Big Mista’s BBQ Now Serving Century City on Thurs; DTLA on Friday
If you are an L.A. BBQ fanatic, you’ve likely heard of Big Mista’s. My first encounter with the well known caterer/farmer’s market vendor was at the 2010 Vendy Awards, where they served up plates of ribs and strips of their addictive pig candy (aka sticky sweet bacon.) I was disappointed to discover at the time that they didn’t have a permanent location, and did most of their selling at Farmer’s Markets around the city… the only problem was, all of their weekday locations weren’t ideal for Midtown Lunch’ing. In other words, not located between Downtown and Santa Monica. And if I was going to drive 30-45 minutes for BBQ, I might as well hit up Bludso’s in Compton.
So, I was excited to hear (courtesy of Lunch’er “Bigmouth”) that about six months ago they changed up their locations- switching to Century City on Thursdays and Downtown L.A. on Fridays. That, I could definitely do.
Their BBQ is L.A. style through and through; that is to say they don’t subscribe to any one regional style- unless covering your barbecue in a ton of sauce constitutes a style. They have pulled pork, brisket, turkey (we are in L.A. after all!), hot links, beef ribs and beef tips, which are all available by the pound, as a sandwich, a bowl with one side or a platter with two sides. Not interested in the sides? They do offer meat only combos as well.
The sandwiches come on a hamburger bun, and are cheapest thing you can order and still feel like you’re getting a lunch. The pulled pork is good, and spending an extra $1 to get their pineapple cole slaw on top is a fun add on, but buyer beware. These buns were not made to withstand this kind of pressure. You’ll likely be eating your lunch with a fork after the first bite or two.
The bowl is probably their most popular item, and ends up being the perfect amount of food for people who want a side dish but don’t want to make a completely pig of themselves (which is most people in L.A., your humble narrator not withstanding.) The collards were great, but sadly the brisket was super dry. Nothing that adding sauce can’t fix (I told them to put the sauce on the side) but it was still disappointing and means that next time I’ll probably go pulled pork or…
… ribs. I couldn’t leave without at least trying a rib, so I ordered one and paid by the pound- which lead the lady taking orders to immediately start into lines from I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. I didn’t do my full-on Chris Rock imitation, but we did enough of the scene to make ordering (and eating) the rib the highlight of my lunch. And the answer is yes. I did hold out my cupped hands and ask her to sell me a sip of soda for 10 cents, but no I did not try and pay with a hundred dollar bill.
I’m not sure about Fridays at the DTLA Farmer’s Market, but the big downside on Thursday is the parking. The Farmer’s Market is clearly for the people who work in the surrounding buildings, so if you’re driving to check it out you’re kind of screwed. There is no validation for the building, so you only have two options. Park at the Century City Mall and hike it, or ask the parking attendant who hangs out in the little Valet turn off that runs alongside the Santa Monica Blvd side of the market if you can park there. If he’s in a good mood, he might let you leave your car there long enough to get lunch… for a couple of bucks, of course. It’s worth it for the best lunchtime BBQ available between Downtown and Santa Monica- at least until Bludso’s opens up on La Brea.
Big Mista’s BBQ (Multiple Locations)
- THURSDAY: Century City Farmer’s Market, 1800 Avenue of the Stars. Century City. 11am to 3pm
- FRIDAY: Bank of America Farmer’s Market, 333 S. Hope. DTLA 10am to 2pm