The Bar-b-que Bar
10863 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, 91601
I’ve often driven by this place and wondered about it, settled neatly away in the newly remodeled retro strip mall on Magnolia, opposite Ralphs.
The Bar-b-que Bar is an interesting blend of stunningly delicious Kansas City BBQ, and a wonderfully quirky, relaxed and airy restaurant with a full on serious bar.
The owner Nabeel, lived in Kansas City and moved to LA 13 years ago. Longing for the food he grew to love in Kansas, and finding nothing like it here, he decided to create his own and worked for years to perfect the sauces, ingredients and techniques to create his own very special Kansas City style BBQ.
Now that I have sampled the food, I can tell you that all that hard work was absolutely worth it, and I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to the noble Nabeel for fighting the fight for the perfect BBQ sauce. Nabeel confided that it took him and his chef 30 times to get the BBQ sauce right – and we should be extremely grateful that he did!!
So how do they do it?
Well, they slow cook everything here, in huge, small car sized smokers in the kitchen, that look like vintage furnaces…very cool!
The pork and the brisket are smoked for 20 hours…using only the finest hickory wood.
The result of all this effort is mouthwatering and delicious…sweet, smokey and a little bit spicy, and absolutely everything is juicy and falling apart…I will never, ever again attempt anything like BBQ at home…what’s the point when there is such perfection in the heart of NoHo.
The Beef Ribs are big and meaty and firm, as well as moist and tasty and enormous!
The Brisket just melts in your mouth and the pork is pulled to perfection.
I had my first Burnt Ends…which, unless you are already familiar, doesn’t sound very appetizing…but it turned out to be my absolute favorite thing on the menu, which is kind of like choosing your favorite type of Christmas …almost impossible…
Burnt Ends are a mixture of Pork and Brisket cuttings, with some of Nabeel’s special BBQ sauce added and then the whole thing is smoked again for another 8 hours. It all becomes very soft and extremely succulent and juicy and a little bit mind blowing.
Everything is served with sliced white bread, which I am told is just how they do it in Kansas City…and the bread is really, really good, locally made, fresh daily. You can make some pretty impressive sandwiches with any of the meats and even the beans…pile them high!!
The beans are actually another highlight on the menu. They are also smoked for 8 hours and the pot is placed under the Brisket and pork as they cook, so all the juices and some of the meat drop directly into the baking beans… can you even imagine anything better than that!
Now I’ve had BBQ before, and generally speaking, regardless of what kind of meat you get, it can all taste the same…same sauce…same taste. But not here…
All the meats, the Brisket, the ribs, the burn ends, the pork or the chicken, they all taste amazing, but in uniquely different ways. It’s fascinating actually, how all these meats cooked in the same way and with much of the same ingredients can behave so differently. The Brisket is silky smooth and tender, the Ribs meaty and thick, the pork tender and buttery and the burnt ends are wet and gooey and heavenly…oh and the beans!!
There are also, I should mention, some great sides…the sweet potato fries are particularly good, and they even have some salads! For meat lovers of course!
They also do these really wonderful party trays, which are very popular, for 5-8 and 10-12 people, huge metal trays packed full of selected meats…the portions are very very generous.
The Bar-b-Que Bar is such a great place to meet friends and hang out for a few hours, a few ribs and a few drinks.
No one is in a hurry here, except to eat of course, and they definitely have a lot of regulars who come in for a sandwich and a beer. It’s a really relaxed atmosphere, with a lovely long bar and plenty of seating and tables, but it doesn’t feel cluttered at all and its not dark and dingy like so many BBQ places usually are.
They have created something a bit unusual here in the heart of NoHo. Authentic, honest, mellow BBQ, full of flavor and texture and layers of deliciousness in a cool and comfortable setting and with a truly brilliant bar stocked with an impressive selection of whisky, Bourbon, Scotch, Rye and Beer and some very tasty house cocktails. There is a TV or two in the main restaurant and you can watch the game, but it’s not over powering, more like a local joint with the best BBQ I have tasted in LA and a great Bar and a real neighborhood vibe. They do have a back bar/dining room with four more TV’s which is set up very definitely as a sports bar, and is open from 9.30am on Sundays during the football season, which is terrific for football/BBQ fans!! The whole place is open all day, which I love, because you never know when the mood strikes for BBQ!
I’m happy to say I have found my BBQ home…after a perilous and seemingly endless search, and it’s a mile from my house!! This must be some kind of Kansas Karma!
I can happily and highly recommend that you visit The Bar-B-Que Bar, 10863 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, 91601.
Ask for Nabeel, and tell him Samantha from nohoartsdistrict.com sent you, he might give you an extra rib!
They have great local music couple of nights a week, you can check out what’s going on their website:
Enjoy!!! And bring your appetite!