March 22, 2014

Wood Ranch BBQ

Happy American Chocolate Week, everyone!  (Well, what's left of it).

Whether you choose to celebrate this special week once a week or every week, I promise American Chocolate Week is a real thing.  Even though the week is nearly over, here are a few fun chocolate facts to enjoy:
  • The English chocolate company, Cadbury, made the world's first chocolate bar in 1842.
  • U.S. chocolate manufacturers use about 3.5 million pounds of whole milk every day to make milk chocolate.
  • Hershey's kisses were originally shaped like squares.
  • Wood Ranch is celebrating chocolate by infusing it in alcohol and blending it in BBQ which can later be slathered on slabs of juicy meat.  Wait, what?  Yes.  Leave it to Wood Ranch to bring you the best of both worlds.

S'mores Margarita -- chocolate syrup, cream, graham cracker-crusted rim, and TEQUILA!

One BBQ sauce has honeyed; the other is chocolafied -- can you guess which is which?

Co-partner and Executive Chef Alex Benes explaining the wonders of BBQ.

Grilled Veggie Salad (new) -- grilled sweet potato, asparagus, corn, tomato, cabbage, and avocado on a bed of lettuce.

Tuscan Kale Salad -- thinly-sliced watermelon radishes, cauliflower, toasted pumpkin seeds, chives, shaved Parm, kale.

The contraption that injects marinade into big hunks of meat -- scary-lookin'!

Pulled Pork Sliders -- topped with Carolina slaw and on toasted sesame buns.

Tri Tip Sliders with caramelized BBQ sauce.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Tortilla Chips with Salsa and Housemade Guacamole

Garlic Rolls... 

... that I think is infused with crack-like substances.  Seriously, it's that addictive!

Signature Sides: Peanut Coleslaw; Steamed Broccoli; Mashed Potatoes.

Meat Platter (for event), in all of its meaty glory. Top to bottom: St. Louis Dry-Rub Ribs over All-American Baby Back Ribs over BBQ Half Chicken with a side of Texas-Style Brisket and WR Tri-Tip.
The back view.

Another angle.

The real impressive winner of the night was this: The Giant Short Rib.

Green Beans sauteed and lightly tossed in a fiery Thai-style sweet/sour sauce.

Another winner: Brisket Burger 2.0 -- juice brisket, pickles, tomatoes, fried onions, lettuce, cherry-chipotle BBQ sauce on a toasted sesame brioche bun.

Large enough to share, but good enough to not want to.

Chocolate Week Special: Black & White Cheesecake with 70% Guittard dark cacao.

Flourless Guittard Chocolate Cake with candied pecans, whipped cream, and fresh vanilla ice cream.

Feasting like kings.

Many have told me that if I haven't had barbecue in any of the Southern states, I haven't experienced barbecue at all.  Well, since I haven't visited the South (yet), I may be an ignoramus when it comes to the art of preparing and grilling barbecue, but I can say I've had some mighty good barbecue right here in California, mainly via Texan influence (i.e. Bludso's; Adam Perry Lang; Rudy's by delivery from my Liam).

While I can't say Wood Ranch is my favourite BBQ in LA, Chef Alex Benes delivers solid traditional barbecue while experimenting with innovative options (chocolate-infused BBQ sauce, anyone?)  Undoubtedly, good food will big smiles all around the table.  Another plus about Wood Ranch is that with 14 locations throughout Southern California and with plans to expand, it's a very accessible way of getting your fill of delicious BBQ among many other choice items.

Check out the new chocolate-flavors, but try the St. Louis dry-rub ribs, Brisket Burger 2.0, and/or the short rib.  Delicious!

Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill on Urbanspoon

cuisine: American BBQ
location: multiple, including The Grove
hours: (Grove) 11:30am - 10pm, Daily
websites: { WR | yelp | facebook | twitter | instagram }
parking: Valet (validated); Grove parking, Farmer's Market parking (unvalidated)
attire: Casual
reservations: Yes
notes: The Grove LA location is spacious with both indoor and outdoor patio seating -- great for big groups!

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