Vacationing for the holidays is no reason to go without barbecue. Although Harry Soo hails from my inlaws home town where we're staying, Diamond Bar, that don't really make this area a paradise for smoked meat. So I broke out the trusty google and found this place, Blake's Place Cafe and Catering. Claiming to have served "real barbecue" to over a million customers since opening in 1996, I put it on the GPS and found the smaller corner space in an industrial/business complex off the beaten path. Being southern California as it is, there are salads, sandwiches, and some seafood offerings on the menu. There are traditional and nontraditional sides available too. Brisket: 3 stars Spare ribs: 4 stars Smoked sweet chili wings: 5 stars If I were ever in the area and wanting some pork ribs, I'd be willing to come back for them. The brisket, not so much. The wings were tasty! From am enthusiast's perspective for you fellow lovers of cue, I'd have to say there could be some improvements. The first thing I noticed on walking in is the lack of that wonderful smell of all things barbecue. You know, the aromas that hang out in your favorite cue joints. I was told its because they do all their smoking in a different building. But still, wouldn't all that smoked meat back in the kitchen be enough to let you know you've arrived? Also, the poor young girl tending the register about buckled under some of my gently posed questions: What kind of smoker do you use? Is it a brick pit, a cabinet smoker, or maybe a rotisserie? Where is the pitmaster from? Is the brisket traditional Texas style, with a nice dark bark? What kind of wood you smoking with? According to this young lady, it's all Oak, ALL their meats are smoked 16 hours (!) on a "uh, rotisserie smoker", and they scrape off that dark stuff because "it isn't edible". Oh well, you cant have it all in southern California!