Friday, August 15, 2008

Spring Street Smokehouse

Spring Street Smokehouse
640 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA, 90012

The first time I ever came here, shortly after they opened, I was pretty disappointed. The pork was tough and tasted more as if it came out of the oven, not a smoker. The fries were limp pieces of potato that had been in the freezer so recently that they still were ice cold in the middle. So I wrote the place off.
About a year later I was talking with an acquaintance of mine who is a chef, and he casually mentioned that he was the chef at the Spring Street Smokehouse. I told him my thoughts on the place and asked him how long he had been there. He said had only recently started and there were plenty of changes he was making to the place. Furthermore, he grew up in Belgium and promised that soon he would have Belgian fries on the menu. This excited me beyond words. I hadn't truly loved any fries in Los Angeles since the Century City location of Dive! shut down several years ago. (I never much cared for the Belgian fries at Benita's Frites at CityWalk, and this conversation was about a year before The Oinkster opened.)

So I went down to Spring Street one evening, and it was great. I got the pulled pork sandwich, and the pork was cooked as well as any smoked pork I have ever had in Los Angeles. Their barbecue sauce is an apple cider vinegar sauce, perfect for the pork. I also had the fire-roasted veggies and the fries, which were fantastic. I sampled some of the brisket just out of the smoker, and it was melt-in-your-mouth good. Check out the smoke ring on it.

On a subsequent visit I tried their brisket sandwich with a gorgonzola sauce, which was also delicious. And I had an order of burnt ends that are literally the best I have ever had outside of Kansas City. My acquaintance no longer is the chef there, and I haven't been in at least a year, so I don't know if they still do things the same way. But they do serve beer there now (the one thing that was missing before) so it might be worth investigating.

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