Straight outta Compton, Kevin Bludso's eponymous sliver of a Texas-style barbecue restaurant is now serving Hollywood in the former home of Mark Peel's Tar Pit. A collaboration between Bludso, Golden State owners Jason Bernstein and James Starr, and Man Bites World-blogger-cum-meat-smoker Noah Galuten, the brand-new Bludso's Bar-&-Que adds cocktails, craft beer, and Scoops ice cream to the existing restaurant's roster of heavenly brisket, hot links, pulled pork, ribs, and chicken on a truncated menu that makes your options a little easier to assemble. Meats are offered by the quarter, half, and full pound between $5-18, with small and large side servings of mac and cheese, collards, baked beans, and potato salad. Desserts, including fat slices of crucial red velvet cake, are being baked daily by the chef's mother, who is passing her secrets on the kitchen. And the drinks?
A cocktail list nine drinks strong goes heavier on the brown liquids, with ten-dollar drinks staying fairly simple, in concoctions like an "English for Beginners" with Wild Turkey rye, green chartreuse, lemon, and bay leaf syrup and an "Iron Mine" with Brugal and Smith & Cross rum, mint, cane syrup, and lime. There's also a mezcal-and-gin based "Jalisco Honey" with Campari and Punt e Mes and, much to the delight of Argentines/San Franciscans, Fernet on tap. A list of four beers include Racer 5 and Green Flash's Hophead Red, available both by pint or pitcher.
Watching a four year-old favorite like Bludso's expand to the city's center under a team of dedicated restaurateurs known for their execution and adherence to high-quality is an encouraging leap for our local eating scene. Hats off to Bludso and his new collaborators, who deserve thanks for bringing great barbecue several dozen red lights and traffic stops closer to our reach.
Bludso's Bar & Que, 609 N. La Brea Ave. Hollywood; 323-965-1300.