In Search of the California Barbecue Tradition

From storied Santa Maria tri-tip on the Central Coast, to barbacoa in Los Angeles, to hot links in West Oakland, the rules for slow-and-low are constantly rewritten here.

Credit…Video by Adam Amengual

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By Tejal Rao

ROSEMEAD, Calif. — In a vast, sun-baked parking lot, I stopped my car for a second — two seconds, max — scanning the aerial map in my text messages. The car behind me honked viciously, but nothing could spoil my mood: If the map was correct, Winnie Yee-Lakhani was in her truck, just a few hundred feet away, with a paper bag full of mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, a hot rack of ribs, brisket and smoked pork belly char siu.

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