SMOKE CITY CHAR BAR
CRAFT SMOKED BARBECUE COMES TO DLTA
Fans of bold and mouthwatering barbecue, cool cocktails with a nearby TV to watch the big game always within a moment’s glance, get to know Smoke City Char Bar in downtown LA. Consider this your new go-to place for smoked-meats, succulent eats, handcrafted cocktails and craft beer.
Smoke City Char Bar was founded with an adventurous spirit and a driven culinary objective: to bring the unique experience of locally-sourced and naturally smoked meats to its guests each and every day.
The powers that be say that their eats are revered, and in the kitchen, inventiveness is encouraged and superior quality is prized above all. Smoke City Char Bar celebrates the legacy of smokehouse culture with every chef-driven creation and regional-inspired recipe. Smoke City Char Bar’s mission is to deliver an explosion of succulent awesomeness to your mouth in each and every bite.
The setting here is welcoming and comfortable. And while there are several televisions spaced throughout, I wouldn’t call this place a sports bar. Sure, the big game may be on, but it doesn’t interfere with your dining and drinking experience, which is personally important to me—especially if I’m purposely choosing not to be at a sports bar.
During our recent visit for dinner, we started with drinks and the boozy Van Gogh’s Flask with house-aged Woodford Reserve, Amaro, Aperol, Cherry Heering and Bogart bitters is a must-have. This barrel-aged gem packs a pleasant punch that pairs perfectly with barbecue.
Among the appetizers, I liked the Hickory Smoked Watermelon with feta cheese and balsamic gastrique, and I loved the Brisket Deviled Eggs with mesquite smoked brisket, and the Burnt End Mac & Cheese Bites with crisp fried jalapeño herb dip. But it’s the Crisp Fried Smoked Pork Belly that is the star among the starers. Prepared with creamy burrata cheese, sliced heirloom tomato and balsamic gastrique, the fried smoked pork belly is so flavorful that every bite is an absolute treat.
Do yourself a favor and order the Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread. Hot and buttered, it is so out of this world delicious. Consider this one a must-have. It just pairs so brilliantly with the meats. Another favorite side of ours was the Charred Brussel Sprouts. You have to have your greens and they’re so very tasty too.
Of the smoked meats, we loved the beef brisket. It was so tender that it cut like butter. Flavorful with a fall-apart tenderness to it, it was the perfect barbecue dish. Meat combination plates include one 8-oz side for $29.95. Two meats go for $40 and three meats for $50. We were also big fans of the Baby Back Ribs. A half rack costs $20 and a full rack goes for $37.
If you save room for dessert, the Southern Style Bread Pudding Skillet with vanilla bean ice cream and candied walnuts sounds like a winner. We were too full for dessert but I’m thinking next time.
Weekday happy hour is offered from 4pm to 6pm as well as Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9pm to close featuring discounted cocktails. Bar Bites include two street tacos for $9; Sundown Chili Nachos for $7; Brisket Mac & Cheese Bites for $7 and Buttery Brioche Sliders for $10.
Weekend brunch includes outdoor seating, which sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon. What can be better than a long and lazy day outside with barbecue and drinks? Sign me up! Smoke City Char Bar is a great addition to a vibrant DTLA scene that offers dynamic dining and a thriving bar scene.
Smoke City Char Bar is located at 899 Traction Avenue. Open daily from 11am to close. Validated parking for two hours available. Call 213-935-8194.
Story By: Jose Martinez