Call it dinner and a show: Roadhouse LA, the latest venture from Umami's Adam Fleischman and chef Kyle Schutte, occupies the Melrose Avenue side of the Hollywood Improv, where they're hoping to entice ticket holders with some casual BBQ before showtime. With plow equipment dangling precariously from the ceiling and license plates slapped to the walls, Roadhouse certainly feels country, though a few of its dishes have decidedly international influences—the Kumite Chicken Wings ($12), for instance, are meant to mimic street fare from Kuala Lumpur. For the quickest way to clog your arteries, opt for the fries ($6) with aged butter as a dip; the Deviled Eggs ($7) with tahini (a fascinating combination of tradition and Mediterranea); or the Pan de Salvajes ($5), Texas toast served with a dish of master fat—that's fat from pig, cow, lamb, and chicken, for the uninitiated. As for the BBQ—that's what you came for, right?—the Pork Ribs ($17) are the stuff of legend, tender and juicy and served with ripe watermelon rounds, while the award-winning Royal Jerk Chicken ($18) comes with some fantastic curry-infused chickpeas.
The desserts, which include assorted pies (Chess pie! S'mores pie! Banana cream pie!) from Cake Monkey Bakery hit the spot, but the best accompaniment to your meal is going to be one of Roadhouse's housemade sodas ($5)—particularly the Roadhouse Root Beer, which swaps its sickly-sweet reputation for a taste that is far more refreshing.