Harry’s Open Pit BBQ

This one’s about Harry’s Open Pit BBQ. Harry, whoever he was, had a small chain of barbecue places that cooked real meat over real wood. Their sauce was mediocre but that was okay because the ribs and chicken were so good nude that you didn’t need sauce. I used to go to the one on Crescent Heights, just south of Sunset, situated about where you now enter the parking garage for the big shopping complex that’s now there. It was a little rathole of a building with everything served fast food style. You ordered your ribs and/or chicken at a counter and they’d take your food right off the grill for you. Then you carried it into a little dining room with picnic table seats and a large sink, right in the midst of the tables, for the washing of rib-stained fingers.

That Harry’s always had a strong rock-and-roll connection due to the surrounding businesses and when it closed, its proprietors briefly moved its open pit and food service into a rock club across the street. As a result, a number of musicians did odes to Harry’s ribs on their albums of the period. Canned Heat, for instance, recorded a song called “Harry’s Open Pit Barbecue.” It’s about all that’s left of what was once the best place in L.A. to get ribs.

51 Responses to Harry’s Open Pit BBQ

  • Howie Siegel says:

    I was there on Adams off Normandy when Harry’s opened his first joint in LA. He originated on Navy Pier in Chicago. The Weisbrodt’s and Bloch’s ran the liquor store right there on the block and knew Harry’s from Chicago. It was the best and we were ecstatic to see it on Crescent Heights.
    I’m getting hungry.

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