Pretty good Barbecue in the Valley.
I’ve been to this part of Sherman Oaks in the past. Believe it or not, it was for Thanksgiving, when me and my Father went to a local Italian Haunt for their version of the Traditional Thanksgiving Feast.
One thing about this part of Sherman Oaks is that, it’s primarily a bedroom community. So there’s not a lot to do in immediate walking distance.
Basically, if you’re going to the Boneyard Bistro, it is the destination. If you want to do something like see a movie or see a play, you’ll have to get in your car again. (Psst! You have to do this for a lot of restaurants, but for some reason it was really, really noticeable in the Boneyard’s case.)
You walk into the Boneyard, and the first thing you think is…Halloween?
I mean, it’s a beautifully designed cooper and wood milieu. But it’s a copper and wood milieu with skulls, cleavers, caskets, and a big, big sign reading: “An account of the bloody deeds of Chef Aaron Copeland”…or something. I’m not sure how the creep factor plays into one’s thinking on eating mass quantities of barbecued meat.
I like the fact that it’s have Sports Bar and half dining room, with the full menu available in both.
Barbecue is not a food that one expects snooty service with. In fact, I’d go so far as to say, one will not tolerate snooty service at a Barbecue place. The good news in that department is that the staff is very nice. You will be well treated and well looked after. There is a vague air of hipster about the place. That was a bit unsettling, but…nothing that’s gonna distract you from your Brisket and Sausage.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I am an evil man. I decided to have the same meal two nights in a row just to compare the two restaurants involved: Boneyard and Gus’s. In both cases I ordered the Rib and two meat combo (yes, both places have the same item on their menus). In addition to the Ribs, I completed the Texas Barbecue Trinity with Brisket and Sausage. Boneyard seems to be highly regarded by the users of UrbanSpoon. Why not.
The moment the plate hit my table. Game over. Gus’s wins, going away.
Now, let me first say that Boneyard did not lose by sucking. They did not suck. They just paled in comparison. Now, I will give them the fact that Cornbread was free. It came in little golfball sized nuggets via a small basket of bread and butter, and wasn’t bad. It wasn’t the Iron Skillet Corn Bread from Gus’s with the honey butter and the jalapeño jelly. But you ain’t paying six bucks for it either.
The plate itself was a touch smaller than the one I got at Gus’s, but that was fine since it was also a bit cheaper as well ($22 versus $27). The barbecue came bone dry, which some people like, and other people (mainly some Texans I know) may look at with suspicion. The sauce came the side, and it was very much a sweet, Carolina-style sauce, so…no points there.
The Greens, I have to say, were very good. They were up their with Gus’s, but prepared differently. These were sweeter and more tomatoey. In fact, they reminded me of the Green’s I’d get at the late-great Larkin’s in Eagle Rock, and maybe The Gumbo Pot now that I think about it. Thumbs up there.
It was the Mac and Cheese that weirded me out. Instead of a fluffy bed of macaroni and cheesy goodness, I got breaded and fried nuggets of the stuff. Now, I’m sure the kids love this, and they’re certainly cleaner to eat, but…and this is just my opinion now, the frying dries out the cheese. So, this didn’t work so well for me.
The Sausage was okay. It was a good snap to the casing, but I liked Gus’s better, and Bludso’s was even better than that.
Other than that, it was an okay Barbecue experience. I ordered the Mint Julep, which I didn’t care for much, since all I could taste was the Vodka, or Gin…or whatever it was they poured in there. No flavor at all.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: Nothing really bad or alerting. I will say that the Skeleton and graveyard motif the place chose to go with wasn’t exactly settling. But I’m sure I’m in the minority on this one.
There is a main dining room where you can dine with a date. But if it’s just you and the fellas, stroll on in to the bar area where they’ve got plenty of TVs to watch whatever game you want.
PARKING: Yeah, place sits in the middle of what’s really the border between North Hollywood and Sherman Oaks. It sits along Ventura Blvd., amidst a bunch of other Bars and Restaurants. So, know going in they don’t have any parking. Now, there is stuff along the street, but good luck finding a spot close by. You may wind up renting a Taxi to get to the Boneyard from your parking space. That leaves the most obvious option, and the one I like least, Valet. The service is pretty good, and costs $4.50.
13539 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Monday-Thursday: 5:30–10:00 pm
Friday: 5:30 pm – 2:00 am
Saturday: 12:00 pm – 2:00 am
Sunday: 12:00–9:00 pm