… well, before I get to that I have to tell you something about myself.
I wish I was a bit more of a classy lady.
Overall, I can come off as presentable when necessary, but the majority of the time I find it difficult to avoid cursing or obnoxiously rolling my eyes during annoying conversations. The hardest time for me to be a lady is while eating. It doesn’t take long for all lady-likeness to go out the window when sitting at a table. With that said, I have to say that the most finger-licking good barbecue in Downtown LA comes from The Park’s Finest, and acting like a lady while eating there was the last thing on my mind.
After a long day of doing nothing in particular, my friend Gian and I were starving. With a craving for barbecue, it didn’t take long for me to suggest going to the Filipino-inspired barbecue joint on the edge of Downtown LA. I found out about the restaurant from a coworker a few years ago and ever since then I’ve made my way back in to get my barbecue fix. Today was a similar day.
Walking into the casual restaurant, we were greeted by a waitress who showed us to our seat and walked us through the menu. I already knew I wanted something meaty and weighty which meant I was prepared to look un-ladylike. Gian, opposite of me, wasn’t feeling the for something so big and decided to go with a lighter plate. Although our plates were drastically different from one another, there was one dish that we both found common ground on: the bibingka.
The minute the Ann’s Cornbread Bibingka ($5) came to the table, I was elated! This is the item that makes me salivate the moment I think of The Park’s Finest. Of all the cornbread or similar variations that I’ve ever had, bibingka has to be at the top of the list with all the others nowhere in sight. The Park’s unique approach to cornbread takes cornmeal and combines it with rice flour and corn, which is then baked on a banana leaf, and glazed with sugar. While it can be taken as a traditional Filipino dessert, I have no problem eating it before, during, or after the meal. The cornbread was incredibly warm, soft, moist, and sweet thanks to the top layer of sugar. It’s hard to explain why something so simple could stand out from other forms of cornbread, but until you have this one you haven’t had the best version of cornbread yet.
As crumbs of bibingka were left on the white plate, our main plates arrived. Gian ordered the Mount Mayan Hot Links ($8). In his bowl he was given sliced spicy sausages that were coated with a sweet Filipino sauce. The sausage was smoked nicely to hold in the rich flavor and spice that was expected from its name. Having a side of warm long grain jasmine Steamed Rice ($2) helped to not only ease the heat of the sausage but also enhance the flavor. How the simple rice took on such a job must have been mounting, but appreciated nonetheless.
I on the other hand went the massive route. I ordered the Short Rib (Market Price, $22 on my visit) and I was not a lady at all. From the kitchen and placed in front of me came a hefty single rack of a meaty rib paired with a cream horseradish sauce. The rib was smoked to perfection without being overdone, yet enough so the meat effortlessly came apart from the bone. Each time I took a piece and devoured it, I let out a word or two that I probably should have kept to myself. As I ruthlessly took pieces without consideration to my appearance what I noticed almost instantly was just how seasoned and marinated it was. It was close to impossible not to lick my fork and fingers clean to take in the last few moments of the barbecue sauce that coated the meat.
It was worth every penny of that twenty-two dollars!
I don’t want you to think that I walk around like a Neanderthal.
There are times when I can pull the lady card out and do pretty well to the point that I even convince myself. But if I can just let it all hang out, a few curse words will slip and I may come off a bit like a sailor. Being at The Park’s Finest felt like I could just be me and while a few inappropriate words came out as we ate, it felt justified. Now reminiscing on the food alone and the thought of how good the barbecue was on my finger tips was enough to have me let out at least one four letter word in praise of the food.
And I don’t think that’s too bad.
Address: 1267 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Phone: (213) 481-2800
Hours: Monday – 5:00pm to 10:00pm and Tuesday to Sunday – 11:00am to 10:00pm.
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Food tastes great
- Friendly staff
- Plenty of free street parking