, while decent, aren’t anywhere in the same league as the superstars. But they were still pretty good. However, I might just stick to ordering a three-meat combo and supplementing it with some beef ribs next time. The sides aren’t often lauded at Bludso’s, but they were pretty damn good. The green, infused with some smoked pork, were really good. Mac and cheese was more conventional, but went well with all the meats.
I’m so glad I finally made it out to Bludso’s. Without a doubt, the best BBQ I’ve ever had. Maybe I can round up some bougies here in West LA and make the occasional field trips to Compton, since Bludso’s is such a destination place. Or I can somehow bribe Mr. Bludso into coming to our holiday potluck. Some notes: you can call ahead to place your order, and it’s currently cash only I believe.
Cornbread, white bread & sauce
Mild sauce on the side
Mac & Cheese
Chris Hei grade: A-
811 S Long Beach Blvd
Compton, CA 90221