Today Food & Wine offers a roundup of the nation’s best new and forthcoming Southern-stye barbecue joints, superlatively sub-titled “Pit Masters and Grill Geniuses.” Among the few true smokers is a celebration of open-flame roasting, Argentine asado, Japanese robata, and hordes of grillers, sure to fire up believers that the term “barbecue” refers to slow-cooked, smoked ‘cue only. But the strangest among these picks is not so much the exclusion of every single one of L.A.’s excellent, Texas-inspired barbecue joints (or Korean gogi gui, if we’re going there), but the city’s only pick being Tasting Kitchen chef Casey Lane’s forthcoming restaurant Itri, which isn’t yet open and doesn’t even have a working website, though that didn’t stop the publication from printing it anyway.
We love Lane’s cooking, don’t get us wrong, and know he’s a proud Texan. But didn’t Food & Wine jump the gun and miss the target by declaring his new spot to have the best barbecue L.A. has to offer? If anyone understands the challenges of putting one of these features together, it’s us (we picked 101 U.S. great barbecue spots last summer). But as far as L.A. barbecue is concerned, we’re sliding this story into the “FAIL” file we use to light our grill, no matter just how awesome the chef’s octopus cooked on a quadruple-spit rotisserie sounds.
Update: The Washington Post finds another unopened restaurant hiding in the list, as French Blue is named but still has not opened. The paper calls this “the No. 1 Dumbest Barbecue List Ever.”