You might not think that the Jimmy Kimmel Live backlot in Hollywood would be a great place to get BBQ. Until early September you’ll be wrong thanks to Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue Backlot BBQ. The name sounds redundant but the BBQ bears repeating; it’s that good.
Don’t know who Adam Perry Lang is? In short, he’s a barbecue bad-ass. When he’s not fly-fishing with Tom Colicchio, opening restaurants with Jamie Oliver or consulting on BBQ for Mario Batali, he’s out on the national barbecue circuit winning Grand Champion honors at the World Pork Expo and first place for his Pork Shoulder at the Kansas City American Royal, a.k.a. “The World Series of BBQ'. He also makes regular TV appearances and has just released his third BBQ book. He’s kind of an expert.
The way any self-respecting New Yorker avoids Times Square, I have yet to walk along Hollywood Blvd in my two-plus years living a mere three miles away. But, if there was ever something to venture down the road to hell, paved with the good intentions of thousands of tourists lining the streets, this is it.
No stranger to taking his BBQ show on the road, APL brings his national barbecue circuit set-up to the backlot in Hollywood. It’s a nice spread with a food truck and grilling trailer in front for ordering and finishing. There’s a grassy area for guests to watch the grilling action and eat BBQ picnic-style. Above that is the big smoker in which most of the meat is cooked and a large chimney where he makes his own charcoal right on site. In the back is a private area with a long communal table for special event dinners. There’s also a small Airstream trailer where APL sleeps (intermittently) because someone has to tend the coals and slow-cooked meat 24 hours a day.
I was able to get a taste and a tour of the Serious Barbecue Backlot BBQ while there with Zach Brooks from Midtown Lunch. He was interviewing APL for the Food is the New Rock podcast (if you haven’t listened you should definitely check it out).
There is basically one thing on the menu per day with the type of meat changing according to APL’s whim and the best meat he can source. He’s got plans for pork ribs, pork butt and a $40 French dip sandwich with beef piled high like a Carnegie Deli pastrami (aka really frickin’ high). Beef ribs were on the menu that day and he also gave us a preview of the brisket he was working on. They were both outstanding. So tender and juicy, I couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that they had been cooking since the night before. It’s all about the crust as any pit master will tell you. I can’t wait to try the pork.
If you’re in LA, the best way to get serious award winning BBQ is to head to the Jimmy Kimmel Live backlot Tuesday through Thursdays until September 5th. They serve from 11am to 3pm and have takeaway orders for dinnertime. Bring cash, though and plenty of it. They don’t do credit cards and the prices range from $15 to $40 for a meal. For my part, I think it’s totally worth it and I’m definitely heading back for some pork.