My trip to Horse Thief BBQ in Downtown Los Angeles


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Before you get on me for eating crazy, I will tell you thats its a Sunday and I had a really good week of proper eating. A friend called me up and wanted to get lunch because she was “starving” and we had talked about going to Wurstkuche recently and I thought, why not? As we were driving through China Town heading toward Little Tokyo, we both had an aha moment and realized that we were very close to the new bbq place in Downtown Los. I had never been there, she had never been there, so it was pretty much a done deal if they were open and we could find it.

They were, and we did. Its right at the Grand Central Market out on a terrace with great seating and plenty of shaded area. The prices are right and they have the food already smoked (it smokes for 12 – 16 hours) and we moved through the line pretty quickly. It wasnt nearly as crowded as I thought it would be, although it was Sunday and 12p, but we were happy with the wait time and the service. Everyone there was cool as shit.

The food was good. We went with sort of a taster or the Sunday offerings. We got 1/2 lb of brisket, 1/2 rack of ribs, some mac and chee to split, and each of is went with one of the pulled pork tacos. The tacos had the jicama slaw on them, so the only thing we were missing from the menu was the potato salad and the pork belly taco. I’m not one for super long description of what food tastes like, since everyone has a different palate, but I would say that if there is a scale of BBQ from terrible to great, this is right about at an 8. Thats a really good score. The meat was smokey. It all fell off the bone and / or was pull apart tender.

I could have used a little bit more kick in the bbq sauce, but I was happy with it. Plus, once you added a little bit of sauce to the ribs, something magical happened with the rub that kicked it up a notch.

My only issue was with the aged cheddar mac and chee. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but I have a reeeeeally specific set of standards for mac and chee and this just didnt hit enough of my triggers. You can tell they make this is in big batches (which they have to do) but I prefer mine to come out smoking hot and a little bit spicy and with a ton of flavor. This one seemed to have one note. It was a Mariah Carey note for sure, but it just didnt really do it for me. Not that it stopped me from eating my half of it!

platter 1

All in all, it was good. They are still brand new and working some kinks out, but this place is here to stay. Annnnd there will be a few more locations as well. I wont get ahead of myself yet wanting them to come to the valley, and I will be happy right now once they extend the hours. They are currently open from 11-4 everyday, which sucks for me, because I work in the aforementioned valley. But rest assured, I will certainly be heading here on the weekends.

horse thief bbq arial map