All-American and family-run with homemade recipes, Rib Ranch BBQ is a throwback to old school Western restaurants.
Located at the corner of Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Providencia Street in Woodland Hills, this cozy eatery serves traditional American barbecue.
Their pulled pork, which is a popular item on the menu, slow cooks in their smoker pit in the back patio for six hours. The pork is served in various dishes: sandwiches, salads and as an entrée. The beef rib is exceptionally good as well, marinated and cooked to perfection. The classic side dishes like garlic mashed potatoes and coleslaw are also a definite must.
Mike Ignelzi, who has owned the restaurant for 25 years, takes pride in their recipes.
“It’s all homemade,” Ignelzi said — and that is probably why everything tastes so good.
Rib Ranch BBQ was originally a smaller restaurant run by two brothers who were family friends of the current owner. When Ignelzi was 17 years old, he started working for them as a dishwasher.
“My dad told me, ‘My friends run this restaurant; go see if you can get a job over there,'” Ignelzi said. “I did, and got hired to wash their dishes.”
As the years went by, the restaurant expanded, and they hired Jeri Levy as a waitress. Later, she married Ignelzi.
Ignelzi worked his way up in the restaurant while studying finance at CSUN. By the mid 1980s, the brothers retired and Ignelzi took over Rib Ranch BBQ.
“It’s a lot of hard work; I even have to come here on my day off,” Ignelzi said with a smile. “It’s a 24/7 job, but it makes me very happy.”
Ignelzi, his wife and their three children have all contributed to keep the restaurant running all these years.
“We want to make this a home,” Ignelzi said, and they have made it just that.
Part of its homey feel is the sense of family and American culture. It’s rare to see businesses or restaurants run like this, what with the prevalence of corporate chain options.
Bobby Cavian, a customer at Rib Ranch BBQ, said he enjoyed his dinner very much.
“Awesome food and nice setting,” Cavian said. “Their beef ribs is a must, but everything else on the menu is highly recommended.”
Rib Ranch BBQ is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and until 8 p.m. on Sundays.