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Devoted to Showbiz


Courtesy Showbiz Ribs


Showbiz Ribs is not in Hollywood, but in Downtown Los Angeles. Near as I can tell, the last company making movies in central Los Angeles tore up stakes and headed for Hollywood in about 1914. But they weren’t gone long: Downtown has had a storied history of movies being filmed “on location,” with the most dense parts of the city standing in often for the likes of New York, Chicago, or whatever nameless urban nightmare you’d care to invent a name for. And Hollywood is only 10 miles or so away, so I guess the Showbiz theme isn’t really out of line.

The architecture of the space is 1970’s fast food joint, big city version. Somewhere half a notch up from a BK Lounge. Maybe it was an Arby’s at one time. They’ve softened the hard edges and greenhouse style front window with lots of celebrity black and white glossies and movie posters (keeping with your theme, Showbiz). Nice idea, but the choice of movies seems utterly random.

Anyway, you aren’t here for the décor. You’re here to eat BBQ, and lots of it. The owner of Showbiz Ribs, Tony, is going to help you out with this little errand.

You have plenty of specials including a small rib rack for $5.99 and a pulled pork sandwich for the same price. The ribs are perfectly cooked. The sauce is tasty and sweet, but not too sweet, just like my last girlfriend, damn her. The large rib rack will keep you busy sucking sauce for hours. That’s what she…never mind.

They should concentrate on the barbecue instead of ancillary items. One thing they are pushing is a pastrami sandwich. Good and all, but not ribs, and not BBQ. Plus, guys, you are now surrounded by Yorkshire Grill ( a traditional New York deli) and the latest outpost of Johnny Pastrami (an up-and-coming fast-food style New York deli). You no longer have the best pastrami even on your block.

One odd item that I did try deserves mention. The BBQ Chicken club is a diabolical concoction featuring a nicely grilled chicken breast, barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomato, enough mayonnaise to cold cock a eunuch, and bacon thicker than George W. Bush (I know, he’s gone now, but ah, the nostalgia…) and crunchier than the prettiest girl at a 1978 Grateful Dead concert. This is all placed on three slices of flat-grilled bread (no, not grilled flatbread), and is more delicious than what happened on that trip to Vegas last year…you know. Not sure how I’m still writing this after that debauchery.

Most importantly for those living the urban lifestyle, Showbiz Ribs is open late, and they do deliver in the Downtown area. Don’t laugh, the resident population of Downtown has doubled in the past 10 years and now counts over 40,000.

You’re going to be nearly immobile after your meal, and telltale smells will linger on you for days. Perhaps you can pop across the street to the Japanese convenience store and pick up some tofu breath mints. Life’s good these days in the city. Stop by and check it out.

FOOD: 5 out of 5 - ATMOSPHERE - 3 out of 5 - SERVICE - 4 out of 5 - VALUE - 5 out of 5

Showbiz Ribs, 520 West Sixth Street, Los Angeles  (Corner Sixth and Grand)  (213) 439-5700  FAX: (213) 439-5705

(Visit website for printable coupon)