Besha Bestows Bludso's Bar & Que With Three Stars

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Barbecue at Bludso's Bar & Que Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

Taking her critical duties into the danger zone, Besha Rodell eats Bludso's for lunch in Compton, then spends dinner at the new Hollywood iteration, treating the sequel with some skepticism (as you'll remember, and she'll still remind you, she lived in the South) and asking, "Is barbecue even barbecue if there's valet parking?" So she's fairly surprised to find, "for the most part the food at the new Bludso's Bar-&-Que is a pretty amazing representation of what you might get at a barbecue shack — in the South or in Compton," praise she extends to the sides of beans, greens, and a mac and cheese she labels "the closest I've had anywhere to my North Carolina mother-in-law's." What else?

Rodell does accuses the meat of idling on steam tables, leading to what she feels is a drier, "room temperature" experience than what one gets in Compton. She also notes that, "while the influence of Kevin Bludso can be felt here, so can his physical absence be tasted," searching for a true pit master and complaining that, "some things here are so close to the Compton original that they almost don't work in Hollywood." Despite the slams, she still calls this "a dream come true: fantastic barbecue and sides, a comfortable room, great drinks, good location." Three stars go to the Bludso's Bar & Que crew! [LAW]