Baby Blues Bar-B-Q

Baby Blues Bar-B-Q sign
Baby Blues Bar-B-Q in Venice

Los Angeles has many well-established BBQ restaurants and some not-so-well-established. On a recent BBQ food adventure with a couple of gentlemen from L.A. Dining, the food blog, we discovered that you could find decent BBQ in Venice if you were willing to pay the price.

Maybe our ordering strategy was wrong?
… We were trying to order a little bit of everything.

Two plates to share between the three of us is all that we ordered, how could it come out to $23 a person?
… They were the most expensive plates on the menu and BBQ is never truly inexpensive.

Why was the food so cold?”
… We did spend a lot of time photographing the food.

I don’t think that it was horrible, and their ribs were pretty good. The service was a bit slow for lunch (we were there for over an hour), but the waitress was very enthusiastic. Prices were steep for lunch; I would probably go with a BBQ sandwich next time (cheaper and quicker).

Baby Blues Bar-B-Q Inside
interior view

baby Blues Bar-B-Q table
BBQ sauce and hot sauce

baby Blues Bar-B-Q plate
The BBQ plate has many different flavors

Baby Blues Bar-B-Q plate close-up
Detail of the cornbread

Baby Blues Bar-B-Q corn
BBQ corn, so tasty

Baby Blues Bar-B-Q Banana Pudding
BBQ dessert didn’t come out that great, but we weren’t charged so I guess it’s ok.

Check out the L.A. Dining chat/review.

Baby Blues Bar-B-Q
444 Lincoln Blvd. Venice
(310) 396-7675
Visit their website

32 thoughts on “Baby Blues Bar-B-Q”

  1. Nothing great about these ribs. I had ribs there Monday and still have the runs. Amy had the left overs and had the runs for two days.

  2. I’ve become a regular at Baby Blues b/c I love BBQ of all types and many of their items are excellent. The shrimp, pulled pork and brisket are always great as are the ribs. Although a little high its not outrageous. The servers are so amazing-lovely friendly caring and real people…they are a lot of what makes this place special. When I haven’t been in for awhile they’ve noticed and you get the impression you’ve been missed!!! Do wish they had tri tip but maybe that doesn’t fit the food style.

  3. Baby Blues BBQ to me is the best BBQ in Los Angeles, I tried about 20 others and while sure something are better I never found a better combination of delightful ribs, the best mac and cheese in the world, waitresses to just smile all night and a feeling happyness after the banana pudding. The Pork is tender, the brisket pulled but good, the shrimps are to die for and they always cut you a deal if you should be unsatisfied. If they had stock, I’d buy it!

  4. to all the whining, naysayer post’ers: you’re right, that line around the block means this place is horrible and that you shouldn’t go back. we don’t need any more dipsh*ts coming in from van nuys making the place even more crowded.

  5. We tried them at the L.A. BBQ Festival. The sauce was so vinegary that it almost made me wheeze. No good at all.

    The ribs might have been fine on their own, but there was no way to tell without wheezing.

  6. This place was horrible, What a waste of time,taste, and money. Me and my Husband stop here for lunch and had the pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches ,they both were like eating paper with no seasoning. They were dry dry dry with very little coleslaw and dry dry dry buns ,the bbq sauce taste like pizza sauce mixed with ketchup. We found that they had some of the best pickles nevertheless. The kitchen was in (F)NASTY condition as well as the service. We really could’nt tell who was an employee. I had to walk out, there was no room for more than three people to enter just for takeout and than on top of that you are right next to people eating outside looking over their shoulders, as they sit to dine. I find this to be very tacky on a street corner . We would’nt recommend this place to anyone and all the positive comments must have been really fakes.

  7. I liked Baby blues.

    The rib sampler (Baby back and memphis style) ribs were great when we had it. the meat wasnt overcooked and falling of the bones mushy, but tender enough to attain maximum flavor. It wasn’t smothered in super sweet and tangy BBQ sauce either. You could add some smokin hot XXX porno BBQ sauce as needed. The brisket and pulled pork sandwiches combined with XXX porno sauce is also quite good. The burger is very decadent with the blue cheese, and an interesting version of the american classic. The mac n cheese and sweet potato mash are crazy good.

    I cant comment on the other sides, but those two were excellent.

    All in all, I know exactly what to order and the things I order I love. The prices are high, but I have gone to the nastiest ghettos in south central and paid 8 bucks for a sandwich. I have spent 16 bucks on crappy tony romas ribs. Based on those prices, baby blues is only 20% more and well worth it.

    As for the ambiance, I love it. It is gritty, Venice, LA. I dont want to feel like I am in the middle of America, and I dont want to eat at a place with 100% white midwestern type families. I want that artsy, quasi-bohemian-hollywood, multi-cultural, offbeat LA dining crowd. Complete with funky art, and super packed in tables. It feels more decidely LA than the more far flung BBQ places in upland, etc.

    I dont want traditional BBQ necessarily either. I want flavor, and Baby blues delivered for me. The meat has smoked to a perfect point and the meat rub added just enough flavor to make the meat standout, but not too much to make it over seasoned.

  8. Baby blues was garbage, nooooooo soul. This place is definitely not soulfood from the heart(deceiving maketing), more like stolen culture for profit, its like going to beverlyhills for authentic mexcian(yeah)…The food was too expensive service was sub par. I will never eat there again, isn’t bar b que supposed to be hot ?..You would think because there is a crowd the food must be great(not).It turns out it was crowded because its a shoebox and not more than 5 people can fit in the front of the place. This place does not compare to Rib nest elsegundo, Phillips LA, Woody’s LA, or JR’s bar b que in Culver City. Anyone who tells you this is good bar b que obviously never had good bar b que before, you’re better off at Tony Roma’s .

  9. Had lunch here with friends Saturday. Got to the restaurant about 11:30, we saw them on the Food Network and thought we would give them a try..Drove up a 2 1/2 hour drive just to try the place. This isn’t unusual for us, we’ll drive 4 hours on a whim if the food is right. Well, food wasn’t so “right” here. Out of Brisket and baby backs at noon? Poor planning. Pulled pork was so so, no flavor, bun was dry dry dry and were they running low on slaw?? I have never seen a Pulled pork Sandwich with LESS slaw than ours had. We all ordered different food, 6 orders in all and nothing better than a 7 out of 10 on a 1-10 scale. We won’t be back, we won’t reccomend, it wasn’t bad, it’s just nothing special and a little on the mediocre side.

  10. This place was horrible. We waited over an hour to get seated in this very small resturant. We were there for a friends birthday celebration he picked this place after hearing several good reviews. After being seated the unhappy waitress told us they were out of pulled pork, brisket, and baby back ribs the only dishes they had available were chicken, shrimp and memphis style ribs (one of the more pricey items on the menu). I expect for a $25.oo dollar plate to be served on a table with a table cloth. They were also out of corn. We had to ask for drink refills and waited over an hour for our food to be served. Before recieving the bill we were asked to please leave as soon as possible as they needed the talbe. The whole experiance was just horrible they lost 14 potential customers and now left with a huge bad taste in our mouth. I would not ever recommend this place there are so many other good bbq resturants out there with good service and better establishements. This place was a HOLE!!

  11. when I saw the review on foodnetwork I thought BB was trying to do too many things well. these reviews somewhat agree. bbq is hard to do consistantly so you narrow your scope and specialize.

  12. Having lived in the south for 7 years before moving to Hell-ay, I have to say Baby Blue’s is the best Q I have had this side of the Mississippi. I live down the block from them, and they are my go-to “I-don’t-wanna-cook-tonight” restaurant. Great barbecue, and (finally!) a beer/wine license hopefully on the way!

    To the people who complain about price- Are you unable to read a menu? How are you surprised by your bill? Did you think the printed prices were a joke? I go with my girlfriend and we split one pulled pork plate and a chicken sandwich. With drinks and tip we get out of there for $30.

    To the people who complain about it being greasy- Its barbecue. The flavor in barbecue comes from pork fat, aka grease. Enjoy every juicy bite, clean your plate with your cornbread, just be careful not to get any on your shirt!

    I recommend this place to anyone and everyone!

  13. Oh… and their regular sauce is exceptional, not the candy-sweet sauce that seems to plague all the other “real” BBQ joints in Southern Cal. If you want sickly sweet, eat a candybar afterwards 🙂

  14. You know, I’ve eaten at famous barbeque joints all over the south, from Wilber’s and Piggy Park (Carolina) to Dreamland and Big Bob Gibson’s (Alabama) to Taylor Cafe and Louis Mueller’s (Texas) to Rendevous and Cozy Corner (Memphis) to Gates (K.C.). I know barbecue, and I’ll tell you what, Baby Blues is good. I have been there something like 7 times and while there have been some inconsistency problems a few times, overal I liked it. The pulled pork is very good, the shrimp are out of this world, the pork ribs are… from so-so to tasty. Twice I got charred, dried-out meat because the guy left them on the grill while talking to the waitress. The pork and beans are great….you get a bowl of tasty beans with a large amount of pulled pork. My only complaint would be the pork ribs are pretty dry….ribs are very tricky business. I recommend it.

  15. I used to live in the slum called Venice. Baby Blues was a great discovery; it’s the best BBQ that I’ve had in L.A. I used to live in Texas; the only good thing about TX is the barbeque, and what gets called BBQ in L.A. is just grilling. But Baby Blues is real. It is not TX style, but meat smoked for hours is what matters.
    Go for lunch, have a pulled pork sandwich and water. It’s not too expensive. And tip good.

  16. I love baby blues bbq you have to try the tiger shrimp I read the review and I feel like you are talking about an entirely different place. I live over 30 minutes away from baby blues and I take the trip aleast once a week just to get a taste. Their hot bbq sauce is also the greatest I have ever tasted and the owners are the most humble men I have ever met. Service is always fast my food is always hot and the waitresses are so friendly. And let me ask you have you ever had good bbq that was cheap?

  17. I just finished my first meal at Baby Blues and would recommend it to anybody who enjoys great food, great atmosphere and great hospitality. We showed up at almost closing time and were encouraged to stay, they were more than happy to cook anything we ordered just minutes before closing the doors. The rub was unbelieveable, the sauce was amazing everything cooked to perfection…and after it was all said and done we had the bannana pudding which after a meal that I thought was the best BBQ I have ever had topped it off. A MUST try, great guys, great staff and great food.

  18. I recently had Baby blues after being recommended by a friend and I must say I was highly dissapointed. I will never go back again. I was a little surprised by the prices but I normally don’t mind paying for good food… which this wasn’t. My husband had the baby back ribs with potato salad, baked beans and mac and cheese. The ribs were ok but the sauce was too runny. I have never seen potato salad so runny and nasty looking. The baked beans consisted of a mix of kidney, pinto and black beans (I think)…I have never seen that before and it was disgusting. The mac and cheese just tasted like baked ziti from the Olive Garden. The cornbread was also greasy and they charege 3 dollars for one 3×3 square…I mean that is ridiculous. I had the pulled pork platter that was ok but a little greasy. Needless to say I will never ever go back there again and would not recommend it to anyone.

  19. About a month ago the wife and I ate dinner at Baby Blues after being recommended by two friends. I have no idea how they liked this place! We will NEVER go back! We ordered two dinner plates (which came cold and dry), two soft drinks, and a single dessert! $80 freakin bucks later we left! Holy hell! While the food was average (certainly not great – their beans are the worst I’ve ever eaten), the real problem was the “taste to price” ratio. The interior of this place has the ambiance of an old shoe repair store (i.e. dingy, unattractive, crappy chairs, crappy tables, no booths, no parking and located on a large busy boulevard). And they have Venice beach psychedelic art on the walls which doesn’t really fit with the whole “Memphis barbeque” thing. You would think by their prices that you were eating in an upscale white-table-cloth place. The only two good things about this place were the waitress was nice (and pretty) and you can bring your own booze. As it stands now, the place is awful. If they cut their prices in half it would become tolerable but not great. If they cut their prices by 3/4 it would become decent but still not great.

  20. The first time I ordered take out from Baby Blues (this was right after they opened) I found the ribs to be kinda dry. A month or so ago I ordered their burger and it was honest to go the best burger I’ve ever had in my life.

    I tried to do the take out thing again the other night and it wasn’t available so I went in. Great luck as it turns out. I spent a couple of hours there chatting up the owners and cooks and having a great time. I ordered the platter with all 3 kinds of ribs and each one was better then the last. The baby backs are to die for, and the others are wonderful too.

    While there a guy sat down next to me and ordered the steak and shrimp. When the cook handed the steak to him I about passed out it looked so good. I mentioned that next time I was came in I was gonna give that a try. The guy said “wait til you taste it” and cut me off a hunk and tossed it onto my plate. One bite and I fell in love. Never in my life have I had a more tender or flavorful steak.

    As for deserts I’ve had the banana pudding and peach betty. Both were very good, but I admit the pudding was by far my favorite.

    The service there is great- the people there actually seem to appreciate you’re there and they treat you right.

    I will be back often, and I’m bringing friends with me.

  21. I will have to review this place again completely. This review had a companion review which no longer exists. I did enjoy the food here, as agreed a little pricey, but really good. We had an issue with the desert, not the BBQ, but it was not billed to us and everything was fine.

    That being said… I have been to Benny\’s for lunch and the prices were very good, but I enjoyed the food at Baby Blues much more.

  22. I\’m responding from Baby Blues BBQ. For one, we seem to get slammed on various blogs by someone who claims the food is aweful and to go to Benny\’s BBQ instead. And that same person usually carries the same moniker. I like Benny\’s and I like the folks that run the place. But to say that we are \”garbage\” or \”aweful\” is just moronic. We marinate our ribs, dry-rub them and smoke them over hickory. If that ain\’t Memphis style, you may be talking of another Memphis. I lived in the one in Tennessee.
    As for the prices, we buy the most expensive ribs on the market and we get great reviews for them. But yes, they\’re pricey. To us too. But take a look at our menu and compare it to others in town. We\’re one of the cheaper ones for what you get.
    Negatives may include long waits (we\’re working on that as we speak), running out of certain sides (we cook them fresh daily and when we\’re out, we\’re out), and possibly parking. Negatives are not the food. I say that with confidence.
    As BBQ goes, flames flare up and rib ends can get charred from time to time. Some love it like that, some don\’t. (Merrill Shindler called the ribs \”perfectly charred\”. But he\’s one critic.) If you don\’t like \’em that way, send \’em back and we\’ll make \’em the way you want.
    We value criticism, but only when it\’s warranted. That particular bloke seems to have a chip on his shoulder. Try us out. If it ain\’t for you, tell us and we\’ll work something out. We\’ve never refused anyone\’s gripes (though they\’re few and far between).

  23. This place ROCKS! I’ve been to all 50 states and this is by far the best BBQ I have ever tasted. The XXX Porno sauce is awesome and the eight of us that were there all tried something different and was all top notch. The staff is cool, the music is a wild blend of everything and the homemade desserts were fantastic. Were it not for the calories, the BigMan would be there every day and getting MUCH bigger. Do yourselves a favor and get there. Soon.

  24. I like Baby Blues. I think their strongest dish by far is the pulled pork — tasty and moist. The sandwich is on excellent rustic bread rolls crisped on the grill, I get the slaw served on the side. The brisket is good but pulled like the pork rather than sliced. Very friendly place. Two of us split a sandwich and a plate last time so we had more than enough food, two sides to share, and kept the cost down. I usually go for the hottest sauces, but I prefer their regular house to the kickass spicy.

  25. I have not been to Benny’s yet but am looking forward to trying it – I’ve heard it’s very good. BUT… I LOVE Baby Blues!! Haven’t had their ribs, but the beef brisket is to die for!! Smothered in their hot and BBQ sauces… it’s the BEST! Their cornbread kicks ass, the mashed potatoes are delicious, and the corn on the cob can’t be beat. The service is pretty darn slow and it is a bit pricey, but Baby Blues it still a must-try. And you can BYOB 🙂

  26. I hate this place. Ribs are OK but nothing great. They call themselves Memphis style BBQ but it doesn’t come close other Memphis style BBQ in LA like Jay Bees.

    Do yourself a huge favor and drive south on Lincoln a few blocks and go to Benny’s Bar B-Q. Just south of Washington. Great stuff. Sauce is on the sweet side but good. Ribs are awesome. Brisket sandwich is very good. And the service is great and the young lady behind the counter is very easy on the eyes. Mostly take out but there are a few tables.

  27. Thanks for the review of Baby Blue’s Bar B Q. After reading a review of them, I think, in the L.A. Times a couple of weeks ago, I did put them on my “got to try it” list. I work in Santa Monica and thought it might be a good place to eat. Now I know I need to visit the ATM first.

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