04 Mar Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Smoked meats and more at Smoke City Char Bar in Downtown LA
With the cold weather that has hit the west coast, a hearty meal is what I craved. And what is heartier than a big barbecue meal filled with smoked meats, sides, and cocktails? So, a couple of friends and I hopped in the car and drove from the westside to the eastside of the Arts District in Downtown LA for an evening of barbecue. Los Angeles may not be the first city one thinks of when it comes to barbecue. But barbecue restaurants have been popping up across the city. One of these places is Smoke City Char Bar in Downtown LA which opened in early 2022. If you love Texas brisket or Kansas City ribs or California Tri Tip, Smoke City Char Bar serves it all! There is something for everyone, including vegetarians. After enjoying a hearty and filling meal, I can say that Smoke City Char Bar is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
Smoke City Char Bar is located near Arts District Brewing in Downtown LA. It is tucked into a back corner that faces Traction Avenue. The restaurant is a modern design with a rustic charm. Concrete walls and steel mix with golden pendent lights, comfortable seating, and multiple tv screens playing sports games.
At the helm of Smoke City Char Bar is executive chef Omari Williams. Williams is an LA native who has competed on Food Networks “Cut Throat Kitchen”, as well as on “Chopped”. He has worked for Wolfgang Puck and at the Standard hotel in West Hollywood. With a background in fine-dining, William comes to Smoke City Char Bar to showcase flavors from California to Texas and more. He sources meats locally and slow cooks up to 500 pounds of craft-smoked meats onsite overnight.
The menu offers lots of options. There are appetizers, salads, sandwiches, featured entrees, and of course smoked meats and sides. There are even vegan and vegetarian options.
Appetizers range from a hickory smoked watermelon and brisket deviled eggs to nachos, crispy fried pork belly, and cheddar corn fritters.
Craft Smoked Meats
Smoke City Char Bar offers standards such as beef brisket, beef tri-tip, pulled pork, baby back ribs, bone-in chicken, and sausage links. But the menu also includes turkey breast, Pacific salmon, and jackfruit. Each of these mains are offered as half size or whole size and are served with house-made sauces, including cayenne honey, molasses harissa, soy ginger, and mustard seed-apple cider. The meats are juicy and tender with lots of flavor.
A barbecue meal is not complete without sides, and Smoke City Char Bar serves the classic sides like cornbread, mac n cheese, Cole slaw, fries, and mashed potatoes, as well as chili, corn on the cob, and Brussels sprouts.
It is easy to fill up on the meats and sides but try to save room for the house-made desserts like the S’mores made with house-made marshmallows, Nutella, graham crackers, and orange zest. This is some gooey yumminess and the orange zest adds a nice touch.
Smoke City Char Bar offers a full bar. There are wines, beers, and cocktails, including a Blackberry Smash, a Moscow Mule, a Bulleit rye old fashioned with molasses, and more
Smoke City Char Bar serves up tasty, flavorful barbecue with a California flair. Enjoy!
Smoke City Char Bar
DTLA Arts District
899 Traction Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90013