BBQ Gets Down On Main St. UTC

Smokeyard BBQ & Chop Shop is the perfect balance of bold, spicy and sweet


Early in the Evening one recent Saturday, the newly mammoth Westfield UTC (formerly known as University Towne Center) was flooded with couples and families out for a good time, and virtually everyone was smiling.

The contemporary version of scenes that decades ago animated Main Streets across the country was fun—except, later on, for those who failed to note their stall number in the behemoth garage. UTC remains a shopping center, of course, but it’s also an entertainment district energized by a vast collection of new restaurants.

Almost all have relatives somewhere in California (Westfield didn’t roll the dice on unproven concepts), and Smokeyard BBQ & Chop Shop is the first sibling of a “next generation barbecue” eatery in Mammoth Mountain’s village. It’s the creation of a pair of brothers, Guy and Alon Ravid, who emigrated from South Africa some years ago.

Pulled-pork sliderLacking foreknowledge of American barbecue, they’re open-minded on the subject, and chef Matt Sramek presents a well-executed menu carefully devoid of allegiances to regional styles (Kansas City, South Carolina, etc.).

Directly across from a Macy’s entrance, Smokeyard is an indoor-outdoor restaurant with soaring ceilings, a decor of wood and glass, and friendly servers who help you navigate the rather long menu (one sagely suggested ordering extra barbecue sauce with the excellent pulled pork piled in a brioche bun).

Portions are large, so be careful about over-ordering starters like carpaccio of cold-smoked New York strip and fatty-but-tasty skewers of smoked bacon. Spice-rubbed smoked meats are tender, and the sampler of chicken, tri-tip and a trio of savory St. Louis-style spareribs concludes in contentment. There are many sides, as well as a small selection of steaks, chops and seafood, but remember: You will share the ultra-rich butterscotch pudding before re-entering the glittering byways outside.

Smokeyard BBQ & Chop Shop
4313 La Jolla Village Drive, 2265
San Diego, CA — 92122
858 630 RIBS (7427)


Related Articles

The Lowdown on Downtown The East Village is booming thanks to its rapid transformation into an urban center where people can live, work and play. The neighborhood that spans ...
For All That Avocado Toast For all that avocado toast has become an emblem of sophisticated cuisine elsewhere, it hasn’t crunched much in the East Village. But it’s the lead app...
A Simply CHIC Picnic Sylvie Coulange is no stranger to eating near the surf. The self-taught home chef and cookbook author (her first cookbook Shine came out last year) gr...
Renting with Pets San Diego ranks in the top 10 pet-friendliest cities in the country, so it’s no shock that pets live in two-thirds of our homes. But in a city where l...