Tasty Q Barbeque

A while back had the pleasure of escorting Kevin, a freelance writer for Variety Magazine, to a couple of BBQ joints around Los Angeles. He was on a BBQ odyssey of his own in this great city and I was fortunate enough to accompany him to a couple of his pit stops. He offered me free BBQ in exchange for an open dialogue on this subject. How could I resist?

It was a Tuesday evening and he had decided that we should try Tasty Q on Crenshaw. This was a restaurant that I had never been to, so I was totally down with the idea. We weathered the evening traffic and found ourselves confronted with an affliction common to many BBQ restaurants – irregular hours. For some unspecified reason they are closed on Tuesdays, this wasn’t the best start a BBQ adventure but fortunately we were resourceful. We resorted to an on-the-fly plan B, Bad to da Bone BBQ on Century Blvd., but that will be the subject of another post. We knew that eventually we would have to return to Tasty Q, so we rescheduled for a lunch meeting.

The first thing that I noticed about Tasty Q was the architecture, not as much in a Frank Gehry kind of way, but more of a fast food franchise style. The restaurant is actually housed in an old school Taco Bell building with arched windows and a functioning drive-thru. That is correct, drive-thru BBQ. Sweet! . The exterior is quite unique as it adorned with hand-painted signage informing you of their Louisiana heritage and a mural on the backside depicting the owner deep-frying some turkeys. The architecture is offset by the large weather-beaten road sign which reads s y Q arbe ue, drive thru and includes an arrow directing traffic off of busy Crenshaw Ave.

I walked in and noticed that they had a couple of trophies on display. I didn’t know this, but The Beat L.A. FM used to host BBQ competitions for local restaurants from time to time. I don’t think that The Beat L.A. does this contest anymore, but it was nice to see that Tasty Q had acquired a couple of the awards. The lady at the counter was very nice, as was the owner. They had no problem with answering any questions about the menu, their BBQ and the restaurant. I wasn’t sure if it was part of the employee dress code, but everyone behind the counter had on a Bluetooth headset.

The had a pretty good sized menu as well as some specials that were on some hand-written signs placed around the entrance. The one that caught my eye was the lunch special for 7 bucks, which included a spare rib, two beef ribs, chicken links, beans, potato salad and two slices of bread. Sign me up! Keven ordered the same thing but also added in a BBQ turkey drumstick. I hadn’t seen one of those since the Los Angeles County Fair. They do a lot of turkey at this restaurant especially during the holidays when they offer deep fried turkeys. They ask you how you want your BBQ sauce… hot, medium, spicy and you-gotta-sign-a-waiver-before-you-taste-this-hot.

Overall, I was impressed with the meal. I started with spare rib, which perhaps wasn’t as tender as I would have liked it to be, but it was still very delicious. Chicken links were lively and flavorful. The herbs that were mixed in with the meat really brightened up the flavor. But links and a rib weren’t the only things on the menu although they could have been. The beef ribs were pretty amazing. They were tender and had a great BBQ flavor to them. The owner had mentioned that he would prefer to use hickory for his smoke flavor, but that getting in here in California is too expensive. I think the oak that he uses is working pretty well for him. The meats were all very good with the smoke flavor.

I was equally impressed with the side dishes as was Kevin. He smiled and said, “these beans are the best that I have had in L.A.” The BBQ beans were pretty good; they were flavored with pieces of smoked turkey. Oh, really scrumptious. The potato salad wasn’t no joke either. A splendid blend of seasonings and potatoes, much like recipe that I would make at home to complement a piece of meat that has been cooking for hours. It worked well with the meal.

After we finished eating, we spoke with the owner and he showed us his Ole Hickory smoker in the back of the restaurant. He is very proud of his BBQ as well as his Louisiana heritage. The great BBQ and the personal touch by the owner all contribute to the uniqueness of this restaurant. The turkey menu also sets this restaurant apart from the rest. Overall I was impressed with this restaurant’s BBQ. and they have drive-thru! How many BBQ restaurants in Los Angeles have a drive-thru? If you do happen to visit, let me know how it goes.

Tasty Q drive-thru

Tasty Q drive-thru window

Tasty Q lunch combo

Lunch Combo plate, super-tasty

BBQ Turkey Leg

BBQ turkey leg

Kevin, knawing on a leg
Tasty Q Ole Hickory smoker
The Smoker

Tasty Q BarbeQue
2959 Crenshaw
(closed on Tuedays)

14 thoughts on “Tasty Q Barbeque”

  1. I remember when it was a old taco bell @ this location and when tasty Q arrived on the sceen I thought I had died and gone 2 B.B.Q.heaven!The best B.B.Q. that will leave your mouth watering and wanting for more!Tasty Q has always had a big following,a wonderful staff that loved doing what they do best{Lovely Cooking} but sadly I have just learned that it recently closed down.What a tragic lost to the community.

  2. I LOVE this BBQ place… Best in LA. Once my friend and I decided to try ALL the BBQ places on Crenshaw Blvd (as there are many) from Adams down to King, and this place is by far the best tasting one. You can tell they use a dry rub AND sauce not like other places that all the flavor’s in the sauce. Definitely worth the drive to Crenshaw. before you die, if you live in LA, you HAVE to try this BBQ, everyone I’ve taken there agrees.

  3. Looking for memories of good old Love’s BBQ restaurant. They had some awesome ribs – seemed maybe the glaze was made with coriander seed, mustard seed and bay leaves. Any ideas? Oh, and I’m trying to make their Baked Beans.

  4. You should review Lucky Devils they just started offering BBQ. They have the best beer selection in all of LA. They include a belgium beer in there BBQ sauce. Its awesome. Great look, Great taste! 6613 Hollywood Blvd. at Cherokee

  5. Have you tryed BIG BUBBAS BAD BBQ in Visalia Ca 93277

    It is the best bbq that i have ever had!!!!

    i had the 7 bone rib plate and baked patio. they use a big wood smoker out side ther frount doors there is alway a line to get in so come early….

  6. I am wondering how the BBQ that is cooked in your pit compares with BBQ cooked in the commercial (the smoker) pit at the “Tasty Q Barbe

  7. Working my may across town during the pm rush hour today, from Centinela Hospital in Inglewood to Pasadena, I was eastbound on Slausen when I espied Woodies. I was stuck in the number one lane and could not get over and decided that I still had a lot of miles to go and wasn’t all that hungry anyway, so I was not quite ready for dinner. However, as I was stopped at the next light, downwind from Woodie’s smoker, man, what can I say, that true wood bbq smoker smell got me real hungry in a hurry, the pit smelled that good floating atop a gentle but steady onshore breeze.

    Oh well, I pressed on. I turned left onto northbound but my mental appetite center remained back at Woodies and I was suddenly rapacious.

    Several miles further north on Crenshaw, I saw a curious place, certainly a former Taco Bell building, vintage 1960s, but no fire ring out front (remember those?). As I passed by, my hunger beam locked on – “Tasty Q BarbeQue . . . O’Taste and See!” I pulled right in.

    Bill’s description above is right on and and to a T. My experience exactly, only my order lady was perhaps a bit more seasoned, still, sweet as pie and very helpful. As it was dinner time and by now my interest was way up (“O’taste and See”), I ordered the small end pork rib dinner (10.00), with cole slaw, beans, hot bbq sauce and the routine two slices of Wonder(what is it) mopping bread.

    I sat down adjacent to a TV playing a recent White House-daughter-goes-to-college movie. I rolled up my sleaves and dove into this Tasty Q. In 2-3 bites, I rejoiced that these spare ribs were nearly perfect. They were moist and tender, very meaty and perfectly done. They were well seasoned and served with minimum sauce. My plate contained 6 nice, meaty ribs plus the tip, which was good sized and nice and crispy. I loved the perfect balance of pork and true wood smoker flavor in the meat. I loved these ribs. The cole slaw was nicely flavored but ordinary. However, the beans were truly wonderful – so down home and homemade, loaded with chunks and shreads of meat – I will agree with Bill and The Junkie above – likely smoked turkey. I could not finish my meal – three ribs left for lunch tomorrow.

    As I walked out to my car parked in the back, I found the source of all this goodness, Mr. Ross, sitting in a big chair under a canopy, chatting with friends. He told me that he has been twelve years on this corner, Crenshaw and 30th. He told me about his problems locating hickory – bug infested wood cannot be brought into the state. I said the oak tastes pretty good any day. I told him flat out that there is no pit or psuedo pit in Pasadena that could touch his ribs. “That high rent’ll kill ya,” noted Mr. Ross. We talked awhile about the housing developments which are overtaking Hollywood Park . . . “Everything but the Casino,” he predicted. We ended up on his newest and truest passion: fried turkey. According to Tasty Q’s Mr. Ross, the guy who perfects the “automatic high volume turkey frier” will have stumbled over a gold mine. Hummm.

    In sum, Tasty Q is everything that The Barn Burner (Pasadena – seem my comments this blog) is not and will never be: a true BBQ pit, complete with quality meats smoked with love, down home attitude, local color, a double dose of love and fair prices. As I pulled away northbound on Crenshaw, I soon encountered Phillips in the next block – wow, what a Vesuvius of smoke was fuming out of that joint! Smelled good! Next time!

  8. Tasty Q is a smallish, Taco-Bell like structure with an outdoor patio and drive-thru that curls around the back of the building. The walls are covered with hand-painted flowers that are relieved periodically by handwritten specials of the day (2 beef ribs, 1 pork rib, potato salad, greens). TV sets grace either end of the restaurant, set atop the tables, and on the day I visited, one of the sets had a televangelist sermonizing on (I suspect) Easter. A rack of four gumball machines was pushed into a corner near the door, as if someone had forgotten to put it out for business. Scattered throughout the dining room were window boxes of fake, showy flowers. The place was not dirty, but it was not clean either and might put off the squeamish. In the case of Tasty Q, I would try to overcome your squeamishness as soon as possible. The place is a find.

    At first I had trouble finding a menu, but did – between the two windows that separate the dining area from the kitchen. I ordered the mini-dinner of pork ribs, chose potato-salad and beans as my sides, and asked for the peach cobbler for dessert. No drink. It took about 5 minutes to be served by a cheerful black woman who appeared to be in her mid-thirties and whose voice was impressively deep and throaty. At first she had trouble making change from the twenty I handed her, but found a five dollar bill in her pocket and solved the matter.

    I give high marks to the food. I usually like my ribs dry, garlicky, salty — and am not a big fan of ribs adroft in puddles of barbacue sauce. The pork ribs from Tasty Q, however, though puddled in a deep reddish-brown sweet barbacue sauce, were excellent. They tasted even better when I ate the leftovers cold on the next day. As was mentioned in the main review, the beans are the best you can buy in L.A. — let alone at a drive thru. Also good was the potato salad, especially in the face of the heat coming off of the beans. Given the generosity of the ribs (lottsa meat here: take not Mr. Cecils! — and lower your prices), I’m wondering how I managed to polish off the peach cobbler at the end, and this in spite of the fact that the cobbler didn’t have a lot of taste and the peaches could have been from a can.

    Stick with the ribs, the beans, and use the two slices of bread to sop up all of that bittersweet sauce. Enjoy.

  9. A couple blocks north of Tasty Q is Phillip’s #3. Crenshaw and Adams. Much closer than driving down to Bad to Da Bone. But looking forward to your review of Bad to Da Bone.

    Phillip’s is my favorite BBQ in LA. Been to all three locations, done a review on the Inglewood location, and they are all great.

    Tasty Q is just ok. Not impressed with their ribs, which as you know is what I always order.


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