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How Slab Barbecue Is Defining LA’s Barbecue Scene


Chef and proprietor of Los Angeles restaurant Slab Barbecue, Burt Bakman, is making an attempt to catch the town’s status for barbecue as much as the likes of southern states like Texas. “The LA barbecue scene is admittedly at its infancy,” he says. “The kind of barbecue tradition that they’ve in Texas, they don’t have right here. There’s no motive why California can’t change into its personal barbecue area.”

Slab serves all of the barbecue classics: spare ribs, smoked hen, brisket, brisket burgers, and sides like mac and cheese. However Bakman embraces experimentation. “Round Texas, you go round completely different locations, you see lots of people are actually doing issues the identical,” says Bakman. “We alter it up, we discover some form of a spice, we’ll introduce it, we’ll attempt one thing right here that we like. We’re not married to at least one factor.”

Slab additionally deviates from custom by working as a steakhouse within the evenings, the place a standout dish is a steak au poivre with a pepper sauce. Bakman covers a bit of Australian wagyu with the identical rub that goes on the brisket and places it within the smoker, till it’s round 115 levels, letting it relaxation earlier than he places it on the grill. He then places the steak on the grill above some scorching charcoal, cooking it to round 125 levels, till it’s delicate. To serve it, he places down a layer of a pepper sauce he made and places minimize up slices of the steak on high of the sauce with french fries round it.

“This dish is the place we need to see our place go transferring ahead, enjoying with extra hearth, enjoying with extra meat,” says Bakman.

The subsequent step is to create a singular seasoning for the restaurant’s steaks. “Now we have so many alternative concepts for various issues that we need to do,” says Bakman. “One thing completely different that can excite our typical friends, our neighbors, our buddies, for them to come back and have a unique expertise.”

Barbecue in LA will not be with out its challenges, although. For example, the municipality doesn’t permit Slab to have multiple small smoker, which implies the restaurant’s cooks are on a decent rotation of placing ribs within the smoker, then hen, after which the brisket, all again to again; they get began round 7 a.m. to be prepared for the 11:30 a.m. service. “Now we have to go in shifts. We solely have one small smoker, that’s all we are able to work with,” says Bakman. “So, it’s both this or no barbecue.”


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