A new occasional series takes in the scene at new restaurants on opening night.
"You give me fever" was barely a whisper amid the din of voices as visitors stepped into Bludso’s Bar-&-Que on La Brea Avenue, the collaborative effort of the owners of the Golden State on Fairfax and Kevin Bludso of Bludso's BBQ in Compton. The '50s tune spoke to how diners might’ve felt after the restaurant’s opening night Monday -- content with the meat sweats or faint from spotty service.
Blank gray walls, wood-trimmed skylights and exposed-filament light fixtures screamed gastropub, but the communal tables, plastic plates and bench seating declared picnic. Paper towel rolls centered on each table gave it away: This stuff is messy.
Pounds of smoked brisket, ribs and pulled pork left the kitchen on checkered paper-lined sheet trays. The usual suspects -- macaroni and cheese, potato salad, baked beans and collard greens -- accompanied the lukewarm (maybe even cold) barbecue. Rib tips and cornbread must have been early favorites, because they didn't show up on tables once the dinner rush picked up at 7 p.m.