The Park’s FinestBefore each home game this season, ClipperBlog will run “ClipperBlog Eats,” a restaurant recommendation from its resident restaurant reviewer, Ben Mesirow. Below is today’s suggestion:
Yes, ok, fine – despite the wave of openings in the last year or so, LA still can’t really compete with Houston in the Texas-style BBQ realm. But that isn’t fair anyway, and you’re a jerk for suggesting it. So why not skip out on the whole Texas thing, and find a parallel way to worship at the altar of smoked meat, maybe with something a little more LA? Take, for example, The Park’s Finest, filtering American BBQ through a Filipino lens on Temple St. just south of the 101.
Witness the corn bread baked on a banana leaf, uniquely fragrant and sweet, the perfect hybrid of the American South, Southeast Asia, and their corner of Los Angeles. The coconut beef is their specialty, another excellent fusion – a whole heap of smoked chuck pieces that get the Filipino treatment, stewed in a spiced coconut cream. It comes out almost like a beefy coconut curry, impossibly rich and intensely tropical, smoky and just a little spicy, perfect over a giant pile of rice. The pulled pork is outstanding too, tender and fatty, the ideal complement to their BBQ sauces, both the tart vinegar and the thicker, sweeter tomato-based sauce. It helps, too, that the owners are lifelong Echo Park locals, and the Elote is a nice nod to one half of their neighborhood, while the fine craft beers on tap gesture warmly at the newer half of Echo Park.
It may not be the kind of BBQ that H-Town holds most dear, but it isn’t supposed to be – The Park’s Finest is its own style. 1267 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026; theparksfinest.com