Even a pitmaster questions me when I don’t have any criticism of their Q. What can I say? When it’s good, it’s good. And so it went with almost all these dishes I tried at Smokeyard. I didn’t care for their creamed corn. There. I said it. That was the ONLY thing at this new BBQ place I thought needed some improvement. And I don’t shy away when it comes to telling a pimaster/chef when they ask. I’m sure it’s been improved upon since then. But I have many more delicious things to say about Smokeyard.
First, they’ve had a successful Smokeyard up in the Mammoth area for 10 years already. That says something. While a mall might not be the first place you think of when it comes to BBQ, do NOT let it stop you from trying the food here because I can guarantee you will NOT be disappointed. Doesn’t hurt that the place is gorgeous inside with ceiling to floor windows, great A/C with a patio and a full bar to boot.
On my first visit a few months ago, they hadn’t started making brisket yet, but they sure were practicing it and when I returned they had it wired. Fabulous, smoke kissed, with a beautiful fat cap, it’s a very tender and moist brisket. I wouldn’t be surprised if some in the La Jolla area will ask for the fat to be trimmed off! A sacrilege I know, but it’s La Jolla. Have a salad…and they have quite a few for the more health concerned.
Owner and pitmaster Guy is quite passionate about serving the best Q and it does show in his offerings.
What blew me away on that first visit was how well they did beef ribs. Always an iffy thing, these were tender, had their dry rub and a bit of sauce baked onto it. One of my new fave beef ribs for sure. The tri tip was on point. Always a delicious beefy cut of meat started here in California. And his pork ribs were also tender ( I detect a theme here!) and oh so tasty. No sauce poured on any of their bare proteins here. Very traditional.
They also make killer St. Louis sticky ribs with a sweet chili sauce on them that I’m salivating over and dreaming about in between visits!
That sweet chili sauce is one of the choices for your sauces on the side along with their BBQ and their mango-habanero.
I’m a big lover of great and imaginative side dishes and Smokeyard supplies the creativity in spades. Don’t get me wrong though, they do some great traditional BBQ sides too like mac ‘n cheese, probably the best cornbread I’ve ever had with a succulent honey butter, beans, fries, etc. Elevated beyond that is their charred cauliflower in a basil pistachio butter, brussel sprouts in a bourbon maple glaze with almonds, sweet potato hash with candied pecans, their loaded cornbread layered with pulled pork, cheese, beans, sauce and scallions, Their housemade BBQ potato chips and spicy smoked almonds are a great start to your meal. SO good!
They have so many other things I’ve yet to try, Steaks, Burgers, Sandwiches, a fantastic and tantalizing menu for sure.
UTC (Open now)
4313 La Jolla Village Drive, 2265
San Diego, CA — 92122
858 630 RIBS (7427)
Sunday — Thursday 11:30am — 9:00pm or later
Friday — Saturday 11:30am — 10:00pm or later
* hours subject to change
Bar open later daily.