Things Are Going South

I remember walking past Honey's Kettle in 2000 when they first opened and smelling the hand-dipped chicken frying in 100% peanut oil. Made from scratch, the chicken always called my name, but whomever I happened to be with always said, "Are you kidding me? Fried chicken? Too fattening!" Unfortunately, we probably moved on to some salad joint where we doused our greens in tons of dressing and called that a low-cal meal. Anyway, I'm no longer friends with those friends and now eat fried chicken whenever I damn well please. Honey's Kettle Master Chef, Vincent Williams, has been frying up golden brown chicken for over 40 years and is clearly a master at his craft. Chicken is moist, juicy, and incredibly tender on the inside with a perfectly seasoned crackling, crispy outside. Dip it into the fresh, organic local honey and you'll be in heaven. Sides are delicious too. French fries are crisp and hot and hand mashed potatoes are chunky and full of flavor. But the biscuits! Lightly crunchy on the outside and warm and fluffy on the inside; it was the perfect pairing. You can even buy a package of buttermilk biscuit mix on the way out! Classic Meals start at $9.25 for a 2 piece basket with Kettle fries, biscuits, and sweet pickles, $10.50 for 3 pieces, and $11.50 for 4 pieces. The Ice-Shaker Lemonade ($3.85) is not to be missed either! Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken 9537 Culver Blvd. Culver City Downtown Culver City (310) 202-5453 Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11am-10pm Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm

Recommended Dishes: Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, french fries, lemonade.

I think I've found the top bbq joint (and I don't use that word lightly) in LA. Are you in the mood for some true Texas bbq? Morfia's delicious ribs alone have locals coming in for lunch and dinner on a regular basis. As though that's not enough, drivers on Lincoln inhale the wonderful smell and are often forced to pull over to see what's cooking inside! There is an actual fire-burning brick bbq pit that slow smokes meats up to 30 hours. That's where the flavor comes in. Inside place your order and have a seat at one of five red and white checkered vinyl tables inside. Or brave the noise and pollution on Lincoln and have a seat outside. Drool over homemade desserts like banana cream pie while you wait for your food to come to the table. Lunch Specials include a choice of 2 sides: Cole Slaw, Potato Salad (must get), Fries, Corn on the Cob, Collard Greens Baked Beans or Mac and Cheese (my fav). Try the #7, the short End, seven ribs cut closest to baby Back Rib Style ($13.95). No joke, there was about a pound of tender, fall-off-the-bone meat on these babies. Cornbread was moist with chunks of corn and crispy crust. BBQ sauce is sweet, yet tangy. Other bbq specialties include Hot Links ($9.95), Rib Tips ($9.95), Slice Brisket ($11.50) Chicken ($9.95), and Long End Beef Ribs ($14.50) Prices are slightly higher for dinner. If anyone wants to join, dinner's on me! Morfia's Ribs & Pies 4077 Lincoln Blvd. (next to Brennan's Pub) Marina del Rey. (310) 821-6939 Hours: Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. *Note: Hours on Website are incorrect.

 

Recommended Dishes: Baby Back Ribs, Long Beef Ribs, Mac and Cheese, Cornbread, Potato Salad.

Remember one of my first blogs about Messhall Kitchen? Well those same lovely folks now bring you Holy Cow in Santa Monica on 26th Street, right across from the Brentwood Country Mart. Hand rubbed and smoked to perfection we got to enjoy the delicious , authentic, smokey, mustard or tomato-based bbq last night. Using only the finest cuts of meats, fish, and chicken, Holy Cow bbq is made with slow smoked goodness! Founder Rob Serritella has spent the last 20 years perfecting bbq in such cities as Kansas, Alabama, Tennessee, and Dallas to name a few. He brings with him Chef Glenn Walton (Tillman's Roadhouse, Smoke, Lonesome Dove, Danny Meyer's North End Grill), a magic man on the woodfire grill and smoker (and a master at pickling vegetables too!). So here's the down low on what to order...baby back ribs ($13 for half $24/full) are hand rubbed, and slow smoked. There's no shortage of meat here either folks! Chicken ($10) with bbq sauce was all white meat. For my money, ($19) I'd get the Santa Maria Tri Tip with Chimichuri Sauce or the Texas Brisket ($19) instead of the chicken; they're much more exciting! The Idaho Potato Salad ($4) is perhaps one of the finest on the Westside! Russet potatoes, vinegar, celery, egg, chive, dill, and real mayonnaise are combined to make it picnic worthy. What really made it amazing is that you can taste each ingredient separately. Mac and Cheese ($7) is made with Vermont white and yellow cheddar, munster, gruyere, and bechamel sauce. My husband loved it. Kettle Beans ($4) was a medly of beans, cured bacon, braised peppers and onions, house spices, and bbq sauce. I don't even like beans, but I had three helpings. They are that good! Texas Toast ($1.50) is big slices of bread with butter and seasonings. For dessert we enjoyed chocolate bread pudding ($7) made with brioche, vanilla bean cream, chocolate, sugar, spices, and fresh whipped cream. We are going back very, very soon! Anyone care to join us? Holy Cow 264 26th Street, Santa Monica. (310) 883-6COW. Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Fri-Sat: 11:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

 

Recommended Dishes: Baby Back Ribs, Chicken, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Mac and Cheese, Texas Toast, Bread Pudding.  

Well, we finally made the move to Marina del Rey and whoever said sitting in traffic on Lincoln Bouleverd wasn't interesting was wrong! Every day I find something new. Today I found Baby Blues BBQ which I have honestly driven by countless times. And guess what? They deliver. Sometimes I forget that we're about two blocks from Venice. When we placed an order last week from Abbot's Pizza (on Abbot Kinney) I asked if they delivered. The surprised person on the phone answered, Yes, of course, you are just around the corner!" Who knew? Anyway, back to Baby Blues. If you love BBQ, you'll be in hog heaven, literally. Order any platter and get two sides. That's what we did. The Baby Back Ribs ($19.95) are about as good as it gets! Prime cut pork ribs are dry rubbed then slow smoked grilled, and brushed with house made BBQ sauce. The rack is big and meaty. Tri tip ($19.95) has perfect grill marks throughout and is prime cut sirloin marinated and smoked until medium rare, then sliced and grilled to order. We made "happy plate" with this one! Sides are fantastic too. Mac and cheese is cheesey without being greasy and the portion size is generous. Mashed potatoes are made with the freshest of ingredients and taste like they came out of your mama's kitchen. Cornbread might be the best I've had. Big chewy squares are full of real corn and are the slighest bit sticky. Add some whipped butter and you can almost enjoy as dessert. But don't, because the Banana Pudding ($4.95) is outrageous! The house specialty, it's loaded with vanilla wafers and thick creamy banana pudding. All desserts are made from scratch. You can dine in or take out. Baby Blues BBQ 444 Lincoln Blvd. Venice (310) 396-7675. Hours: Mon-Sun: 11:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

Recommended Dishes: Tri-tip, baby back ribs, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, corn bread, banana pudding.

 

 

Do you ever just like to literally "throw in the towel" and eat with your hands, mopping up barbeque sauce with good old-fashioned white bread? I bet most of you couldn't see me doing that either. But I do, and I can, whenever I get the chance. Smoke City Market is one of my favorite places to do it. I'm always in the mood to eat authentic Texas BBQ and since my dad and I were hanging out yesterday, that's just what we did. We got there early before the rush, selected the picnic table of our choice then ordered up some outstanding bbq. Baby Back Ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, juicy and full of meat. Four huge babies came in the order and we had two left over. (Yes, there's that much meat!) Also in our order, was my second favorite pulled pork in this city. (Jose and Mercado, I will never leave you!) We devoured a perfectly seasoned mouth-watering (including a few yummy "burnt ends). The third meat we enjoyed was brisket. No, it's not like grandma's; but it's just as good! Use the white bread to make a sandwich or just pick it up and eat it. The fat to meat ratio is excellent and makes for a mighty tasty piece of meat. ($17.95) Two sides come with the three meats. We had Longhorn macaroni and cheese. Elbow macaroni and creamy cheese sauce was pretty good. Creamed corn was outstanding. For dessert ($3.35) we gobbled down some "smooth as silk" banana pudding filled with fresh banana chunks and vanilla wafers. After that we started talking like cowboys. You will too! Smoke City Market 5242 Van Nuys Blvd. Sherman Oaks (818) 855-1280. Hours: 11:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m. Daily Catering Available.

 

Recommended Dishes: Brisket, Ribs, Pulled Pork, Chicken, Texas Baked Potatoes, Longhorn Mac, Creamed Corn, Banana Pudding.

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