UTC Mall in La Jolla has been booming lately! If you've visited anytime in the past year or so then you would definitely notice the influx of new stores and restaurants. One of these is Smokeyard located just outside the parking garage next to Macy's! We happened to be visiting on an insanely rainy night for San Diego and appreciated the fact that we didn't have to walk too far from the parking garage to get here.
When we arrived we were instantly greeted by the hostess and General Manager Andrew. They were so friendly and had made sure to save us a nice booth since we were celebrating our 6 year anniversary that night. I honestly can't remember the last time we were greeted so warmly at a restaurant. They made us feel at home and it was so refreshing!
Our server Jake was also very attentive and made sure we knew all the best things to try on the menu. We of course started with some cocktails. I couldn't resist the Old Fashion topped with toasted marshmallows. They added the perfect amount of sweetness to the drink without being overpowering.
Around the time our drinks arrived we were also greeted by Head Chef and Owner Guy Ravid. Talk about the 5 star treatment! I loved chatting with Guy because I could tell he was just so passionate about his restaurant and the food they serve there. He has owned over ten different restaurants in his career throughout the Los Angeles area before finally settling in San Diego with Smokeyard. His brother also runs another location in Mammoth where it's a more strict BBQ menu. Here in San Diego Chef Guy likes to shake things up a bit with seafood dishes and salads on top of the BBQ options.
Both Chef Guy and our server Jake recommended the Crispy Rock Shrimp so it was a must try. I can see why too! The shrimp were a little bit spicy and sweet with the perfect amount of breading. I know you're supposed to share appetizers but I honestly could have easily devoured this myself it was THAT good.
Then it was time for the main event. Again we decided to go with Chef Guy's recommendations. I figured if these were his favorites they must be pretty amazing. We ordered the Brisket and the New York Strip Steak. I'm a big fan of Brisket and at Smokeyard they have 2 smokers that they use to cook this delicious cut of meat. It was juicy, tender and full of smoky flavor. It definitely didn't need the accompanying BBQ sauce to go with it, but they make their sauces from scratch in house every day so they were packed with sweet, spicy and smoky flavors as well!
The New York Strip Steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare, coated with a peppercorn sauce, and served on a bed of fluffy and garlicky mashed potatoes. AKA heaven in my book. Also, who am I kidding? I dipped the steak in the BBQ sauce too.
Now let’s not forget the side dish you won’t want to share….the cornbread with honey butter. Holy moly! That butter is to die for. Even if you’re not a fan of cornbread like my husband you will still probably love this cornbread because even he couldn’t get enough!
For the grand finale we had to try something off the dessert menu. Honestly, we were stuffed and ready to roll home at this point, but we needed something sweet to end the night. This salted caramel budino. It was small and the perfect finisher to our meal. We definitely had leftovers to bring home, but when all else fails, take that steak and cook it up with some eggs for breakfast.
Thank you to the lovely staff at Smokeyard in UTC San Diego for having us. You know we’ll be back again soon! Cheers!