This is not the time nor the place to get into the time-honored region vs. region barbecue feud, the one that's been going on practically since vinegar was first splashed into a bowl of delicious tomato-y base. There are people who will sit around all day and wax rhapsodic on rubs, and spices, and whether a fancy brush or an old-fashioned mop does better in the sauce-slathering department.
And we'll let them, with pleasure. After all, it is an important debate, and we don't want to stop it. We just want to eat. And the Los Angeles BBQ Festival, happening next to Santa Monica Pier on May 9 and 10, is a fine place to do exactly that. A handful of local joints are at the grills, including Robin's and Mr. Cecil's, in addition to visiting 'Qers. There are also a variety of styles, from Santa Maria to Chicago to St. Louis, getting smoked and/or rubbed and/or grilled.
A beachy barbecue shindig needs tunes and this fest has got 'em (we're especially intrigued the Johnny Cash tribute band). It's $10 to get into the party, which doesn't include food, but the festival honchos estimate another $10 or so will snag you a sizable lunch, which you purchase directly from the cooks working the magic at the grills.
The real issue is we'll want to eat a little bit from everywhere, so where to even begin. Memphis ribs, pecan slaw, baked beans...