There is a simple, foolproof test to determine the authenticity of a bbq joint: If the meat needs sauce, the joint ain’t no good. A ‘cue master can throw a giant slab of tough meat into a smoker, and then let time, smoke and heat work their magic.
Bludso’s is an authentic BBQ joint. Barbecue places always smell good when you’re walking in; but at this one, for once, the food surpasses the grand expectation created by the aroma.
You really won’t go wrong with anything you order here, but I implore you to try the brisket. Brisket is actually a very fibrous cut of beef, but the slow cooking of the pecan-wood smoker melts the collagen fibers within it, lubricating the cut so that it becomes impossibly moist and tender. I’m sure it was incredibly flavorful, but the buttery texture was so silky that I barely remember it going down. When you go, be sure to order at least a pound–you’ll enjoy it for breakfast for the next week.
Another hallmark of great southern cuisine: collard greens. Long before greens became “artisanal” they were a staple of a southerner’s diet. Bludso’s collards are marvelously briny, seasoned with savory ham hocks, and are perfectly complemented by the tabasco peppers in vinegar (another southern staple) you’ll find on your table.
Barbecue is the ultimate Simple Eye food. The American iteration was conceived among impoverished southern blacks, who were given only the worst cuts of meat for food. Somehow, they turned that throwaway beef and pork into the marvelous delicacy we enjoy today. It’s a metaphor for creating glorious triumph from suffering and tragedy. And it is the culinary embodiment of the concept of simple extravagance.
Bludso’s BBQ Los Angeles, CA