BBQ

Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong – Flower Beef FTW

by Franklin on December 22, 2014

The acronyms AYCE and KBBQ go hand in hand, almost to the point of interchangeability. (Side note: the word “interchangeability” is the longest word used on this blog, I think.). I’m a carnivore to my core, and having all that my heart and stomach desires is welcome. For this reason alone is I think the reason why it took me so long to eat at Kang Ho Dong Beakjeong. For years, I’ve heard people tout that this is the best meat ever and I’ve seen crowds waiting to get a seat. Why are these people waiting for KBBQ with a limit? This must be good.

We ordered the beef cut called Flower meat. This is their signature cut and what everyone comes here for. The meat came in strips, and the marbling on the beef was incredible. It was a very fatty piece of beef. I am not quite sure on the cut of the beef — Judging the look, taste and texture, I’d guess it’s either a flank or rib. Am I way off? Regardless, the beef was pristine, and despite the large price tag, we wanted more.

We ordered the lesser priced, but equally popular, pork jowl. I liked the pork jowl (hang jung sal), but was more partial to the beef. Over cooking can cause the meat to be very rubbery. The taste was clean and the fat content was definitely there. Just the cooking process caused the texture to be quite off putting. In fact, this was the most rubbery piece of meat I’ve had in quite some time. Get the beef — flower beef.

To go with our meats, we also ordered the “lunch box” (doshirak). This was a bibimbap kind of dish. It reminded me of what I’d eat at home when there was nothing to eat. Just rice and a bunch of stuff from the fridge, add an egg on top to “keep it real” and I was good to go. Theirs was done nicely, with a mix of marinated seafood side dishes. It had lots of dried seafood actually and intensified the flavors a lot.

I guess I should mention Kang Ho Dong was a Korean comedian and MC. I don’t really follow Korean pop culture so I don’t really know much else about him. I guess having a famous person owning a restaurant is helpful. People flock to this place. Luckily, I went on a Monday and fit before the dinner rush. As the sun sets, expect a wait on any given night. A wait is expected for reasons not so mysterious. Even though the meat isn’t endless, the quality and atmosphere is why people come. Everyone loudly greets you when you enter, and everyone bids you farewell. The experience was great and the beef was exceptional. What more can I want?

Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong on Urbanspoon

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Seoul Sausage had humble beginnings –Simple Korean BBQ sausage street vendors turned reality TV competition stars pretty much sums it up. The Great Food Truck Race season 3 winners immediately gained popularity, and in 2012, they opened up a small shop in Little Osaka on Sawtelle. Serving up their popular Korean BBQ style sausages and street food, the food is innovative and exciting. Never have I imagined Korean BBQ to be stuffed inside a sausage.

It is a sausage company after all, and I had my eye on the spicy pork. The Handmade Korean BBQ pork sausage was flavorful. It had great pork flavor, but a bit on the mild side. I am used to sausage that is salty and full of flavor. This just tasted more like spicy pork inside a tube casing, which by the way was missing the snap of good sausage. It definitely need just a pinch more salt and way more spice. I did enjoy the apple cabbage cole slaw though. It was fresh and gave it that crunch it needed. Served on a toasted soft roll, this was an interesting experience. Never would I have thought that Korean dishes would make its way into a sausage.

The flaming ball was a genius idea. I choose the kimchi fried rice ball. Inside was a cheesy kimchi fried rice with spicy pork served with DMZ sauce. This sauce was perfect — it is a garlic jalapeno kimchi sriracha aioli that went well with the slightly spicy kimchi fried rice. The outer fried batter held everything together. The fried rice inside was pretty standard, but the mixture of the crunchy outside and killer DMZ sauce made everything work together. It was a nice little snack.

The shop is small and only has limited outdoor seating. Situated on Sawtelle and Mississippi, it sits at the bottom of an apartment/condo. The food choices are limited, but with the addition of a fried chicken dish (Da KFC), and galbi poutine, hungry customers should be satisfied. If you’re hungry, or just looking for a little snack, Seoul Sausage Co. has just the right fix. This is what LA is all about — a mashup of ideas and cuisine that creates a fusion of food from different regions. Seoul Sausage Co. hits home for me because of my Korean roots, and spins it in such a way that something so familiar is transformed into something brand new. Creativity is the key, and Los Angeles is the most accepting of anything new.

Seoul Sausage Company on Urbanspoon

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Gen Korean BBQ – Top Notch AYCE

by Franklin on October 14, 2013

If you didn’t know by now, I am Korean. I grew up on rice, kimchi, and SPAM. Now in my late 20′s, I don’t get to eat my mom’s cooking as often. I think these days, the closest thing I get to Korean cuisine is Korean BBQ. One of my all time favorite Korean BBQ joints, unfortunately a bit far, is Gen Korean BBQ in Tustin. Yeah, Alhambra has their very own Gen Korean BBQ, but that place was a disappointment. The one in Tustin though, it quite the spot.

Ban-Chan was all symmetrically prepared before us. You know how mirrors make rooms seem larger? This “mirror” effect gave the illusion that there was a lot of ban chan. Yeah, most places would make people share this stuff. It was cool that for two people, we each had our own set.


The reason why Gen is one of my favorite Korean BBQ spots is because of the meat. The thinly sliced beef brisket (Chadol) and non-marinated short rib is my favorite. The beef brisket has a pure beef flavor and the fat has an indescribable quality to it. It seems like it was never frozen; the meat doesn’t dry up once cooked. The short rib has a perfect balance of meat and fat, and the marbling is excellent. And yes, that is large intestine you see in the picture. It’s a bit chewy and a lot fatty, but dang good! The quality is the best — clean and pure.

The experience at Gen Korean BBQ is like no other. Not only is the meat great, but the ambiance is on par. With modern leather(ish) chairs and granite(esque) tables, to the blue ambient lighting, the space is cool and relaxing. From great quality meat and modern fixtures, what more can I ask for?

Gen Korean BBQ & Yakitori Bar on Urbanspoon

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Bossa Nova – Sunset’s Brazilian Hot Spot

by Franklin on January 21, 2013

For the longest time, I wanted to eat at Bossa Nova. I always plan on eating there for lunch or dinner, but something else comes up or I go eat somewhere else. Finally, I made it here and the experience was pleasant. The only brazilian food I am used to is the BBQ. Whether it be M Grill in Koreatown or Fogo de Chao in Beverly Hills, the endless meat is what I go for. Maybe that is what kept me hesitant about Bossa Nova for so long. The Sunset location was somewhat packed that night with a 30 minute wait. Waiting all that for semi-outdoor seating was a bummer. After the food came out, I wasn’t really complaining.

The night started off with complimentary bread. Not particularly a favorite, the bread was a bit boring. It wasn’t really soft, warm, or chewy — it didn’t have any qualities of being good bread. It felt like they served it just because. Not that there isn’t anything wrong with that, it was free afte all.

The chicken brochette is probably the most decadent thing I had in a while. It was a fried on fat on more fat combination of pure bliss. Fried chicken breast wrapped in bacon sat in a vat of gorgonzola cream sauce. Served with a side of sliced bread (which was way better than the bread they gave us), this appetizer was tasty. The bacon was crispy and salty, and the chicken inside was moist and tender. It was a perfect match in taste and texture. To top it all off, the gorgonzola cheese sauce made everything just pop. It was warm, creamy, and delicious with all that blue cheese funk. This was a killer dish for sure.

To keep this fried on fat on fat theme going, we ordered the deluxe dutch fries. These were french fries with a drizzle of homemade gorgonzola sauce and crumbled gorgonzola cheese. I did not like this dish at all. The fries came out nearly cold, leaving the fries soggy and soft. The gorgonzola sauce didn’t help stiffen them up either. It was just a mash of limp fries and fatty sauce, with not a lot of crumbled blue cheese. I think if this was made perfectly on the spot, it would be perfect. Imagine perfectly crisp and crunchy fries, warm cheese sauce and gorgonzola. This perfect recipe for deliciousness was just a disappointment.

The night was saved by the main dish. I ordered the flank steak picanha. The flank steak was cooked nicely to a medium rare, but the side items were what made this dish exciting. The white rice and black beans were simply cooked and gave the dish balance. Eating everything with the salsa made everything pop. The most interesting thing on the plate was the yucca flour. It had a very crunchy texture, almost like eating granulated glass. I know that may sound unappetizing to some, but it had a very mild flavor which and added the crunch. Everything was perfected by the fried plantains. The sweetness helped give my taste buds diversity. This was a well balanced dish and wouldn’t go with anything else.

I saw a lot of people order pizzas and pastas, but I wanted to reserve that for next time. I felt like I owed myself to have Brazilian BBQ that wasn’t all you can eat. This meant no filling up on pao de queijo and It wasn’t about eating a years worth of meat. This experience was more casual — pay for what you eat. For that, the food tasted better in some way. After my meal, I was beyond stuffed. I wondered how I could ever and why I would eat more. The price was affordable and everything was exactly as expected. No frills. Just good food. Bossa Nova is a popular spot amongst Angelinos. Next time around will be pizzas and pasta, Bossa Nova style.

Bossa Nova Brazilian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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When you are in Santa Monica seafood comes to mind. BBQ, let alone, good BBQ isn’t one of the first things you think of. On a random weekend trip to Venice Beach / Santa Monica, I stopped by Baby Blues BBQ. After reading glowing reviews on this joint, I had to see for myself. Just the rarity of a barbecue restaurant near the beach got me intrigued. Situated on Lincoln Blvd., I wasn’t expecting anything gourmet. The rugged interior and simple decor made this place a very casual spot. There was a little wait for a table, but the anticipation made me hungry — not a bad thing.

I ordered their pulled pork plate. A barbecue restaurant is only as good as its pulled pork. Baby Blues BBQ made some amazing pulled pork. It had the right amount of fat and meat — it was tender and not dry at all. Per their recomendation, we added some of their spicy vinegar sauce on the meat. This brought the dish to a whole new level. The tang from the vinegar went perfectly well with the fatty pork. Slathering the meat with 1 of their 4 sauces was awesome. My favorite was the original. With a side of mac and cheese and mashed sweet potatoes, I was in carb load heaven. The mac and cheese was amazing, hands down. Baked from a large batch, the mac and cheese was rich and cheesy. This was southern cooking at its best. The mashed sweet potato was perfect. A little bit of sweet helped keep my taste buds excited. This was a southern style plate that impressed.

My all time favorite at Baby Blues BBQ is their tri tip sandwich. The meat was a soft and the best part is their marinade. A little sweet and robust like that of teriyaki, the meat had a nice barbecue taste — kind of like an Asian barbecue sauce marinade. The brioche bun soaked up all the flavor and was a perfect vessel for the goodness. The cole slaw on top gave the sandwich enough crunch and texture. I feel good cole slaw is important in a pulled pork sandwich and Baby Blues’ doesn’t fall short. The sandwich was so simple and the tri tip really shined. With a side of a pickle spear and this meal was perfect.

Who would have thunk an awesome barbecue joint would be situated near the beach? Their simple menu and decor really brought them down to earth. The quality of the meat was memorable and their barbecue sauces were no joke. How perfect was it to eat some great authentic BBQ and then relax at the beach? Something about eating seafood at the beach is so cliche and normal that it doesn’t seem exciting. Barbecue on the other hand is always a win win situation. Adding the beach to the equation just sweetens the deal.

Baby Blues BBQ on Urbanspoon

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Fogo de Chão translate in Portuguese as “Fire Ground”. Such a fitting name when you are talking about meat cooked with direct fire. When you think of Brazilian BBQ, Churrascaria in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills to be exact, Fogo de Chao comes to mind. If you put endless quality meats together with Beverly Hills, you know its going to be expensive. Taking advantage of the Dine LA menu, you save nearly 20 bucks a person. Not only do you get to eat all the meat you want, but well, I guess that’s it. Bottom line, its a buffet, but nothing like the cheapy-deapy stuff. I tend do eat everything and anything that is served at buffets, so I had to strategize. Not a lot of carbs, just meat. You and your green on one side, red on the other coaster, and your meat. My coaster was on green for a while, meaning, bring on the meat! The servers made sure I had the cut of meat I wanted. Servers with swords came by and carved away at the perfectly cooked meats — think meat skewers for a T-Rex. I got lucky and always had the outer crust — that’s where all the flavor is. Green means go — I was ready to eat.

Speaking of strategy, the restaurant has their own game plan — get guests full on breads and carbs. As am appetizer, they serve some pão de queijo, the bread. Freshly baked and warm, they were so chewy and gooey in the middle with a nice milky flavor. You can easily eat too much of these and leave no room for the meat. Be careful. To add to this carbohydrage stomach filler, they give three sides — garlic mashed potatoes, crispy fried polenta, caramelized bananas. They even offer more sides of rice, beans, and forofa upon request. Wanting the meat, I forewent the extra sides. My favorite were the crispy polenta. It tasted like large sheets of french fries with a crunch like no other. The caramelized bananas were great in between meats — It helped keep the taste buds alive, going back and forth from savory to sweet. The sides were delicious and plenty, but I made sure not to over do it.

Brazilian Barbecue restaurants have a lot of signature meats. Bellow are some of the popular meats served:

Picanha: This is their Top Sirloin. The meat is very tender and lean with a nice fat layer encapsulating the meat.

Alcatra: This is also their Top Sirloin. This had a strong beef flavor, probably the most of the group.

Filet Mignon: Of course, this was one of my favorites. Not wrapped in bacon like other Churrascarias, this one was the purest and cleanest beef of the bunch. Though very lean, it was very juicy. It was the softest of them all and it melted in your mouth.

Ancho: This is the Rib Eye. One of my favorite cuts of beef, this was one of my favorites. It had a good balance of fat and meat. It was cooked perfectly.

Fraldinha: This is the Bottom Sirloin. The meat was tender as well but had more marbled fat within the meat. I liked this far more that the Picanha.

Cordeiro: This is the Lamb. I am not much of a lamb fan. They cooked it well enough to make it juicy and not so gamey.

Frango: This is the Chicken. On the bone, the flavor was clean and of the highest quality. It was cooked nicely with a tasty seasoning on the outside. It was a nice pair with the Linguica.

Linguica: This is the Sausage. It had a nice snap with the natural casing. The sausage was salty and not too fatty. It was perfect with the chicken.

Fogo’s salad bar was impressive as well. Ranging from vegetables, salads, cheeses, salumi, sauces, and more, they were perfect pairings with the meat. Some of the things that stood out were the endive, cheeses, and bacon. Yes, they had a whole bowl full of fried bacon. Any buffet with a large bowl full of bacon is fine by me. Another thumbs up for me was the whole Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheel. This was the real stuff, from Italy. It was great with the prosciutto and the meat. All of the vegetables and cheeses were great with the meat.

The Dine LA menu has changed since the past. Fogo was a few bucks cheaper and gave dessert at the end of the meal. Though the dessert was taken off the menu, it was still a great deal. The meat was amazingly tasty and generously seasoned. The sides and salad bar was fresh and good quality. When you dine at Fogo, you are eating like Kings. Thanks to Dine LA and Restaurant Week, I could do it for cheap(er). Any carnivore like myself can appreciate Brazilian BBQ, but at the end of the day, it’s a buffet, a mega chain that exists all over Brazil and United States. At the end of my meal, I got my money’s worth and felt I needed to take a shower. Covered in meat sweat and filled with grease, I was satisfied.

Carnivores 1 / Vegetarians 0

Fogo de Chão on Urbanspoon

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I feel like a lot of Japanese restaurants are all the same. Whether they serve sushi, bowls, noodles, or meats, the interior and feel of the restaurant seems similar. The greeting in Japanese, the Japanese accented props and posters all around the restaurants is all familiar, and comforting. Honda Ya doesn’t only have sushi and bowls, they have everything. I opted for not just one thing, but all of it. Skewers, bowls, sashimi — it was certainly a feast.

We started off with the skewers — yakitori. Roasted over hot burning charcoal, the taste of grilling was prevalent throughout.

The tongue was chewier than expected, but the pork belly was exceptional. I could have easily eaten about a million of those.

The bacon wrapped scallops and asparagus was nothing special. Wrapped in a thin layer of bacon, the bacon taste and texture isn’t as pronounced. Nonetheless, the skewers were tasty and the charcoal taste was great.

The chicken with uzu was a bit of a dissapointment. The chicken was dry, and wasn’t really seasoned (on purpose). We were supposed to dip it in the uzu. The chicken, though on a griddle, came to our table cold. I didn’t enjoy this dish.

The sashimi, surprisingly was very fresh. An array of salmon, tuna, and tilapia was laid out beautifully and it was thick and high quality. Sashimi is one of my favorite foods, and this just hit the spot.

We felt extra extravagant and ordered the uni. Raw sea urchin, considered a delicacy was definitely a treat. It was sweet and buttery. Eating it with just rice was good enough for me. That seafood rich flavor with the creamy texture was perfect.

Honda Ya was a great stop. It is open late, though it is located in an obscure area. The service was great and the food items were plenty. They really do cater to the meat lover, sushi, lover, and everything else in between. There is also one in Los Angeles and Tustin, which I want to give a try. Until then, the one in Industry will do.

Honda-Ya on Urbanspoon

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One in a while, you come across a BBQ spot that that really hits the spot.  A good BBQ restaurant is hard to find.  Checking my best friend yelp, I found this Blake’s Place, literally off the grid. Located in the industrial parts of Anaheim, they are hard to find.  You wouldn’t even think there would be a restaurant within a few blocks from there.  But once you get there and try the food, you will be glad you found it.

Walking in, I had a good feeling about this place.  Not only did I see the catering trucks outside, there were a few police officers enjoying a meal.  You know if the police eat there, it has to be good food.

I read many good things about the Blake’s pulled pork pile.  Once it came out, my mouth dropped to the floor.  This thing was huge.  As they say,  You definitely need napkins for this one. The pork was not dry at all.  Most pulled pork I tried was overly sauced because the meat was so dry.  Blake does the pulled pork right.  The cole slaw gave it a nice crunch and the red onion really made every come together.  This was one of my favorite pulled pork sandwiches.

We also ordered the rib plate.  It included a lot of different cuts so we got to try everything.  It included baby back ribs, pork spare ribs, and of course a beef rib.  The plate also came with bbq beans, mac and cheese, cole slaw, and garlic bread. The BBQ at Blake’s really is delicious.  The meat was so fall off the bone tender and is never dry or burnt.  My favorite of course, was the beef rib.  Not only was it humongous, it was delicious.  Eating it with the mac and cheese and garlic toast was good too.  It was a great BBQ meal.

Of course, we ended the meal off with a nice dessert.  The banana cream pudding was really good.  It wasn’t too sweet and there were nice slices of banana and vanilla cookies inside. Delicious.

This was a cool spot.  I would never have came here or found this place if it wasn’t for the internet.  Hopefully, someone will read this blog post and find it to be a nice BBQ spot as well. So where is this place?  Its near the 91 and 57 around the outskirts of Anaheim.  You can Google Blake’s Place.  Make sure you keep that map open and GPS on.

Blake's Place on Urbanspoon

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Some days, you have to let loose.  Diets and counting calories don’t matter.  You shut down your hunger sensors and gorge in a all you can eat meat fest.  Koreatown has Korean BBQ restaurant at almost every corner.  One of my favorites is Hae Jang Chon on 6th Street. They offer some good quality meat and I personally like their selection.  This is one of my favorites because of the stone plates that the meat is cooked on.  These things are like the iron skillets that get passed down generation to generation.  All the meat essence that was cooked before is still on there from past patrons.  Time after time after time, all that meat essence is still there, and it comes out in the food.

The time me and my family went, just like any other night, was a busy one.  We waited nearly over an hour, so plan on doing the same.  It was particularly loud inside.  People were binge eating and drinking — nothing out of the ordinary on a Saturday night in Koreatown. This is all part of the Korean BBQ experience.

The food here is just as good as the experience.  Besides their many side plates, my favorite meat options are thinly sliced beef, short rib meat, and pork belly. I also like to get the tongue.  The tongue has a nice beef flavor but is not as chewy.  It is tender and the flavor is really nice., contrary to what others may think.

I also tried the baby octopus.  The beef on pork on beef was getting kind of tiring.  I roasted the baby octopus for a little, making sure not to over cook it. It was very tender and wasn’t rubbery at all.

The ending is the best.  Once you are done with the meat, it is time to eat more.  They clean the rock slate and cook this vegetable rice mix.  It is crispy on the bottom and so good as a finisher.  Check out the video to see the waiter in action.

Eating all you can eat is good, but not all the time.  Once in a while though, you have to give in.  Cook all the meat that you want, just the way you like.  It is right in front of you and once it is done, you just eat.  Watch your tongue though, that grill is hot.

Hae Jang Chon Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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I really don’t want to like Lucille’s.  I mean.  It’s a chain.  Albeit, it is a west coast chain covering only California, Nevada, and Arizona, but still a chain nonetheless.  Even though there are a bunch of these around southern California, I am here to talk about the best one — I am talking about the one in Brea, CA. I’ve been to a couple of other Lucille’s and this one tops them all.  The interior is the nicest, and the food tastes best here.  I am easily proven right by the lines here, because on any given weekend, you will wait nearly an hour for a table.

When my carnivorous side kicks in, a trip to Lucille’s Smokehouse is a must.  I usually get the beef ribs. Those things are humongous.  There is so much meat and fat on each rib, all covered in sauce — they are so delicious.  My always go-to item though, is the rib tips.  They have a good smokey flavor and there is not a lot of bone.  I come here sometimes during happy hour and the rib tip plate is really cheap. All I need is that and some of their amazing biscuits.  Top that off with their “muddy water” (lemonade + iced tea) in the cool glass jar, and I am fully satisfied.

I really do like barbecue sauce, and Lucille’s could possibly have my favorite.  They offer 3 different kinds, but I like to stick to the original.  It is sweet and has a little tang, but not too much.  It just has that familiar sweet and smokey barbecue taste that I like.

Good BBQ always need some tasty sides.  My favorites are the garlic mashed potatoes and the the mac n cheese.  My all time favorite side though, is the cheese grits. I never really had grits until I tried it here, and it is delicious.  It has a strong cheese flavor and the texture is really nice.  I’m sure it’s not the best out there, but this is great with the charred meats.  By the way, I need to know where to get some really good grits in southern California.

There you have it, the truth.  My favorite BBQ comes from a chain.  Though that’s not quite true, Lucille’s is definitely one of my go to BBQ joints.  The flavor is just right and the atmosphere is really fun.  Hands down, this is my favorite chain restaurant I like to dine out. And always, the best one of the them, is at little ol’ Brea.
Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ (Brea) on Urbanspoon

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Finding a good barbecue spot is really difficult.  Usually, I can hit up Lucille’s and my BBQ fix is pretty much met.  But the fact that one can get that BBQ anywhere, it doesn’t become something special.  When I walked into Scottie’s, it exuded a BBQ restaurant to its core.

The beef ribs we had were great.  Though somewhat burnt (maybe a little too much), the smokey flavor was prevalent throughout the meat.  I was impressed with the beef brisket — it was juicy beyond words. It tasted really good with the andouille sausage.  My favorite was the pulled pork.  Laying on the sauce over the pork, it was very tasty.  It had a light smokey flavor and

Every smokehouse barbecue restaurant has to have their sauce.  BBQ is nothing without a good sauce.  Scottie’s had 4 different kinds to choose from, and surprisingly, they were all distinct and really good. There was the original, smokehouse rub, spicy, and Louisiana.  Usually when restaurants have a plethora of different sauces, there is always that one or two that doesn’t taste good — theirs were all amazing.

Along with our meal, we had a bunch of sides.  Cornbread, collard greens, mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese.  Name it, we had it.  The most memorable? The cowboy mac n’ cheese. This was mac n’ cheese with beans on top.  This was interesting and it went really well together.

Above all, the people there were really friendly.  Servers always asked us how we were doing, and they even changed the channel to the basketball game we were aching to watch.  The food and customer service really made me comfortable here. Good BBQ with the basketball game on, what more can I ask for?

Scottie's Smokehouse BBQ on Urbanspoon

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Barbecue My Meat!

by Franklin on March 13, 2011

In sunny Southern California, we have the pleasure of nice warm weather nearly everyday, at any time of day.  This calls for BBQs every Sunday and a relaxing time dining outside.  I had the pleasure to host a birthday BBQ dinner for a buddy of mine.  On the menu?  Meat, junk food, and beer of course.

Guys love meet, so choosing what to eat was easy.  The main course was burgers.  The patty consisted of 50% beef and 50% pork (as a suggestion from my friend).  It was my first time trying it, and it turned out better than expected.  I used muenster cheese as it melted nicely on the meat.  Added some sliced onions, some chili, and more cheese (cheddar and monterey jack), and we had ourselved a great burger.  Something about cooking meat over coals, getting that nice caramelization of the meat, and melting cheese tickles my taste buds very nicely.

For the side dish, we had even more meat (beef and pork).  Who said a side dish has to be carbs and veggies?  We had spice marinated carne asada cooked to a perfectly rare / medium rare and pork belly.  The rub for the carne asada consisted of salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and other ingredients.  I allowed the meat to come to room temperature, and placed it on the grill.  Once each side got a good sear for a few minutes, I let it rest for about 5 minutes.  I cut the skirt steak against the grain into large strips, and voila, you have yourself a side dish of just pure meat.  As for the pork belly, I wrapped the meat, skin, fat, and all with foil, placed it on top of the coals.  Though the skin was burnt to a crisp, the meat itself was delicious.  We dipped it in some hot sauce and we were quite happy.

All in all it was a fun night.  I love to barbecue — that is how meat should be prepared.  Since man had discovered fire, we have been barbecuing meat.  I think it is safe to say that the first cooked food was barbecued.  So in respect to this long lived tradition, I will love the barbecue, and the meat that gets cooked on it.

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