When I was a kid there was a restaurant in Studio City called Bar-B-Que Heaven. I believe Shiki Sushi is currently in its spot in a strip mall off Ventura near Whitsett. Bar-B-Que Heaven had the most succulent, tender ribs with the richest, most flavor-abundant sauce in Los Angeles. Nothing came close to rivaling it. Bar-B-Que Heaven has long since closed and a number of other rib-slingers have opened. One such bar-b-que haven is Baby Blues in Venice. They probably are the closest to rival Bar-B-Que Heaven in quality and nostalgia-inspiring bliss.
Recently Baby Blues opened a second location in West Hollywood. The trendier neighborhood and larger space were worrisome, so I put them to the test this week. We started with shrimp Suicide Kings.
Compared to when I had them in Venice the cornbread seemed different. It was more like a slice of cake or slice from a loaf of cornbread. It was very moist, to the point that it was almost like cookie dough. Enjoyable but not necessarily amazing.
I ordered a half rack of baby back ribs with okra and coleslaw. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender and not too fatty. Baby Blues signature sauces are too vinegary for my taste- I prefer spicier and thicker- I know it’s a regional discrepancy. The sides lacked compared to the Venice location.
My dad ordered a Flintstone’s sized beef rib to accompany his spare ribs. The sheer size of the bone deserves accolades. The flavor did as well.
In conclusion Bar-B-Que Heaven remains the unmatched champion of LA BBQ. If it only it still existed…