Maple Block Meat Co.
A quick preview of Maple Block Meat Co. from its opening day…
The Westside has a new barbecue joint that just opened this week in Culver City, less than a block north on Sepulveda from Tito’s Tacos, for those needing a landmark for reference. Adam Cole, formerly of Lindy & Grundy, ink., Bazaar, is the chef-owner, while the sous chef is Brian Lea, formerly of Red Medicine and Trois Mec.
My wife and I popped in for a quick lunch, While we were there, I spied Top Chef champion Mei Lin in the house, supporting her fellow former ink.-mate’s new endeavor. I think her entourage ordered the entire menu, while we just tried three of the meats, a few sides, and their sole dessert.
We started off with the Beef Brisket. Chef Cole was slicing all the meats (with an impressive-looking knife) when we went through the line, and we had the option of getting slices from the lean end or the fatty end. Of course, I chose the latter. The brisket had a decent bark, and a distinct smoke ring, but it didn’t penetrate very deep into the meat. I’ve definitely had smokier brisket, though I have to say theirs was very moist and tender.
We also tried the Pork Spare Ribs, which were very smokey, especially compared to the brisket. We got the last few bones from the “flatter” end of the rack, so the meat was on the “lean” side, relatively speaking, but it was still juicy and quite flavorful. We did also try the Chopped Pork Shoulder (not pictured), which my wife liked a lot, but I preferred the brisket and ribs.
We ordered a few sides, including the Creamy Slaw (not pictured), Red Vinegar Slaw, and Macaroni & Cheese. We also ordered the only dessert on the menu, a Strawberry Peach Hand Pie. My wife and I were somewhat split on the sides. She thought the creamy slaw was standard, though it was better with some pepper. I really liked my vinegar slaw as-is. She didn’t care for the texture of the pasta in the mac & cheese, while I was fine with it, though the sauce was a little sweet to me. We both agreed that it needed more cheese (Gromit!), as it tasted more like a straight bechamel than a cheese sauce. We were in full agreement on the hand pie, though, both loving the thin, flaky crust and sweet-tart filling!
Pricing on the meats is by weight, though the menu also includes a list of sandwiches with set prices. The cost for the brisket is $23/pound, and $20/pound on the shoulder and ribs. I believe it’s a 1/4 pound minimum order, and for the ribs, you just choose how many you want and they’ll weigh them. So you could get just one rib. Sides are $2-$3 for a small and $5ish for a medium; large sizes are available but I don’t recall the pricing. Portion sizes are a little small, but it’s nice to be able to sample 3-4 small sides for under $10. Overall, it’s priced similarly to Culver City BBQ competitor Holy Cow (also in Santa Monica).
Maple Block Meat Co. is open 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Saturday, lunch-only for the first couple of weeks of service.
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Maple Block Meat Co.
3973 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230