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Check It Out: LA BBQ Fest

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Photo by Farley Elliott/LAist

While not generally synonymous, Los Angeles and barbeque food have a lot in common. Both seem to attract the eccentrics, the slightly misguided. Both have a worldwide appreciation, but not many people talk about the greasy, slimy mess that gets left behind when all else is gone. And both are responsible for a lot of bad gas issues, and a sizable hole in the ozone layer.

One of the best things about the yearly Los Angeles BBQ Festival in Santa Monica is that it really underscores a side of Southern California that is rarely seen, and never discussed outside of our own city limits; Angelenos will put down some serious grub. Sure, we’ve got taco trucks and In-N-Out and all manner of bacon wrapped products, but the trim and fit look is much more common than the traditional BBQ-er’s suspenders and gristle lips, especially in the city of Santa Monica. And ESPECIALLY at the beach.

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And yet, once a year, the best brisketeers and rib-rubbers from across the great 48 descend on the parking lot at the pier to serve up award-winning ‘que from the same smoke houses and wood pits that have been holding secret recipes for years. Carolina pulled pork shares space with Texas spareribs, both of which give way on the plate to the wonders of mac-n-cheese....oh, the mac-n-cheese....