Pecan wood fuels the two big black smokers in the kitchen. The beef that goes in them is prime Angus. All the meats are organic and hormone free, and produce is locally sourced.
Even the cornbread with honey butter that comes with entrees is above the ordinary. The butter is made there, fresh every day.
The usual ribs, brisket, tri-tip, pulled pork and chicken are on the menu, accompanied by Kesler's signature sauce. It's southern style, semisweet with a little kick at the end. He's also come up with a sweet smoky molasses sauce and another flavored with citrus and chipotle.
Sides include "the world's best baked beans" (they're super sweet); baked potato topped with mascarpone, applewood smoked bacon and chives, and braised greens with bacon and garlic. And the best 'cue dessert, made in-house, is a "buzzed" pecan pie with a Jack Daniels-laced crust.
But more than food makes this place different. A onetime musician, Kesler displays his guitars on the wall. And diners get to watch videos from his vintage collection of rock, blues and jazz performers, some never seen before. There's still more. Kesler had the sturdy tables and chairs made to his design in Bali. And the bar came from India. Not many 'cue joints can come up with anything that exotic.
The Smokin' Joint: 8486 W. 3rd S., Los Angeles; (323) 655-RIBS (7427).