How Slab Barbecue Is Defining LA’s Barbecue Scene


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

Slab serves all of the barbecue classics: spare ribs, smoked rooster, 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 type of a spice, we’ll introduce it, we’ll attempt one thing right here that we like. We’re not married to 1 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 chunk 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 sizzling charcoal, cooking it to round 125 levels, till it’s gentle. To serve it, he places down a layer of a pepper sauce he made and places minimize up slices of the steak on prime of the sauce with french fries round it.

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

The following step is to create a singular seasoning for the restaurant’s steaks. “We now have so many various concepts for various issues that we need to do,” says Bakman. “One thing completely different that may excite our traditional friends, our neighbors, our mates, for them to return and have a unique expertise.”

Barbecue in LA just isn’t with out its challenges, although. As an illustration, the municipality doesn’t enable Slab to have multiple small smoker, which implies the restaurant’s cooks are on a good rotation of placing ribs within the smoker, then rooster, 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. “We now 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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