I’ve lived in Ventura, California for over nine months now and just down the street (within walking distance) is a BBQ Joint called It’s in the Sauce. You’d think, as a BBQ addict and huge fan of most things BBQ, that I’d have visited this place at least once a week, but I’ve had my reservations. It looks like a down home joint:
So why hadn’t I partaken in the BBQ goodness that should exist at It’s in the Sauce? Well, first off, I had visited another location (they had 4 at one time, now only 1) in Woodland Hills, CA and was very, very disappointed. When you have the name ‘sauce’ in your name, the sauce has to be incredible, or at least really, really good. Well it wasn’t. There were many things I didn’t like about that place (which only stayed open for about a year tops), but after the time I’ve spent here, seeing line after line of people eat there, I figured I would give it a second chance, hoping that their main (and only) location would be better and that the Woodland Hills joint was an aberration.
So I headed down, for the science of it, to get some BBQ. I chose the Baby Back Ribs (as the beef ribs are only sold on the weekends) and some pulled pork.
In chatting up the fellow behind the counter, I found that he would have recommended the tri tip (oh well), and in asking further questions about their cooking process I learned that they do not cook on site, that they have a smoker in a warehouse in Oxnard, CA (about 10-12 miles away). This didn’t get me too excited.
The ribs were the tastiest of everything I ordered. Strangely they fell of the bone on their own, but the flavor was not as overly smokey as the pork. That was on the dry side and due to the heavy smoke was almost inedible. I’m sure you’re wondering if this sauce was better than the first one I had a couple years ago. Sadly, no. It is bland and has an odd tomato twang that makes dipping or mopping completely avoidable.
So unfortunately, I can’t recommend It’s in the Sauce. Believe me, I want it to be good, but I don’t believe they are completely committed to serving real BBQ. It’s at a location that has it’s fair share of traffic (heck the best breakfast spot in all of Ventura, Pete’s Breakfast House is across the street, so there are tons of eyeballs checking out the joint), but it just doesn’t live up to what I come to expect out of a good BBQ joint.