South Pasadena's own Barbecue Joint - Gus's Barbecue

Recently renovated, Gus's Barbecue features some of the good barbecue in the West San Gabriel area. I was first there about 10 years ago . . . and for my 2nd trip the summer of 2009. It was recently taken over by the same group/family that owns Tops in Pasadena. They did a complete makeover to the place along with a new website.

Being a novice BBQ connoisseur, but striving to become an expert, I don't have extensive experience in tasting a lot of different BBQ joints. Though, I have had BBQ in North Carolina, New York City, and in a few different places in Los Angeles.

If you want to get a better idea about BBQ in and around LA and beyond, check out PulledPorker's Blog

But my experience at Gus's was a good one. Not a great one but good. I did enjoy the sides - mostly the mac'N cheese and fries. Heck I will order mac'n cheese at any fine dining establishment. But I didn't come to Gus's for the sides.

The baby back ribs were good, not exceptional. They had a few different kinds of bbq ribs - St. Louis, Memphis, and Carolina. I couldn't really tell the difference unless I read the menu. In fact they all tasted quite good. I don't really have a preference. In my eyes, good barbeque must have good texture - meaning that the meat has to fall off the bone as you rip it easily from the bone with your teeth. I do like the smokiness of the Carolina's and the sweetness from the Memphis.

I do want to proceed to expand my bbq experience. But in order to do that, I am going to have to try a lot of other BBQ places. If you guys have suggestions, please let me know.

2 pigs, $

Gus's Barbecue
808 Fair Oaks
South Pasadena, CA
(626) 799-3251

Gus's Barbecue on Urbanspoon
Gus's Barbeque in Los Angeles


  1. I was't very impressed with the Q at Gus', but the drinks and burgers were done quite well. Find thy way to Bludso's in Compton for some of the finest BBQ in LA. Get the Texas Sampler to-go with sauce on the side and revel the goodness.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. A friend also told me about Bludso's as well.

  3. The first commenter know what he or she is talking about - Gus's "barbecue" is not very good (the quotations marks are because I don't believe it is barbecue; it has all the tell-tale signs of oven-cooked meat trying to pass for barbecue) but their food is pretty good. Their burger is decent and their fried chicken is really good.

    Bludso's in Compton is outstanding. But if you want something a little closer, please try Perdue's up on Orange Grove. I have only eaten there twice but both times it has been everything that a barbecue joint should be. (Service can be very slow, though, so don't go if you're in a hurry.)

  4. I wanted to like Gus's but it isn't "Real Deal" BBQ. I've been there at 3 different times and have watched them put in & pull out ribs and chicken from Alto-Shaam steamers. The next step is they flash char them on a gas charbroiler. That's not BBQ. Where is the smoke? Where is the smoke ring on the meats? I noticed a trace of liquid smoke that may have been added to the barbeque sauce or marinade. You can authenticate real barbeque by the wood pile behind the restaurant, the smoke smell in the parking lot or most importantly, how does it taste dry without sauce. True "Q" doesn't need to be buried in ladles of sauce like they do at Gus's. The place looks nice, the service was fine but a better classification of it would be as a family restaurant that happens to serve both ribs and chicken. A BBQ rib joint it ain't.


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