Through my powers of persuasion I was easily able to convince some co-workers to join me in the 7in7 and participate in an evaluation of Mr. Cecilâ€™s California Ribs BBQ restaurant. We had two criteria to meet; it had to be near our job in Santa Monica and have good BBQ. Having previously visited Mr. Cecilâ€™s, I knew that it would meet both criteria without a problem. I called ahead to see if they offered any vegetarian dishes. You can stop laughing anytime. It wasnâ€™t for me, but for my carpool partner who is a recovering meat eater. I was told that they have a couple of vegetarian items, kabobs and such, but to avoid the fries because they were cooked in lard. I give them props for that alone. So on we went.
First, let me start by saying that the restaurant is going through a remodel. Although I donâ€™t believe that it affected the quality of our food, it did detract from the ambiance. I was pleased to see that they offered BBQ spare ribs on the menu, but disappointed to see that they werenâ€™t available on any kind of lunch special. They did offer a 1/3 of a rack of ribs for $7.95, but no sides came with it so I had to order a serving of fries. The 1/3 rack of ribs did just fine for lunch; I didnâ€™t want the 7in7 BBQ restaurant review to turn into a â€œSuper Size Meâ€ documentary. The BBQ ribs were pretty good; they serve them up without BBQ sauce, the way good BBQ should be served. I take this as a sign of pride when a BBQ restaurant does this.
Most of my posse ordered the BBQ brisket sandwich that is probably the best lunch deal on the menu. Iâ€™m not sure how much it costs, but Iâ€™m sure they will add this information to the comments section of this post. I have had this sandwich combo before and would say that it is extremely messy and tasty. One of our cohorts ordered a burger and would have done anything to re-order after seeing the ribs. Regrettably, I only ordered a 1/3 rack and was in no position to share. Sorry Pete.
After leaving the restaurant no one was cheering or slamming the meal. We were all a little indifferent; perhaps it was the food coma taking hold? I am always left feeling a little disappointed in a sit-down restaurant where my iced tea is never refilled and I am not offered a dessert menu at the end of my meal. Not that I want or have to have dessert, I would just like to know if they are trying to meet the customerâ€™s needs. This is probably just me being a little bitchy.
All in all, it was an o.k. BBQ restaurant. Hopefully this will improve after the remodel. In regards to their BBQ, I would say give them a try. If you have the money you should splurge on the BBQ spare ribs otherwise order the brisket sandwich combo. Try the French fries if you dareâ€¦ they are just plain old-school-deep-fat-fried-in-pig-lard good.
Two types of BBQ sauce, regular and spicy
The BBQ posse
Black cherry soda pop
BBQ spare ribs, St. Louis style
BBQ brisket sandwich, hush puppies and cornbread
Super-delicious french fries
Corn on the cob was a little undercooked
Baked beans with nice chunks of bacon
Mr. Cecil’s California Ribs
12244 W. Pico Blvd, West L.A.
13625 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks