It scares me a little when a BBQ joint in California uses a BBQ region (especially Kansas City) in their name. It puts the expectations too high to begin with. Calling yourself the Kansas City Barbecue Company means that your BBQ joint should be just like stepping off the pavement in North Hollywood outside and entering Arthur Bryant’s BBQ, Gates BBQ, or Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ inside. Was this the case?
Kansas City Barbecue Company is tucked into the corner of a mini mall that houses the usual ‘only in California’ stores and is just east of Vineland on Magnolia. It’s broken up into a small restaurant where you order up at the counter and they bring you your meal and a separate bar area to the left that you can eat at barrel shaped tables or stools at the bar (they have a selection of over 70 beers from around the world).
I went there last Sunday with two good friends (one of which is the Notorious P.I.G. who blogs for me from time to time) for a meat feast. We ordered a brisket plate, a sliced pork plate, a baby back rib plate, and a side of burnt ends. Sides were fries (sweet and non-sweet potatoes), slaw, macaroni salad, and beans. They had craft beers and I had Shiner Bock. Here are some pics:
So how was it? I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 flames. The best thing we tasted was the sliced pork, followed by the brisket, and ribs. The sides didn’t have any true punch of flavor and nothing I would crave enough to come back for. The burnt ends, which I was really longing to have, were MUCH different than I’ve sampled in Kansas City (or at RUB (Righteous-Urban-Barbecue) in Las Vegas when it was there).
Here’s a photo of RUB’s burnt ends:
As you can see, there’s a big difference here as I was under the impression that burnt ends are the trimmings from brisket, not something minced and covered in sauce. I would not recommend the burnt ends.
All in all, I’ve had worse (much worse), but we didn’t leave saying that we’d like to hit them up again in the near future. There’s a certain bar that’s not been hit BBQ-wise in my head and with quality BBQ joints that are cropping up all over I would not choose this one again. You’ll get a decent meal and won’t leave hungry, but I think they should step up their game to at least get us coming back.
If you want to try it for yourself you can here:
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