Abbott Kinney, that cornucopia of a boulevard bewitching any and all who walk its length with its boutiques, specialty stores and high end restaurants and bars. The Monster loves it. And one of the reasons is an incongruous little corner known as Glencrest BBQ.
A holdover from when Venice truly was dangerous (and sure, pockets of it still are), Glencrest is a sliver of a joint around for over thirty years with barely enough room for the food to be prepared, a stool or two to sit inside and a table or two to snake out the door. On a stretch known for hip and cool, Glencrest is unabashedly simple, unpretentious and downright awesome for surviving amidst the washed and tanned and buffed masses. So when the mood strikes for catfish, fried chicken, pulled pork or hot links at a ridiculously low price, The Monster says head to Glencrest.
Unlike most anything around, this mostly take-out haunt feels like something you’d stumble upon in New Orleans. There’s a bevy of people behind the counter with smiles on their faces, happy to whip up whatever you may fancy. On this day that means a pulled bbq chicken sandwich, a corn muffin, some cole slaw, lemon cake and some lemonade.
As other patrons filter in and out points out something mostly devoid in LA, a neighborhood spot where the locals can gather and gossip about the day’s events with the people manning the stove cooking up their lunch. Much laughter fills the air. Generations of families place orders.
The Monster isn’t here to tell you that the food breaks new ground or even it’s the best of its kind in the area, but it is just the kind of place to grab a bite and sit outside and feel like you’re supporting an honest business.
The sandwich is good, the slaw is fine enough, the muffin does its job, the cake perhaps a tad dry. None of that matters much to The Monster as he watches the hipsters and yoga moms and skate punks drift by. It’s a beautiful day and the sauce is sweet and life is good.
Why go? The idea of eating dive BBQ right beside Jin Patissierie is too much to pass up.
Monster rating: 3 ½/5 Monsters
1146 Abbott Kinney Boulevard
Venice, CA 90291