Horse Thief, a Central-Texas-style BBQ joint, has opened at the Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles. The addition is just one in a slew of newcomers to the open-air market, including Sticky Rice, Valerie at Grand Central Market and the soon-to-open Egg Slut.
The restaurant, which gets its name from Kicking Horse, the horse thief in the Larry McMurtry 1997 western novel “Comanche Moon,” officially opened July 9. It’s helmed by native Texans Wade McElroy and Russell Malixi.
The restaurant is located on the Hill side of the market, near the open patio. On Thursday afternoon, men in dress shirts and women in pantsuits sat at the long wooden tables in front, eating pork ribs with their hands, surrounded by piles of crumpled up paper napkins.
The menu, written in marker on a plain white piece of paper, includes BBQ classics with brisket, pulled pork and chicken sold by the pound, and pork spare ribs by the half or whole rack. Chef Max Henriquez (formerly of Mezze and Little Dom’s) mans the restaurant’s three Ole Hickory smokers.
Each item is served with two slices of white sandwich bread, sour dill pickle chips and slices of sweet white onion on trays lined with white paper. Keeping in line with Central-Texas-style BBQ tradition, none of the meat is cooked with sauce. Each piece gets a dry rub and there are squeeze bottles of a tangy, sweet BBQ sauce available on the side.
Side dishes include macaroni and cheese, beans, jicama slaw and a bacon and blue cheese potato salad. For dessert, a drop biscuit cobbler with berries.
Horse Thief is open for lunch from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. with expanded hours expected later in the summer.
324 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles, https://www.facebook.com/horsethiefla