Whiskey Red’s opens two ghost kitchens in Fisherman’s Village
By Katie Lulla
Whiskey Red’s of Fisherman’s Village has two new additions: ghost kitchens. We Love Wingz and Red’s Smokin’ Texas BBQ opened in mid-January and have brought mouthwatering Texas barbecue and one-of-a-kind chicken wing sauces to the Marina del Rey boardwalk.
“When our team came up with the We Love Wingz ghost kitchen concept, it was really about coming up with these different flavors around the melting pot of Los Angeles,” said Colette Allegre, marketing coordinator at Specialty Restaurants Corp., the parent company of Whiskey Red’s. “It’s not just your typical wing stop. They’re really fun flavors.”
The Specialty Restaurants team wanted to break away from value-based chicken wings and open up a kitchen with bold flavors. Some fan favorites have been the Take Off All Your Cloves Garlic Parmesan, “Cluck O’ the Irish” Jameson BBQ and Lemon Peppa.
“People are coming because they want to try these unique flavors, not because they’re coming for a traditional buffalo flavor,” Allegre said.
We Love Wingz does offer Basic B* Buffalo wings and Plain Jane wings for the classic lovers. While We Love Wingz is unique and cheerful, Red’s Smokin’ Texas BBQ brings traditional smoked barbecue to the table.
“[Texas style] just seemed like a natural fit for us because we already understood Texas barbecue and learned from the best,” said VP of marketing Margaret Schroeder.
Specialty Restaurants previously worked with pit master Kevin Bludso for The Proud Bird, a barbecue restaurant near LAX, where they learned how to perfect slow smoked brisket. Bludso was a judge on the 2020 show, “The American Barbecue Showdown,” and owns restaurants in Hollywood and Melbourne, Australia.
“We always knew [Red’s Smokin’ Texas BBQ] was going to have brisket, ribs and chicken,” Schroeder said. “It came down to the smoking and the wood combination.”
Specialty Restaurants worked to perfect the meat rub and bourbon barbecue sauce, and learned to cook the meats with low and slow indirect heat for over 14 hours. The team chose to add a unique flair by using a blend of apple, pecan and hickory wood to smoke the meat. This creates a slightly sweet flavor that is just a little bit different from other smoked meats. To create even more taste, Specialty Kitchens sought out the best brisket meat they could find.
“The rich, complex consistency and the marbling of the 1855 certified black angus meat, chosen for its higher quality, really has the flavor pull through,” Allegre said. “[It] would be our main show stopper.”
Red’s Smokin’ Texas BBQ offers half and one-pound meats, barbecue sandwiches and tacos, pit master combos and delicious sides. The best of Red’s Smokin Texas BBQ can be bought in the Notorious Meat Combo, which has one pound of beef brisket, a full rack of baby back ribs, one pound of pulled pork, a whole smoked chicken and two sides of each side dish. The sides are cornbread with honey butter, smoked mac and cheese, country potato salad and barbecue brisket beans.
Allegre said that customer feedback has been positive, so in the future they would consider making We Love Wingz and Red’s Smokin’ Texas BBQ permanent side menus or patio extensions. Unlike other ghost kitchens there are benches available, so customers can enjoy a view of the marina while they eat. The boardwalk also provides plenty of foot traffic.
“With the boardwalk there’s already a lot of people walking by that probably want some great barbecue or some tasty chicken wings,” Schroeder said. “We [wouldn’t] have to just rely on delivery and online ordering, like most ghost kitchens.”
We Love Wingz and Red’s Smokin’ Texas BBQ are open from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, visit welovewingz.com and whiskeyreds.com