Our Critics' Picks


Bigmista's Barbecue

3444 N. Los Coyotes Diagonal
Long Beach, California 90808
Critics' Pick
Bigmista's Barbecue

Anne Fishbein


  • Wed.-Thu., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun. & Tue., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • Takeout
  • Free Parking, Parking Lot Available
They say that L.A. doesn’t have good American barbecue. They say it’s because we don’t understand the traditional barbecue regions. But what if L.A. is its own barbecue region? One unbeholden to rules and territorialism. We invent religions in Southern California all the time — why can’t we invent new barbecue? Neil Strawder and his wife, Phyllis, have done just that. Though they have some family in Texas, they make the barbecue they and their customers want to eat. The ribs tips here are sticky with caramelization, and the brisket is perhaps the best in L.A.: not too smoky, never gratuitously fatty. The Strawders are all-American success stories, too: They started with a smoker on the balcony, moved on to farmers markets and now have two brick-and-mortars. It’s downright inspiring. —Katherine Spiers


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