Not only is Bludso’s home to some of the most outstanding barbecue in L.A., but it could well have one of the most efficient pits in town. On the back patio owner Kevin Bludso stokes his hickory-fired smoker continuously. The results are enormous blackened beef ribs as tender and smoky as a blues ballad. » 811 S. Long Beach Blvd., Compton, 310-637-1342.
Fish or shrimp—or both? Fried or charbroiled—on rice or fries? You’d better make up your mind before you reach the counter. The beloved seafood shack is miles from the ocean but smack in the middle of downtown’s seafood market district, which explains the huge selection. Catfish, prawns, salmon—it’s all good. » 529 S. Central Ave., downtown, 213-627-7231.
R&R Soul Food
Next door to the Home Depot Center is this Southern-style hang where smothered pork chops, collard greens, mashed sweet potatoes, and dense bricks of corn bread cover every table. Each serving is large enough to feed the Galaxy’s starting lineup. If David Beckham’s abs could allow for braised oxtails, he’d be wise to head here. » 18427 Avalon Blvd., Carson, 310-715-6716.