I was turned on to Woody’s first by my mother-in-law whose route to work takes her through the Crenshaw district past all the best barbeque joints in town. Woody’s pumps out a smell so good she’s tempted to break koshrut for a plate of their meaty goodness. Second was Jonathan Gold’s Counter Intelligence, who rates Woody’s as his second favorite barbeque in town, just behind Woody’s cousin’s place, Phillip’s. When Phillip’s is closed its one day, Woody’s jumps to his number one slot. My wife and I were surprised on our first visit that Mr. Gold failed to warn us there aren’t any tables; both Woody’s and Phillips are take-out only with no nearby picnic benches either. The lines are long but the wait isn’t as most of the food has been smoking and simmering all day and is just waiting to be cut and slathered with sauce. Woody’s is freakin’ outstanding. The pork ribs slide off the bone and have a smoky, savory flavor that is so damn good you’ll completely forget about all the parasites pork meat can contain. Their collard greens were actual greens, not hidden under tons of garlic or pork. The chicken links were super tasty and when covered in a mixed mild/spicy sauce still had super flavor combined with kick. The corn bread muffins were dry and unimpressive, but they include two pieces of white bread to mop up their delicious sauce. (It is altogether possible they included the white bread as a racial insult, but I doubt it.) In all truth, J.R.’s is still my hands-down favorite, but Woody’s has such a distinctly wonderful taste it’s good to have around to keep J.R. on his toes. A half rack of ribs, collard greens with two corn bread muffins, and a pound of chicken links was $30 – steep but 3 could have eaten well for it. One day I’ll invite the other two people.
(323) 294-9443, 3446 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles