SOUTHERN FOOD IN CALIFORNIA
I grew up in Tennessee, and there are days when I crave some of those Southern flavors here in Cali. Since moving to Los Angeles, one of those foods I’ve been on the hunt for is barbecue. And I think I might’ve found a new BBQ fave.
Maple Block Meat Co. is a Culver City spot that specializes in wood-smoked meat and other tasty treats. I indulged in their Dine LA lunch menu last week, and their brisket and pork shoulder were on point! ✔️
For their Dine LA menu, Maple Block offered your choice of two wood-smoked meats, two sides, one beverage, and a fresh-baked cookie. For my meats, I decided to go with the sliced brisket and the chopped pork shoulder. I would’ve chosen pork spare ribs, but it was a workday, and I wanted to make sure I left lunch with a clean face and a spotless blouse.
I love a good brisket, and Maple Block’s tender slice ranks among the best that I’ve had out West. It had a wonderful, smoky crust, and each bite was juicy and buttery. But their chopped pork shoulder was next level. I could’ve easily eaten a pound of it, or put it in between some toasted buns and slathered with sauce for a dynamite pulled pork sandwich. It came with a sweet sauce, but you certainly didn’t need it. I dipped a few forkfuls of pork shoulder in the sauce, and found that it actually took away from the wood-smoked flavor and natural juiciness of the chopped meat.
The meats were exceptional, and the sides were pretty great, too. The collard greens were slow cooked with smoked ham hocks; and although it was a little on the salty side, the greens still had that vinegary zing that balanced the richness of the meats. The mac and cheese had cheddar crumbles baked on top, which gave the creamy noodles a nice crunch.
I’m pretty thrilled that I’ve found a new spot to satisfy my Southern food and barbecue cravings here in LA. And better yet, it’s on the Westside, near my neighborhood — which means I don’t have to hop on a freeway to get there! #bonus