Dear Mr. Gold:
So okay, not to be like everybody else who does this, but … it's my wife's birthday, and we gotta get a big bunch of barbecue — Southern American, not Southern Korean — for a group of about 10. There are a lot of barbecue restaurants out there. Phillips? Uncle Andre's? The fiesta is in Laurel Canyon. Perplexed.
—Matt, Los Feliz
Do I ever get tired of barbecue questions? No. Do I ever get tired of barbecue? No. Do I ever feel like giving alternative advice, suggesting you pick up Thai barbecued chickens at Sapp Coffeeshop, an armful of barbecued goat ribs at Phong Dinh or a sackful of barbecued quail at Marouch? Sure, all the time.
If you want to have a real party, you could ditch your friends, take your wife to Boneyard Bistro and hoist a bottle of Turley Zinfandel — or at least you could in a month or two, when the restaurant emerges from renovations.
But if your notion of great barbecue runs toward the traditional one, and I rather suspect it does, you are undoubtedly looking at one of the big four: Woody's on Slauson; the superb spareribs at Phillip's in Leimert Park; the mind-blowing Texas-style beef at Bludso's in Compton; and of course Bigmista's Barbecue, whose smoked brisket, tri-tip and ribs are like edible sunshine on a gloomy June day.
During the week, Bigmista sets up his grills at the farmers markets in Torrance and El Segundo, but as a Los Feliz denizen, you'll probably want to drop by his Sunday-morning residency at the Atwater farmers market. E-mail a couple of days in advance if you plan to pick up more than an order or two — the pig candy and the brisket sell out in a flash.