Bored of browsing through car wash convenience stores to pass the time while your car gets cleaned? Read all the greeting cards you could and spent more time pondering on all the different air fresheners than you care to share? That’s what’s great about Outdoor Grill. You can enjoy a tri-tip sandwich ($6.95 a la carte) while sitting on a balcony overlooking the car wash lot and watch your baby get dried off.
Located just down the street from my now old apartment in Mar Vista, the Grill was great for a quick fix of something savory and filling without having to succumb to the nearby Jack in the Box. I don’t care too much for the Grill’s sides. Their rice is dry and their macaroni and cheese was sadly disappointing to me (you call that cheese?) but other online reviewers rave about it for some reason. Me? I love the tri-tip sandwich alone with meat slathered in their own brand of bbq sauce, which they also bottle and sell.
The tender strips of roasted tri-tip are cut somewhere between thick and thin where you can just take a bite out of it and not feel like you’re biting a chaw of meat. Sometimes I’ll just skip the pretense of a sandwich and order the tri-tip plate where it’ll just be the meat and the bbq dipping sauce. Times like that, I love being a carnivore.
What I’m not crazy about, however, are the high prices and consequently small portions. If you get a side with a tri-tip plate, it’ll cost you $8.25. Yeah, in this parking lot restaurant. Also, the workers there tend to be the indifferent, unsmiling types when dealing with you. When dealing with each other? They’re all laughs, and then they take your order and are back to scowling again. But they are quick. One minute you’re paying for your meal and the next minute your order is up. Nice!
When I first laid eyes on the place with its outdoor grill sitting mere feet from busy Washington Boulevard and in the parking lot of Handy J Car Wash, I wrote it off. That can’t be good, I thought. The grill looked dirty and thoughts of street-traffic exhaust mixing with the meat…blech. But then for reasons I forget, one day I gave it a shot. I think the “A” rating encouraged me. And I’ve been a fan ever since.
I’ve never gotten my car washed there though but do enjoy people watching those who do as they sit on the benches in the parking lot to pass the time. Suckers! They could be enjoying a nice bbq meal instead of sitting there twiddling their thumbs.
12630 Washington Place
Los Angeles, California 90066