Those Pigs Got Smoked!;Horse Thief BBQ
By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins
Filipinos and BBQ just go together like Indians and curry, like Japanese and Sushi, like Koreans and Kimchi, so a Filipino owned BBQ spot is nothing out of the ordinary. What is shocking is, well, there are a few things: 1. they don’t use sugar in the “marinade” (Are you sure y’all are Filipino?) 2. There’s no direct flame used to cook the meat 3. The restaurant space wasn’t an after thought. It is adorable and perfect for our So. Cal weather. It’ll be even better when they open the bar. Booze and BBQ!
Anthony Chin and I met a few years back. We’d shoot the shit about my love for Filpino culture and he’d tell me about his passion,”to bring Texas Style BBQ to LA”. It sounded really different, but who was I to judge. The years rolled by and as I blogged and shmogged, he travelled, convinced peeps to get on board with his idea and researched his ass off. The end result is HORSE THIEF BARBECUE, (324 S Hill St., Los Angeles, California 90013) “Old skool bbq with New skool sides”. I got a chance to try almost everything. The standout must fucking haves were the soft and tender beef brisket and full flavored pulled pork. I did enjoy sopping up the spicy sweet black beans with those pillowy slices of simple white bread. That’s how you know these dishes aren’t from LA, those damn delicious CARBS. They just opened so he and the rest of the crew are crazy busy, but I got a chance to get the 411:
What made you guys ( Owners:Wade Mc Elroy & Russell Malixi) decide on this restaurant concept?
There’s no good Texas Style Barbecue in Los Angeles
I used to come to Grand Central Market in the early 90’s, its very LA, what made you pic this location?
There were “other” spaces, but this was the best fit for us. The people in charge of Grand Central Market do a great job of promoting whats going on here. We also get a really nice lunch crowd from the surrounding buildings. The outdoor seating works with our concept and LA.
What is Texas Style Barbecue?
Dry Rub, Smoke, indirect heat, the heat of the smoke. instead of grilling, its indirect cooking, no flames are directly involved.
I had a slice of the brisket. OMG, it was so soft, tender and juicy, how long did it take to cook?
briskets cook for 15 hours
What inspired you and this concept, you’re not a cook or a Texan?
I’m in the music business, but I did attend culinary school just to learn about stuff. Barbecue is something I’ve always liked. I’ve heard about Texas being the best for barbecue, especially the brisket. I would go to different barbecue restaurants here in LA, just to try and see if there was really a difference. I was disappointed. So I had a crazy idea, along with a couple of friends who are from Texas, Austin Texas. I cruised all over Austin and Lockhart to try various styles. I even interviewed pit masters to see what they were doing. It was a lot of trial and error. I smoked briskets every weekend, tested different temperatures, etc. Even now, we make little adjustments.
Whats the main difference between this style of barbecue and traditional Filipino style of barbecue?
Absolutely no sugar. Everything is sugar based in Filipino Barbecue. I’ve heard they even use 7 up in the marinade.
What’s your favorite dish on the menu?
For me, its the pulled pork. the way we dress it. We smoke it for 10 hours with a dry rub, when its done, we pull it out and re-season with our rub and hit it with a little apple cider vinegar, it gives it this tang.