I recently got the opportunity to check out a nice little BBQ place in Venice. My buddy Jason told me about Bondi BBQ and graciously offered to help me eat their food last weekend. I also got the chance to meet his awesome fiance, Angelica, and I must say that as far as girls go, she’s pretty rad.
Bondi BBQ – On Windward Ave. right by the beach in Venice
Because this place came so highly recommended, I had high expectations going into the meal. This was also my first trip to Venice as an adult, so I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect. Turns out that it’s pretty much the same as it was when I was a kid, with plenty of awesome people watching to be had.
The restaurant, itself, is not very impressive. It’s pretty much all bench seating and the tables you see out front are where we ended up eating. The weather is usually pretty good down there, so sitting outside is a great option because it can get a little stuffy inside. They also have a back patio, but when we sat down back there, to look at the menus, we quickly noticed that there were way too many flies hovering around to risk eating there. I really hope they get that sorted out, because if it were a little cleaner, it would have been a nice place to enjoy the meal.
We ended up ordering a combo meal called the Tail Gator, which included one pound of tri-tip, one BBQ chicken, a full rack of ribs, two sides and two loaves of garlic bread. The total, with soft drinks and tax, came out to about 90 bucks. So it’s obviously not super cheap, but considering the amount of food we got, I thought it was fair. They say that the Tail Gator serves 3-5 people, but I think you’re probably stretching it a bit to feed 5. Continue reading
Hey Everyone! Mikey and I hope you had as memorable a 4th of July as we did. But now, we’re back to the business at hand: bringing you good food that you might not have known existed. Occasionally, I also like to spotlight organizations that give back to the community. After all, EatMeCalifornia.com is all about the little guy. (Mikey, that wasn’t a fat joke)
Elks BBQ – On Conejo School Rd. north of T.O. Blvd, Thousand Oaks
As the sign on the right of this picture says, they BBQ every Saturday. The 4th of July was no exception. I’ve known about these guys for years, but am always surprised that a lot of people don’t. They are really close to where my Mom lives and on a breezy day, I swear that the delicious, smoky scent can be detected from her front door. Yesterday, I had a craving for the one thing they make that I always fall back on: the tri-tip sandwich.
For six bucks, you too can have a fist-sized portion of juicy, tender tri-tip, on a garlic roll and slathered in their own sweet barbeque sauce. It’s fantastic and the other great thing about it is that all the profits from your indulgence go back to the community.
The Elks are the third largest provider of college scholarships in the United States, behind only the federal government and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Mikey and I are all for education, especially when it seems that people nowadays are only getting dumber. (Except those of you who read our site, of course.) Continue reading
As most of you know, I had an absolutely horrendous BBQ experience a short while back at CJ’s in Oxnard. Honestly, it had more to do with the service than the quality of the food. But still, who wants to give their hard earned cash to a bunch of jerks, right? Right.
Well another Ventura county BBQ-er managed to get wind of that post and comment on the site. Here’s a slightly edited version of what he wrote:
I checked out your review of CJ’s BBQ and I think that you are a guy that tells the truth… I want you to check out JD’s Louisiana BBQ and let me know what you think…. I will guarantee you that you will be treated well and fed the best BBQ in this town!!!! You don’t even have to tell me when you come… All I want is a honest and fair review… JD’S LOUISIANA BBQ CO.
Now, since I love BBQ and also the crushing of my enemies, I thought, what better way to get even with CJ’s than to review every barbeque restaurant in the area? Thus Ventura BBQ Wars was born. Of course, Mikey and I are sworn to remain fair, impartial and dedicated to bringing you the god’s honest BBQ truth. Here we go…
JD’s Louisiana BBQ – On the corner of Patterson Rd. and Wooley Rd. in Oxnard
I’m just gonna come out and say it. The only thing CJ’s has on JD’s is a larger selection. But I think there’s something to be said for doing less and doing it better. I mean seriously, since I got my iPhone, I’ve learned that I can twitter (@EatMeCalifornia), check the Dodgers score, adopt a Rwandan orphan and buy Mikey’s fossilized chest hair on Ebay, all from the comfort of my local starbucks. It’s almost too much to bear. Sometimes, simple is better. Continue reading
As most of you know, the majority of my reviews on EatMeCalifornia are positive ones. After all, we want to promote local businesses that have great food, great service and all the things that make a meal memorable. CJ’s had none of that. In fact, when scouring my experience for positive things to say, I only found two. First, CJ’s serves barbeque. Second, their spicy barbeque sauce is really good. Unfortunately, they don’t serve anything that I’d like to put the aforementioned sauce on.
I didn’t take a picture of the front of this place, mostly because I don’t want you guys to go there. Here’s why… Continue reading
A new bbq joint opened up not too far from me, so you know I had to check it out. Plus, the place has my name stamped on it, so I had to find out if it was worthy to be a part of the Mike empire. I’m on the fence with this one folks. This place kinda left me confused, bewildered, and just a touch bamboozled.
Big Mike’s Smokehouse – In Ventura on Telephone Road near Saticoy
This last Thursday on Hells Kitchen we finally get to see another weak ass chef get booted off in the middle of the service. J apparently not only serves the ass of the lettuce in his salads, but he also can’t seem to cook rice. Which kinda makes us wonder why he’s on the show? You have to figure one of the qualifications for a semi-credible chef would be cooking pasta and rice these things are essentially just boiling absorbent materials in water.
- Get ready cause in 5 seconds my ass is getting kicked out.
J messed up the rice for everyone and then goes on to put his own special spin on fish by burning it consistently. Maybe burnt fish is the special dish in his town. On a bed of overcooked rice. Ramsey forehead vein explodes as he sends J out of Hells Kitchen. J vows to take all he has learned to his own restaurant where he will rein victorious serving us all the burnt fish and lettuce ass we can eat. Continue reading
Today I had the opportunity to finally visit one of Thousand Oaks most revered BBQ restaurants: The Thousand Oaks Meat Locker. Unbeknown to me, this little shack is within walking distance of my Mom’s place. I had no idea. It took me two attempts to find this place today, and I had a google map. It’s a little restaurant and you can only read the sign from right in front, which makes it hard for people who drive (i.e. Everyone in L.A.) to find it. Continue reading