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Like Gaul, J N J is divided into three parts: a shaded, gravel-floored dining area; an area dedicated to hamburgers; and the inner sanctum - a worn counter, a kitchen that resembles a temporary structure built to feed hungry firemen, and the smoker itself, a mammoth, puffing construction that has been built to resemble a splendid steam engine. The brawny, dripping beef ribs are great, and the chicken is fine and moist. But J N J's long-cooked spare rubs are compelling - blackened, rendered of most of their fat, tending almost toward a jerkylike chaw, saturated with smoke, and profoundly spicy even without the sauce, which blankets the pork like a winter coat. J N J may not be the most polished restaurant in Los Angeles, but it may be the closest thing you are going to find to a country-road shack within city limits. See full review.
You may have visited barbecue stands built around tall chimneys, barbecue stands surrounded by dozens of barrel smokers, and barbecue stands so rickety that they seemed to be held up by the inch-thick patina of petrified smoke on the walls. The... More »
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