The Best BBQ in Los Angeles Mid City and West Side

Updated on May 21, 2021

Los Angeles is not a town known for its BBQ, but it actually does have some good spots if you know where to look! I love barbecue: the brisket, ribs, cole slaw, beans, potatoes, biscuits, and of course the sauces! Here are some of my favorite BBQ places on LA’s West Side!

#1 Maple Block Meat Co. (Culver City)

My number one pick for best BBQ on the west side is Maple Block Meat Co. in Culver City. It’s famous for its brisket, and for good reason – it’s wonderful. Get a mix of the lean and fatty meat. The pork ribs are pretty awesome as well.

But, what elevates Maple Block even higher above the competition are the sides. The creamy coleslaw is just right – with not too much mayonnaise. The mac ‘n cheese is great, and the biscuits were good too.

Maple Block recommend family style dining to share the sides. The serving sizes are generous, and a half a pound of meat per person was enough for us.

Although it’s located along a busy stretch of Sepulveda in an unremarkable part of town, I like the ambiance inside, especially the patio. It’s suitable for an informal date, or just hanging out with friends.

During peak periods like Friday and Saturday nights, reservations are highly recommended. We didn’t need reservations on Sunday night. There is a small parking lot adjacent to the restaurant.

For me, Maple Block has the best combination of great meat, amazing sides, and great ambiance, making it my pick for top BBQ restaurant on the West Side.

#2 Slab (Mid City)

In a pretty hip section of 3rd Street in Mid-City, Slab gets some amazing reviews, comparing it to BBQ in Austin, TX. Try the beef brisket and baby back ribs.

Slab on 3rd Street in Mid City
Slab on 3rd Street in Mid City

#3 Baby Blues BBQ (Venice)

Baby Blues BBQ is located at 444 Lincoln Blvd. in Venice and Sunset Ave. They also have a location in Echo Park.

The appearance from the street is unimpressive. It has bright blue awnings that make it look more like a patio furniture store than a restaurant.

Once you step inside, the ambiance improves a bit. You feel like you’ve been transported to a small town BBQ joint in North Carolina. There’s corrugated aluminum siding on the walls, and photos of all kinds of celebrities and random other nick-knacks on the walls.

Baby Blues describes their BBQ style as a hybrid, “featuring a Memphis-style rib, a dry-rubbed baby back, brisket and pork that are slow-smoked in Guinness beer, and a sauce that hails from the western region of North Carolina.” Hmm.. sounds good to me!

I ordered the Sliced Brisket, featuring “Black Angus beef, pepper crusted, slow smoked for 14 hours” with a side of cole slaw and potato salad. My friend ordered the pulled pork “smoked with Guinness Beer” with a side of beans and cole slaw. We couldn’t wait!

At every table was a selection of several BBQ sauces in plastic bottles, including Porno XXX (hot), Ginger Tabasco, BBQ, and Sweet. I noticed that all of the sauces were rather thinner than what you would find in sauces that you buy at a grocery store. This is consistent with a Carolina BBQ sauce, as opposed to a Kansas City style thicker sauce.

The food arrived very quickly. I went with the standard BBQ sauce first, slathering my first slice of meat with it. The brisket was fantastic; super tender – some of the tenderest brisket I’ve had. I really liked the pepper rub.

I ended up trying all four of the BBQ sauces and liked them all! I think I liked the Porno XXX the best, but it was a bit too hot to have for the whole meal.

I tried the pulled pork and fell in love with that as well.

My friend said the beans were incredible. She was less impressed with the cornbread, but I really liked it. I thought the coleslaw and potato salad were decent.

The prices were reasonable given the high quality, with the pork at $14.95 and the brisket at $17.85. Portions were fairly big and I was stuffed afterwards.

The service was decent and friendly. The food came out very quickly. It took a while to get our check, but we were so satisfied, we didn’t really care. Overall, I found out why many people claim Baby Blues BBQ is the best BBQ on the West Side. I am a believer!

#4 Holy Cow BBQ (Santa Monica and Culver City)

Holy Cow has two locations on the West Side: one in the Brentwood area of Santa Monica, near the Brentwood Country Mart, and one in Culver City.

The quality of the meat and sides is excellent. My only gripe is that the serving sizes seemed small. After a half pound of meat at Maple Block, I was stuffed, but after a half pound at Holy Cow, I could have had more. But, the prices for half a pound at Holy Cow are cheaper than at Maple Block, so maybe it’s just a matter of ordering bigger sizes at Holy Cow.

I like the small, charming Brentwood location. It’s suitable for a quiet informal date.

The Culver City location is larger and more lively. When we went, the music was actually obnoxiously loud and we had to ask them to turn it down so we could hear each other talk. I would imagine that was an anomaly though.

Other than these minor issues, I loved the food here and would recommend Holy Cow!


What are your favorite BBQ places on the West Side, Mid City, or in greater Los Angeles? Please comment below! – Brian


Get More Date Ideas on Facebook and Instagram

For more cool ideas on cool places to go in Los Angeles and Orange County, join the LA Date Ideas Facebook Page or find me on Instagram!

Keep in Touch!

Subscribe to get an email when I write about a new date idea. No ads or spam, I promise! - Brian

Join 65 other subscribers


  1. dan

    Baby Blues BBQ is awesome!

    • Brian

      Hi Dan,

      Glad you liked it!! Thanks for sharing!



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles

The Best West Hollywood and Sunset Strip Date Ideas

The Best West Hollywood and Sunset Strip Date Ideas

The city of West Hollywood has some of the hottest restaurants and date destinations in Los Angeles. It encompasses the most happening stretches of the Sunset Strip, Santa Monica Boulevard, and Melrose Avenue. If you really want to impress a date, you should...

How to Dress for Any Kind of Date with Celebrity Stylist Molly Dickson

How to Dress for Any Kind of Date with Celebrity Stylist Molly Dickson

Molly Dickson is a Los Angeles-area stylist for celebrities like Scarlett Johansson who has some great tips for women on how to dress for three kinds of dates: a daytime date (like going to a museum), an informal evening date like a comedy club, and a formal date like...

Date Night at Spago’s New Outdoor Pavilion

Date Night at Spago’s New Outdoor Pavilion

Like many restaurants during the pandemic, Spago in Beverly Hills was in need of additional outdoor dining space. It recently expanded its outdoor dining capacity big time with the 6,500 sq. ft. "Spago L’extérieur", or what people like me call the "Spago Outdoor...

How To Have a Romantic Weekend Getaway In Ojai

How To Have a Romantic Weekend Getaway In Ojai

If you're looking for a romantic and relaxing weekend getaway, look no further than the quirky town of Ojai and the magnificent Ojai Valley Inn. The Inn is consistently rated as one of the top resorts in California by the likes of Conde' Nast Traveler. It's our...

The Best West L.A. / Beverly Hills Date Ideas

The Best West L.A. / Beverly Hills Date Ideas

"The West Side" of Los Angeles has some great restaurants and date spots. Here are some of my favorites! 1. The Getty Center The Getty Center, located off of the 405 freeway, is hands-down, one of the best date spots in Los Angeles. Aside from the museum, it also has...

The Most Romantic Restaurants in Los Angeles for Those Special Occasions

The Most Romantic Restaurants in Los Angeles for Those Special Occasions

This is my list of the most romantic restaurants in Los Angeles that you need to book for anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's day, or when you really want to impress someone special. The restaurants on this list either have exceptional ambiance, or exceptional...

The Best Date Ideas in Malibu, Topanga, and the Pacific Palisades

The Best Date Ideas in Malibu, Topanga, and the Pacific Palisades

Malibu is a great place for an all-day or half-day date when you want to get away from it all without straying too far from the Los Angeles area. You get beautiful beaches and mountains, as well as great restaurants and other attractions. Check out these date ideas in...

The Best Downtown L.A. Date Ideas

The Best Downtown L.A. Date Ideas

Downtown Los Angeles is an ideal date destination with great restaurants, bars, and attractions, many of which are within walking distance. Traffic and parking can be difficult in downtown L.A., so park your car in a good central location (like Pershing Square) and...

Have a Great Date Night at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills

Have a Great Date Night at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills

Wolfgang Puck is arguably one of the most famous chefs in the world. His flagship restaurant, Spago, in Beverly Hills, has been on my bucket list for a while, and I finally got to try it! Getting There and Parking Spago is located in the heart of...

Pin It on Pinterest