Santa Maria Barbecue Company

Santa Maria Barbecue Company signage
Santa Maria Barbecue Company in Culver City

What to do today for the 7in7? I have a late start on lunch, 12:30, and I have to be back for a 1:30 meeting. Who schedules a 1:30 meeting during the week of the 7in7? That’s another story. Going off of a tip from a co-worker, we decide to put Santa Maria Barbecue Company to the BBQ Junkie test.

Time was serious factor today so we decided to order our BBQ to go. As with any restaurant that is named “Santa Maria Barbecue Company,” you have to go with the BBQ tri tip. I’m not 100% sure about ordering the BBQ tri tip to go. Medium turns to medium-well, hot turns to cold. Tri tip will just not travel well unless you go with a sandwich. But wait! What is this I see on the menu? An item that is difficult to find at any Los Angeles restaurant, BBQ or otherwise. An item that occasionally makes an appearance at family gatherings and street fairs. The BBQ tri tip Burrito. Yes!

Things are seriously looking good. I order four BBQ tri tip burritos (for some fellow associates) and one veggie burrito (for my carpool partner). It came out to a total of $35 with no drinks. I was given the choice of mild salsa, hot salsa and BBQ sauce. Naturally, you have to get the hot salsa on the side for the tri tip. But why not ask for some BBQ sauce too, just to see how it measures up?

Got the burritos back to the office by 1:15 and by this time I am so hungry that I forget to take any pictures of the food. No worries, I enjoyed the food so much that I will be back to this BBQ restaurant soon. The burrito is pretty phenomenal and good enough to transcend the BBQ genre and rank highly in the Mexican. I can’t say enough about it. The hot salsa was actually hot, as promised. This is something that just doesn’t happen. I’m in heaven. So I try the BBQ sauce. It is a little heavy with the worcestershire sauce flavoring, but it works well with the tri tip. I switch between the salsa and the sauce for the remainder of the burrito.

To give this restaurant a fair shake, I have to return and try their chicken, ribs and tri tip on a plate. BTW, my vegetarian carpool partner enjoyed his burrito very much; although he did say that next time he will ask for mushrooms instead of the grilled veggies.

Santa Maria Barbecue Company from Culver Blvd
The BBQ restaurant from Culver Blvd.

Santa Maria Barbecue Company patron
You do get some Hollywood-types here, but they’re usually nice enough to allow you to take their picture and post it on a blog.

Santa Maria Barbecue Company
9739 Culver Blvd.

13 thoughts on “Santa Maria Barbecue Company”

  1. I found the meat to be good. They do smoke and the price is fair. But, I would not go out of my way to go there. Willy’s in Agoura is the place to drive out of your way to.

  2. Wow, I went there once. By FAR the worst BBQ I’ve had in LA. The meat was obviously dry-cooked in the oven (I eat nearby frequently and have NEVER smelled the sweet smell of real BBQ coming from there…)and the sauces weren’t nearly enough to cover the fact that the meat hadn’t kissed the flame.

  3. I am attempting to arrange a social event for member/owners of the Pineknot Dock Club. Several years ago, I authorized a BBQ by the Santa maria BBQ co. in Vernon, CA (Hosting an association of Turbine Mfgs and interested members) and still have SUPERB memories of the occassion.


    1. Attendees: Approx. N=250+
    2. Location: Big Bear Lake, CA (open area of Club Jetty)
    3. Approx. serving time: 15:00 Hrs
    4. Menu: (2) meats (Chicken/Tri Tip) incl. std fare
    5. Date: approx. June/July 2006

    I would like to initiate a discussion regarding this possibility.


    Telephone: 909.584.7008
    Fax: 909.494.4041
    [email protected]

    POB 6812
    Big Bear Lake, CA 92315-6812

  4. Just ate lunch at Santa Maria’s…the Combo with tri tip and pork was scrupcious…slaw was a little dry (i like the Virginia style with lot’s of vinegar)…potato salad was classic…VK

  5. Not a fan of Santa Maria style BBQ. Buckboard in Upland is good. But I just don’t like the taste from the oak wood.

    But since I love BBQ, I will go to Mo’s in Huntington Beach and Lou’s in Fountain Valley.

  6. Okay, I’m an unabashed fan of this place.
    And the best thing to get at here is
    the three-meat combo. Tri-tip, pork ribs and chicken.
    You can’t go wrong.

  7. tomorrow is going to be tough, someone scheduled a lunch meeting. i’m going to have to do it for dinner, unless anyone has any BBQ breakfast suggestions?

  8. incidentally, there’s a giant story in the la times about farmers markets today, and i thought of you…thanks for the tip last week on the farmer market website.

    in the spirit of the farmers market, perhaps you could try one of the grilling outfits at one of the markets! i know that for sure, there’s one in culver city (tuesdays) and one in westchester (wednesdays).


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