Barrel & Ashes (Los Angeles, CA)

Barrel & Ashes
11801 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Dining date: 11/22/14

exterior

One of the hottest restaurants in LA right now has to be this place, Barrel & Ashes. It’s the latest from prolific restaurateur Bill Chait, teaming up this time with two Thomas Keller vets Tim Hollingsworth (The French Laundry) and Rory Herrmann (Bouchon). Add barman Julian Cox and I’d say this is one of the highest-powered restaurant teams LA’s seen in some time. While the Hollingsworth/Herrmann pedigree comes from some of the fanciest of foods, Barrel & Ashes focuses in on a rather ‘simple’ food – BBQ. They’ve done extensive travel and eating and bring a mix of regional Southern specialties to Studio City.

interior

The menu hones in on meat sold by the weight and ribs by the rack or half-rack. A handful of small plates and sides round out the savory part of the menu. On this evening, we tried a couple of the small plates and tried as many of the meats we could in one sitting.

Free Bird
Horse’s Neck
bourbon, housemade ginger ale, angostura, lemon

cocktails1

Salt & Pepper Pork Rinds malt vinegar mayonnaise

Salt & Pepper Pork Rinds malt vinegar mayonnaise

Listed as ‘spicy pork rinds’ on the menu and ‘salt & pepper pork rinds’ on the receipt, I found the heat to be very subtle. They came out still-warm with a delightful crunch. Very nice.

Smoked Chicken Wings shaved vegetables, blue cheese

Smoked Chicken Wings shaved vegetables, blue cheese

The second of our ‘snacks,’ these wings were also strong. Smoke flavor was perfectly imbued throughout these wings, cooled down with blue cheese and crisp shaved vegetables.

Our ‘platter’ of meat came next; we ordered the smallest sizes of 4 different kinds.

Brisket – Greater Omaha C.A.B
Pulled Pork – Salmon Creek Farms
Pork Spare Ribs – Salmon Creek Farms
Smoked Sausage – Electric City Butchers; O.G.

BBQ

First, the Texas-style brisket was excellent. Juicy, flavorful with smoke and fork tender. Easily the best I’ve had in this city. The pulled pork was tender as advertised, though the Carolina vinegar sauce was a bit too sharp for my tastes. The St. Louis-style pork spare ribs were another good one with a crisp bark and smoky, juicy meat. Lastly, the sausage was also delicious with good spices and a juicy interior. Overall, really well done.

Miner’s Potatoes

Miner's Potatoes

These crispy fried potatoes were another hit with a hot soft interior and fried sage. Great textural contrast. Pieces of fried skin were a great touch too.

Dapper Apple tequila blanco, granny smith apple soda, safe
Sloe Gin Fizz

cocktails2

Apple Cobbler autumn spiced apples, homemade vanilla ice cream

Apple Cobbler autumn spiced apples, homemade vanilla ice cream

To finish, we had a warm apple cobbler with a nice crusty topping and housemade vanilla ice cream. Very satisfying.

Our meal at Barrel & Ashes was a very strong one. I am far from well-traveled in the world of BBQ, but this is the best I’ve had in LA (especially the brisket). It wasn’t exactly cheap at just over $80pp all-in, but the quality of meat (and the fact that they have a full bar) helped justify it. I would definitely return; I hear I have to try the hoe cake and would like to try the rest of the meats on the menu. Totally need a second helping of the brisket too.

signage


Comments

Barrel & Ashes (Los Angeles, CA) — 4 Comments

  1. Love your blog, but this is a pet peeve. You can’t “hone in on” something. You can “hone” something, you can “home in on” something, but the other sentence is a common mistake.

    • Grammar police? Many blogs are based upon everyday lingo rather than newspaper appropriate. In the blogger’s defense, I think it is still appropriate and can be forgiven.

      http://grammarist.com/eggcorns/home-in-hone-in/

      “Hone in began as an alteration of home in, and many people regard it as an error. It is a very common, though, especially in the U.S. and Canada—so common that many dictionaries now list it—and there are arguments in its favor. Hone means to sharpen or to perfect, and we can think of homing in as a sharpening of focus or a perfecting of one’s trajectory toward a target. So while it might not make strict logical sense, extending hone this way is not a huge leap.”

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