Originally a backyard pop-up, Ray’s BBQ in Huntington Park serves Texas-style smoked meats that rival ones made in the Lone Star state. After ditching his bank job in 2015, owner Rene “Ray” Ramirez flew to Texas to learn from the best, at places like Franklin Barbecue in Austin. What results is a spectacular medley of barbecued favorites, like pulled pork made to order and an extra-fatty brisket that’s encrusted in black pepper and tastes as if it was given a big ol’ smooch by a pillar of smoke. The sides are great too, especially the thick, tangy mac and cheese, plus there’s a small side patio where you’ll see both regulars on their lunch breaks and others subtly undoing a button on their pants.
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