Mediocre Barbecue in Culver City, and in other locations.
Your humble publisher is not…repeat not a Texan.
He was merely raised by Texans.
Texans, as you know have a proud, proud Barbecue tradition. I will say that I think Texas Barbecue is better than say…North Carolina Barbecue. I will say that I think Texas Barbecue BLOWS THE DOORS of Kansas style Barbecue.
I will say that…but you’d be able to say that I am biased. And you’d be right.
I confess to be a total and unforgiving hardass when it comes to Barbecue.
Well, what about California Barbecue? What about their tradition?
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that California’s don’t Barbecue. You do. Often. You’ve got the Weather for it. The question is…does California even have a Barbecue tradition?
Well…truthfully…no. You don’t.
Look, it’s not that I haven’t enjoyed Barbecue since I’ve been out here. I love Gus’s in South Pasadena. It’s a treasure. I found Bludso’s Bar N Que…tolerable, though it wouldn’t last two seconds in Barbecue. I know I’m in the minority in that regard.
But the place I’ve been hearing a lot about was Lucille’s in Long Beach.
Well, the first mistake I may have made was going to the one in Culver City. That being said, being as large of a chain as it is, how different could they be?
The place…looks…nice. I mean it’s comfortable. You walk in, you’re made to feel welcome. You food comes out to you in a quick and speedy manner.
But damn man. What is it with the obsession of putting sugar in with your barbecue? Did the Carolinians win the Barbecue Wars here in California? Did Kansas City?
I will admit that…well…sugar produces a reaction roughly akin to…utter and complete disappointment in me when I eat it. Again, being from Texas, I look for spicy, peppery, savory. I’ll take my sugar in my coffee thank you very much.
And to have such sweetness dripping through literally every dish, oh come on. Are you kidding me?
Maybe I shouldn’t be blaming Lucille’s for making their Barbecue with so much sugar.
Maybe I should be blaming you, America.
Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. We all do it. We all love that taste of butter and sugar that can appear in virtually every menu of every restaurant in America. The right touch of butter can bring out the flavor of virtually any vegetable. The right touch of sugar (Again, just a touch) can make…well…just about anything taste delightful.
But then, you know you did. You went sugar crazy. And Restaurants, responding to their bottom line acquiesced. It’s totally accountants logic,but it works. Customers like the food with a little butter and sugar. Customers therefore will LOVE the food if we add even more butter and more sugar.
And Lucille’s stop importing everyone’s Barbecue Traditions and mashing them all together. There’s no such thing as Barbecue’s greatest hits.
When I do Barbecue nowadays, I do the Texas Trinity, the three meats Texas does best: Brisket, Ribs and Sausage, and see what you got. In this case, I got a BBQ Lunch Platter, which I configured to include a single Beef Rib, Beef Brisket and a Hot Link.
Look, like all Pit-masters, Lucille’s handles their meats wonderfully. The rib was a bit tough, but nothing to really penalize them for. The Hot Link wast the best of the three. Not particularly spicy, but it’s sausage, and a rather lean and dry piece of Brisket.
The sauce was what gave me pause, it gave me a lot of pause…as that first burst of sugar hit my tongue. It’s like someone cooked took the greatest hits of other Barbecue sauce bottles, and mashed them together. A little bit of Carolina sweet, a little touch of Texas twang. God. Awful.
Now…even where, when I say awful, I’m talking in context of my personal experience as a Texas Barbecue eater. It does not actually taste awful. It does taste like Barbecue sauce, it’s just a sauce that I really don’t care for, and wouldn’t have ever again…even if put in front of me. Your experience may differ. But I’ll tell you this, if I brought my Dad (the one who lives in Texas year round and was born there) here…one bite of the Barbecue and he’d stare at me like I just slapped his grandchild.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: See above.
PARKING: Plentiful. Then again, it is located in the Fox Hills Mall. You’ll be able to find a space, and it’ll be free. The only trick is where it is in regards to the location. There is literally parking on all sides of the mall. The best bet is to park, wander inside, get a gauge of your Parking Lot/Garage, then find Lucille’s. It’s in the new section of the Mall with all the restaurants, down by Best Buy.
Lucille’s Smokehouse (Culver City)
6000 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230
Tel: (310) 390-1227
Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 am – 12:00 am