Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que


Imagine my delight when, after a tiring evening of Christmas shopping in 2nd street in Long Beach, we walked past Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ. Of course we had to stop and go inside for some good old BBQ.

At 8:30 on Monday night they still had a wait, we knew we were in for some delicious food. From the lobby we could see (and smell) the hickory wood smoker. My mouth was watering before we even sat down.
The menu was impressive. It was hard to decide on what to order, but in the end we did well. We started with an order of Onion Straws. Think of a more delicious version of the Awesome Blossom, served with Lucille’s own BBQ ranch dipping sauce. Yum. We were pretty full after just that, but went on to order the spare ribs and a pulled pork sandwich. Both were incredible. We had three choices of BBQ sauce (Memphis, Hickory and Hot & Spicy styles). I found the Hot & Spicy to be the most unique. The choice of sides on the menu was extensive and everything we tried was worth having again (sweet potatoes, grilled corn, greens, and garlic mashed potatoes). My only complaint was the excessive amount of food, but is that really a complaint?

Overall it was a great experience. Since Lucille’s has multiple locations, I was a little concerned about it feeling too “chain-y”. Thankfully I was proven wrong.

Lucilles’ Smokehouse BBQ
visit their website
4828 E. 2nd Street
Long Beach , CA 90803

30 thoughts on “Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que”

  1. So Yeah, I was a regular customer and the Lucille’s in Rancho Cucamonga, at least once a month. Well, I had not been there this time for about 2 months..
    Wow….I used to rant and rave about the food, how I loved it, and how the Mac’n cheese was my all time favorite. Well guess what, NOT anymore, because they chaned it completely. IT has diffrent noodles and the cheese sauce too.

    Then to make it even worse, The RED VELVET CAKE used to be my favorite..I order it everywhere that has it, and it pretty popular too. It used to be 3 layers and had fudge between each layer along with the cream cheese icing and the top had mini chocolate chips and these tiny little white cruchy balls and the cake itself was light coco and super dooper moist.

    Not tonight, it completely a different cake. NOT MOIST not very red as the traditional ones are and just tasted like chocolate cake. No fudge now between the 3 layers and while it does look more like a traditional one on the outside, it was covered in crumbs..that were way stale and the cream cheese icing was grainy.

    I asked the waitor why they had changed the recipes and he laughed as if I didn’t know what I was talking about. I told him the old ones tasted better and he said …..”Oh”

    Big Macs suck…but if ya go to Mcdonalds and order one anywhere in the U.S. you can bet they taste and look the same.

    I cannot reccomend it now…I would think If it were my resturant and I had changed the recipes comepletly I would make the customers aware that they are new recipes now so they could make the choice. At this point I was blind sided.

  2. I took two guests to the location in Long Beach that you discovered. Parking can be a challenge but we managed to find a place within walking distance. I called the restaurant and the lady on the phone really could not give me good driving directions. Strike One. We arrived and the booth we were seated at had cold blowing air on us and it was already late in the evening. Had to ask three servers to either move us or shut the A/C off. Strike Two. I ordered the brisket and my guests ordered chicken and a slab of ribs. My Brisket was as tough as shoe leather, and the ribs were very dry. The best by far was the chicken. Would not recommend or return.

  3. John, you are a real tool. Weird looks? Snickering? What are you, 12? Is this the playground in elementary school? Since you obviously don’t like the restaurant, why on EARTH would you ask for a gift certificate to go back? You’re just out to get a freebie. As everyone knows, Lucille’s gets packed, and there are going to be occassions where the service is lacking. My recommendation is to not go there if you are in a rush. So, to Mr. Aquino, take your 9% tips somewhere else and stop bashing the restaurant. It sounds like Soup Plantation would serve you quite well as you can do a buffet, get crappy food, and not have to tip very much.

  4. Party of 16 adults at the Tustin branch Lucille’s, 4:00 p.m. last Sunday, right after the rain stopped. I parked in back and entered by the back door. Our group was seated in 15 minutes at a long table in a “porchy” side room. The room was bright and comfortable, roomy compared to rest of the restaurant, which seemed very crowded, rather dark and packed with customers, squadrons of servers and tons more people waiting to be seated. Every chair in the house was full – maybe 200, probably more. Our luck was this side room, very calm and compartively quiet.

    Staff were at our table promtly, with biscuit bowls and drink order pads ready. The menu was so long I left it to my wife to pick our meal to split (ample brisket sandwich with good peanut slaw, fries). Those around me ordered half chicken dinner (large bird, looked moist), baby backs (long slab) and brisket dinner (giant baked potato) We all liked the hot and spicy sauce better than the mustardy “Memphis

    Since this was a birthday party, we brought in a cake to serve. The servers provided us with a side table to hold the cake, dessert plates and forks, and presents. Very glad Lucille did not levy a plating charge, but then we cut and served the cake ourselves. The servers were quick with the coffee refills – very good coffee.

    In sum, our party had a great time. Lucille did nothing to detract and the staff added a lot of smooth flow. The staff was very responsive. The food was better than average and the portions were very satisfactory. Price? Does anyone know of a bbq place that gives it away? Would I wait more than 30 minutes for Lucille? Probably not, but then I don’t like to wait anywhere. But I am waiting for Lucille to come to Pasadena, a city that bbq forgot. Do you hear me, Barn Bummer?

  5. We eat at the Torrance place all the time. Decent BBQ, although some odd ways of serving (potato bun?!) and weird accesories (a hamburger, at a BBQ restaurant?). Lousy service, all high school kids with no clue. Worst thing, exorbitant prices – highway robbery, but then, this is SoCal.

  6. I was just there on sunday september 30th visiting from Florida. my family lives near the brea restaurant and we took my mom out for her 80th birthday. they have been there before but it was my first along with my wife and two teenagers. we had a great time. we were about 13 people plus two babies and were seated in the pink room. i guess its a room for parties. our experience was incredible. we ordered the super special feast for 10 plus people at 200.00 plus drinks of course. the ribs both beef and pork, the tri tip, the chicken and the brisket was awesome and 6 sides were all great. we had so much food left over that my sister took it all home. im back in florida, left the same day, but my sister has food for 2 days at least. i think the servers were great, they smiled alot and look like they were genuinely trying to please their customers. mr. aquino must have overreacted and was paraniod about his second visit and thought the whole world was watching him and out to get him. they’re the type of people that expect everyone to cater to them only and not anyone else around. their the type that would not enjoy going to other countries because they do things differently. listen mr. aquino (i know you’ll read this because you wrote such a lengthy letter, you want to see what responses it creates) get a life and quite complaining. the food and service was great. the price a little high overall, but then how many places do you go to and pay less and are not happy with the food. Are you guys in Florida anywhere and do you have plans to open up here? let me know.

  7. Hey John! You have waaaay too much time on your hands! Stop bitching and whining about Lucille’s. Nobody can fix that you are a big baby and cry over a bunch of twenty-something servers! “Oh they gave me a look” Boo-who! Looks like they won huh!? Good job Lexy and Martha! This man doesn’t belong in any restaurant!

  8. I tried the Rancho Cucamonga location and I was not impressed. After a 2 hour wait, I was seated at a booth that needed to be wiped down. The ribs I ordered were barely room temperature, and I gave up eating them by the 2nd rib due to all the bone chips in the meat (meat was salty too). The mac n cheese tasted like plain old buttered noodles (maybe they were too rushed to put in the cheese). I did like the beans, but that is not enough for me to come back. After paying my bill, I asked for the Mgr on my way out. I explained to him what I dislike about the restaurant. He offered a refund and/or a free meal. I declined and said that their style of BBQ was not to my taste and that I was not returning and that he (the restaurant) deserved to know the reason why I will not return. He again offered a free meal but I explained that making the food free will not change its flavor and that this style of BBQ is not pleasing to my palate. I told him that judging by the crowds, my taste buds are in the minority but then again I do not know of any restaurant that pleases 100% of the peoples taste. I just did not care for the wood they smoke their meats with… leaves a salty and sulferous taste that the sauce cant kill. Definitely not worth the 2 hour wait in my opinion. As for the poor service, I see this in many restaurants because they tend to hire kids that have no real waiting experience and are just doing it until something better comes along (like when they graduate) and just do not take pride in their job. I also dislike the practice that restaurants tend to have the wait staff bus tables. Nothing like having your server handle your plate after they just bused a table of dirty dishes and then not wash their hands.

  9. To Whom it may concern, I was very much in love with the Salmon you had on the menu…I was sorry to see it was removed . Do you know if the Salmon will be back on the menu ?? A concern Salmon Eater ,Thanks

  10. I’m sitting here staring at stack of Lucille’s receipts from the last 2 months. Seems like my friends and I visit this Lucille’s (in Torrance) about once a week. But, that might change after tonight. I had one of the most unwelcoming experiences at your restaurant tonight. The food was fine, but their service was simply unacceptable. It wasn’t the busiest night, but the dining room was full, so we opted to sit in the bar area. We found an open booth, but its table still hadn’t been cleaned. That’s were the troubles started. As a frequent guests, we know what we want to order and just want to get on our way quickly. But, tonight we had to stand around our empty booth for a full ten minutes and watch server after server pass us by while the booth remained uncleaned. We asked who we could ask to clean it, and were abruptly told that someone “would get to it soon.” When it finally was cleaned, we sat down. A server quickly came over, but we immediately got the feeling that she was rushed and she was almost doing US a favor to take our order immediately. You could tell that she really did not want to. How is that supposed to make us feel as customers? In fact, that set the mood for the whole night. Each of our subsequent servers made us feel like WE were a burden to them. For instance, we had to ask three times for an item that was missing from our original oder. Not one of your servers we asked took possession of the problem and saw it through to get it solved. Rather, their attitude reflected that once the order is typed in, it is no longer their responsibility and it wasn’t their fault that it hadn’t come out. This is a risk with team service; why take possession of someone else’s problem? By the way, we finally got the missing item when we were done with our meal. You can imagine what that feels like. And, to top it off, we never were offered drink refills. I don’t know who is to blame, but I don’t think it’s the servers. Rather, I think there is lack of appropriate management. I cannot tell for sure, but it seems like the servers in the bar area were simply overworked. And, this even though, the bar was not even that crowded. Sounds like a scheduling problem to me. Also, I know that this restaurant believes in “team” service. But the risk with that approach is that no one ever takes responsibility for a table. That is certainly what happened tonight. We were orphaned and were made to feel like no one took care of us. Sounds to me like a manager is not training his staff adequately. The quality of the staff also leaves to be desired for. Over the last year, a frequent visitor can clearly see that the level of care the wait staff has been giving their tables has been consistently going down, as has their enthusiasm for working there. Sounds like a hiring or a staffing level problem to me. Lastly, on our way out, we were not told “good bye.” This would usually never bother me. But, tonight, after our sad experience, seeing four employees standing around the front desk just chatting away as we were walking out (while their coworkers are clearly overwhelmed in the bar area) without acknowledging us in the least bit, simply drove the point home even more: Lucille’s doesn’t care anymore about me. Sounds like a management problem to me. But, as one of their best customers, it clearly sounds like my problem, too.

  11. Eat often at Lucille’s in Torrance (Del Amo). Food is good, usually with a good smoky flavor. Unfortunately, it’s only hot about 1/2 the time. Still, the taste keeps us returning. Service is mediocre at best. Lots of turn over in the staff, all very young women, and lots of them, who seem mostly to stand at the waitress station talking. For a place that is so seemingly overstaffed, the food should get out faster and hotter. Baby Back Ribs are good, as are the burgers. Mac N Cheese would probably be good if you can get it served hot. Cheese burgers are excellent. Peanut slaw is also good. Deserts are overly sweet, but abundant.

  12. Oh Man, I miss Lucille’s soooo much, even to the point of making excuses to drive a 600 mile round trip to see my son but in reality it’s actually to get my smoked BBQ fix from Lucille’s. Ok yeah, they are a bit pricey and can set a family of 4 back about 150 bucks for a full on BBQ Pigout, but they are definitely one of the better smokehouses that close to the Pacific. I have had some really great BBQ in other places around the OC and LA, but the overall Smoke-ring goodness of Lucilles is hard to beat!!
    Anyway, I’m stuck way out here in the desert, We have a big beautiful lake, but it’s a community where Bar-B-Q Restaurant means some lackluster grilled meat over natural gas or a few bricks of some Kingsford (that is if your lucky, some places i’ve seen use construction scrap charcoal, YUCK!!). Although, We do have a local Smoke BBQ joint, It closes at 2pm EVERYDAY (AAAAAARRRRGGGGGGG) and it’s hard to leave my restaurant and run all the way across town and then have to re-heat the meat in the oven when I get home. So till they build a dinner smokehouse within driving distance, I will salivatingly make the 300 one way mile trek to Lucille’s… Oh sorry, I mean to see my wonderful son in OC and maybe take him out to a great local BBQ joint 🙂
    And to Mr. Aquino, You left your post here without explaining the reason for your first letter to the restaurant, which in turn gave you a very generous courtesy meal offer, So as of right now, I’m on Walts side as I own a very small restaurant myself and even with all my staff, we get SLAMMED with customers from time to time and it just floors me how many people out there are looking for this opportunity to get a FREEBE because “something isnt just 100 percent perfect” or they feel that they were ignored, picked on or 10000 other complaints. In reality, We are here to serve you AND the many other guests who come to enjoy their meals with us at any given restaurant worldwide. Unless one of my cooks pulls a knife in anger or a server lights your table on fire, most miss-understandings can be corrected by the customer letting us know RIGHT AWAY the REAL issue so it can be corrected or at least try some accommodation towards a resolution and then by you just sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the meal and atmosphere we have created for you and not magnifying every little thing that annoys YOU and then running off to write a whiny letter days after you have left complaining about something and it was most likely a missunderstanding between you and the staff anyway. Believe me, I have spoken with many a spouse who has confided with me that most complaining parties (I.E. people like you) has, on occasion, complained about the kitchen service they have gotten at home, and that’s only one table for Gods sake! I implore you, Mr Aquino to step into any busy restaurant as a server for one week and I truly believe that your future complaints and FREE meals will be few and far between.
    I will see the rest of you at Lucille’s having a great time among friends!

  13. I have never read so much miserable whinning in my life. This company should never give $50 GC to these crybabies. Hey, If you don’t like it…take a hike. We work hard in this business and sometimes you just can’t please everybody. They are all about getting something free. It’s my kids birthday. Ive got food allergies. My hemmroids are acting up. I’m too busy with my miserable life to make somethingspecial for the brat, so I’ll come to your place and put the mokey on your back and expect something free. Just write an irrate note to the ‘Chain’ and they’ll send you a GC so you can leave your 8% tip no matter what the service level. California will soon experience an accute shortage of restaurants because of the increased costs to do business in the state. Just keep giving all the illegals free everything and up the minimum wage for servers that already make $20 an hour and see what a burger is going to cost. Who need it?

  14. What I like about this location in Belmont shore is that they are dog friendly. If you sit outside on the sidewalk, they will bring out a bowl of waer for your dog. And that is the ONLY reason why I go to this location.

    My personal choice is the on at the Long Beach Towne Center right off the 605 FWY, cause it’s patterned after an actually HOUSE which is pretty neat! And on Sundays there is LIVE Jazz and if you are lucky, Doug McLeod might be there performing for you. He’d be doing his renditions of Ice Cream Man, and his fun song Her Bread ain’t done. Also if the wait is too long you are surrounded by restaurants so you can go next door to Roadhouse Grill or Chili’s. . . In-N-Out too!!!

  15. The Lucille’s BBQ in Brea to me is the best BBQ place in So. CA. The service is great and the food is awesome! The blues music is great. My dad has enjoyed the times I’ve taken him. My wife likes it alot. Never says no to going.


    Go to the on in Redondo Beach Area THE BEST Oh may GOD The BEST bbq in California. Grant you, you will still find those great mom and papa places. Yet for a sit down eat joint!!!! pass me a another plate. A little pricie but, scrow that~~~~ well well worth ever penny. My mouth is watering as we speak!! OK

    Would love to be part of a Ownership

  17. I go to the Lucille’s in Henderson Nevada (Las Vegas).
    It is by far one of the best restaurants in town!!
    GREAT tri tip, Cheese grits and Fried Green tomatoes.

    When in Las Vegas, forget the buffets and go to Lucille’s !!

  18. Not sure what the point of the really long post from Mr. Aquino……….I have eaten at the Bread Lucilles countless times. Always get great service and delicious food.

    In my opinion, the prices are no more than Claim Jumper, and the quality of the BBQ is not even comparable.

    Lucilles Rocks!

  19. We eat at the Lucille’s in Torrance. The food is really quite good although I like their cole slaw better than their “peanut slaw” and their french fries are too small. However the service is indifferent at best. The wait staff is mostly young and not trained except to push you to have an appetizer or a salad or a dessert. Refusals to get one of these is met with a cold look. I asked for some extra napkins and after a while I saw the waitress approaching with them. She gave them to the next table and we didn’t see her again for some time. I think she just wasn’t paying attention as to who asked for them.

    They are quite expensive though. I thought it was interesting to note that the lunch specials were a worse deal than the regular menu. Like the lunch special 1/3 pound cheeseburger with one side was $9, the regular menu cheeseburger was 1/2 pound with 2 sides for $10.50.

    But the food is good.

  20. Fantastic food and service, albiet at premium prices. The tri-tip is fantastic, the beef ribs are full of flavor and tenderness, and the sides were surprisingly good. Portion sizes are generous, so be prepared if you’re not hungry. The sandwiches are a good alternative. The wait is unbearable, unfortunately, even on weeknights.

  21. John post you original experience here. My wife and I have only been to Lucille’s in Brea once and I am still in sticker shock. Our lunch was $70 with tip. I’ve had BBQ all over the country and their BBQ was good but nothing special. You can get the same big plates of food and ribs at Claim Jumper for half the price. Most BBQ joints lunch is about $8-9 a person. My lemonade was $5. Not worth the wait or cost in my opinion and if their staff is treating people this way than that’s enough for me. Try Bad to the Bone BBQ in San Juan Cap ext time your down there. Small place, good food, and pleasant people

  22. 3-26-06 [ 1330 ]
    [[ return visit offer ]]

    Dear Mr. Petrella,
    I would like to extend to you my thanks for your offer of a $50 guest credit allowing my family and I to return to your Lucille’s restaurant in Brea in order to re-establish our faith in your services offered. We all, along with my 9y/o niece, who by the way was celebrating her birthday today, along with my nephew [ 5 in all] took your offer and decided to have lunch once again at your restaurant. I normally don’t call ahead of time, however I did so today prior to arriving in order to confirm and validate my name in your “guest relations” book for this $50 credit you offered my wife and I, nor do I show any discount meal offers before I order my food so as to not possibly jeopardize my quality of service. I know that managers and supervisors say that servers aren’t suppose to do “this” or “that” when it comes to customer service regardless of the “comp.” or “discounts”. Well you know as well as I do that management can not be everywhere all the time in order to truly witness what goes on when service is rendered.
    Mr. Petrella, THIS WAS A HUGE MISTAKE ! I called the restaurant to let MIKE, floor manager, know and to confirm your offer extended to my wife and I [ remember when we spoke I told you that my wife did not want to return and you asked that we please do with this offer of yours] . what we encountered today is something my wife and I will never forget. We have been to many restaurants of so-called “specialty” and “contemporary” styles of food offered. Never have we both experienced such condescending, sarcastic, ridiculed, tasteless, undisciplined, and made center of attraction for the amusement of others. I will elaborate as to why we obviously felt this way so you can understand what goes on when managements back is turned or is in on the antics or is too blind to want to notice what server comradre is trying to do based on a customers previous complaints against them.
    We were seated in a table for 5 this time in the area to the right as one enters along side of the kitchen entrance by CANDICE. Upon being seated I quietly stated to CANDICE to please let our server know that it’s my niece’s birthday so as to surprise her and to make this visit special for her. I then see CANDICE make a note on our ticket with a crayon. CANDICE then takes our drink orders. We were then approached by LOIS who came to take our order [ a large order with extra biscuits ] . CANDICE later returns with our drinks and leaves. I then notice the obvious staring by servers; MARTHA, ALEXY, and the other I did not have her name as I stated in my previous letter to you, who I asked MIKE, floor manager, not to place my wife and I near for today’s visit. I then notice MIKE, floor manager, speaking to ALEXY in the kitchen entrance as they both quickly glance over to me as if to confirm my I.D. LOIS now returns with the biscuits, salad, and soups. She leaves and I forget to ask her for another towel setting since we only had 4 [ short once again]. So I stop MIKE, table server, walking by and I ask kindly for and extra setting. He goes and retrieves another setting for me after he exchanges some words with MARTHA in the kitchen entrance as they look at me again [ keep in mind your kitchen entrance has a basket of napkin settings at its entrance] . By this time I’m starting to think if my return here today was a big mistake and how long it would be before my wife would say something to me. Now as my wife and I try to enjoy what we have we both notice MARTHA smile with a sarcastic look from the corners of her eyes, not a smile that says hello as one would look at another face to face but a smile that says, “ so your back, now it’s our turn to get even”. I’m sure you know the look I’m talking about. My wife and I continue to get this kind of look once again from all previous server involved. LOIS then returns to my table to ask how were doing In a nice formal and casual way just as she introduced herself once we were seated. I then kindly ask her for more biscuits. The biscuits then arrive from a female server, name I could not read due to her holding the basket in front of her chest, and as she placed the biscuits on my table she literally bend down bringing her chest to the edge of the table and with a childish influx in her voice, a big smile, her hands clasped on the table, and her head purposely cocked to one side so as to face me directly said, “ Is there anything else I can get you?” and at that very same moment MARTHA walks right behind this server smirking and with the look of holding in a laugh walked past my table showing her obvious desire to witness this condescending and tasteless display of immaturity towards my wife and I. WE HAD ENOUGH ! we all got up and left, my wife outside with the kids and I inside asking to speak to MIKE, floor manager. All I wanted to say to MIKE was what had occurred and how very disappointed my wife and I are. All MIKE could do was defend their actions and say that everyone is happy working here and that I was over reacting – MIKE at this point had just insulted my intelligence. He also told me that ALEXY, MARTHA, and the other server previously mentioned all move around the restaurant floor and that is why I encountered them in my area. Last week we sat at the other side of the restaurant entrance to the left as I told you and these servers were entering your kitchen from the north end of the bar away from the entrance and had we sat upstairs I truly wonder how different our experience would have been.
    Mr. Patrella, as I stated before, management is not and can not be at all areas at once in order to see how staff works. My wife and I did not ask to be treated this way upon our return that you so kindly and so graciously offered us so as to win us back as customers. We took you up on your offer in hopes that matters had been resolved. We simply wanted to be given the NORMAL attention that every customer wants, not ridiculed and made to be once again the center of attention and amusement for others.
    My wife and I extended our trust and faith in your staff at our expense for your amusement once again. This will not happen again, my wife and I will continue to frequent other dinning facilities that respect their customers and I will continue to tip appropriately for outstanding service. We will also see to it that others know of our experience at Lucille’s and how sensitive, immature, and undisciplined your staff is to criticism.

    Sincerely nobody’s fool,


  23. My favorite place and the family’s too. I’ve been to the one in Brea and Rancho Cucamonga. ALL the sides are great, the bbq is great and the sweet tea is great too. Only complaint is that there aren’t enough around. Both locations provide 2 hour waits on the weekends!

  24. The Lucille’s in Rancho Cucamonga is amazing. It is located at the Victoria Gardens outdoor mall. The smells will guide you! Go on a week night before a movie at the AMC next door. It is a real treat for my family and one of our favorites! The pulled pork sandwich is the best ever!! I’m used to Oklahoma BBQ and this place exceeded my expectations!

  25. That’s were I’m heading tonight to celebrate my new job. Thanks for the review because I’ve never been there but heard through friends how good they were.

  26. P.S. – They have a great kids menu too. My little one had chicken fingers that were made of REAL chicken. A rarity on the children’s menu.


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