Phillips Bar-B-Que

Bar-b-q | Smoke House | Soul Food
Worth a detour

Phillips is a soul food barbecue parlor (actually three parlors in the L.A. area) that offers little in the way of hospitable charm, no accommodations (it’s all take-out), and an uncompromising menu of smoke-cooked meats. Its character is evident in the sauce: a tart, tangy red emulsion with no sweet charm but with plenty of spicy authority. Even the mild version, while lacking pepper punch, does nothing to amuse a lightweight palate. The hot version is at least three-alarm. An in-between “mixed” sauce is urban ‘que that is vaguely reminiscent of Arthur Bryant’s.

Unless you specifically request to have it on the side, Phillips’ serious sauce is routinely applied to any meat you get, which can be pork ribs, baby backs, beef ribs, links, or chicken. As a result, eating is a roll-up-the-sleeves, finger-licking mess, albeit a mighty tasty one. Top of the line, for me, is pork ribs: giant bats with good, chewy meat that resonates smoky-sweet character. There are baby backs, too: more meat, more tender, less flavor. Chicken is lush and smoky, although it tends to be overwhelmed by the sauce. I enjoy the chewy oomph of beef links, which come pre-sliced, but let’s be frank: In this venue, pork is king.

Beans are serviceable, as is potato salad, but the macaroni and cheese is a cut above, creamy and rich and a marvelous counterpoint to the power packed meat and sauce.

The dessert menu is intriguing – sweet potato pie, peach cobbler, banana pudding, sock-it-to-me cake, etc. – but the lure of Harriet’s Cheesecakes Unlimited, which is right next door, derailed my focus.

The two other Phillips are at 4307 Leimert Blvd. in Los Angeles (323-292-7613) and 2619 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles (323-731-4772).

What to Eat
Phillips Bar-B-Que, Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese
Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese
Excellent mac 'n' cheese is SoCal soul food style: big, fallapart noodles in dense, full-flavored custard.
Phillips Bar-B-Que, Bar B Que Sampler
Bar B Que Sampler
That's a normal-size chicken drumstick along with one of Phillips' giant-size spare ribs. Both come pre-sauced: the messiest possible finger food.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Monday11am - 8pm
Tuesday11am - 8pm
Wednesday11am - 8pm
Thursday11am - 10pm
Friday11am - 10pm
Saturday11am - 10pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Shaky Alibi

    Los Angeles, California

    Los Angeles’ Shaky Alibi is all about the best imaginable Liège Belgian waffles, both sweet and savory. On the side: best-in-the-city coffee.

  • Philippe the Original

    Los Angeles, California

    Philippe’s restaurant of Los Angeles says it invented the French Dip sandwich. Beef, pork, lamb, ham, or turkey, the essential condiment is HOT mustard.

  • Original Pantry

    Los Angeles, California

    Open 24/7/365, the Original Pantry is a sure thing if you are looking for a square meal at a reasonable price in downtown Los Angeles

  • El Campeon

    San Juan Capistrano, California

    El Campeon is an Orange County restaurant / bakery / grocery / fresh-juice purveyor that offers great Mexican food at bargain prices.

  • Du-Par’s

    Los Angeles, California

    24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Du-Par’s in the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market is a fantastic destination for a snack, a stack of pancakes, or a chicken pot pie.

  • Vince’s Spaghetti

    Ontario, California

    Since 1945, Vince’s has served saucy spaghetti and loaded French Dip sandwiches. Not Italian, not Italian-American, it’s uniquely Vince’s Spaghetti.