The Smoking Ribs serves up incredible barbecue… out of a Garden Grove strip mall

DSC_2520Michael Ma

When you mention the words “barbecue” and “Garden Grove,” the first thing that comes to mind is the city’s Korean BBQ joints, places like Cham Sut Gol or Incheonwon BBQ House.

But then came The Smoking Ribs.

DSC_2512Michael Ma

In the middle of a strip mall on Euclid, there’s a tiny storefront that serves up ribs, brisket and other smoked goodies. It just opened up in September.

I went recently on a Friday night and a party of two had just walked in the door. The waitress told the two that there was going to be a small wait for a table to open up.

“Ok, that’s fine. We’re going to wait outside,” said person 1.

“No dude. Let’s stay in here. It smells amazing,” said person 2.

They stayed behind. I don’t blame them. When you walk into The Smoking Ribs, you inhale the fragrant aroma of burning wood.

That smell comes from the humongous wood smoker, placed right in the middle of the dining room. The wood smoker is so big that the proprietor of The Smoking Ribs, Kenny Tran, had to take down the restaurant’s double doors and windows just to get the thing in there.

DSC_2545Michael Ma

“You don’t pay for the ambiance here. We want you to see the big smoker. We want you to see everything that goes on behind the scenes. And frankly, it keeps us on top of our game,” Tran said.

Let’s cut to the chase. This is the best barbecue spot in Orange County. No one else really comes close.

Tran, a native of Los Angeles, is doing barbecue the right way.

Some “barbecue” joints sell meat that’s been cooked in the oven and enhanced with liquid smoke. Others sell ribs that have been fired on the grill. But that’s not the proper way to cook a good piece of barbecue.

Tran completes the entire cooking process in his smoker. He learned his techniques from one of the most skilled pitmasters in California, Harry Soo.

DSC_2516Michael Ma

The St. Louis-style ribs are incredible. The ribs aren’t over-smoked, there’s a nice pink on the inside, with a good bark on the outside. The ribs are so tender, they don’t need to hide the dryness by drenching the ribs with sauce, like other spots in OC.

DSC_2536Michael Ma

A must-try here are the pulled pork fries. A giant bed of fries is topped with Tran’s amazing pulled pork, coleslaw, barbecue beans and melted cheese. It’s messy, but all the flavors work together flawlessly. Billed as an appetizer, this dish can act as a meal by itself.

DSC_2528Michael Ma

And unlike other barbecue joints in OC, they don’t skimp on the meat and they give you two full-sized side dishes with each entree. Definitely get the beans, they’re smoked with bacon. Absolutely delectable.

DSC_2522Michael Ma

You should to check out The Smoking Ribs, now. Because a few months down the road, there will be hour waits to get a taste of these ribs. I guarantee that.


DSC_2519Michael Ma
DSC_2546Michael Ma
DSC_2511Michael Ma

The Smoking Ribs is at 114211 N Euclid St, Suite D in Garden Grove. (714) 867-6057

Originally posted 2016-04-12 21:51:12.

Join the Conversation!