Food & Drink

The Smokin' Joint

California's culinary claims are well known: pizza kitchens that invented bbq chicken 'za; sushi rolls that pioneered crab and avocado; and raisins that're difficult to eat due to their impeccable timing and choreography. Adding a new notch to Cali's culinary belt, The Smokin' Joint.Started by a former music industry guy who went to chef school to inexplicably "spend more time with his family", the Smokin' Joint's dedicated to a new kind of 'queing the owner calls "California Barbeque" -- meaning meats don't follow just a single BBQ tradition, and instead are first brined, then rubbed, then "smoked the hell out of", leaving you to wonder how a rack of ribs got a dispensary card when you couldn't. The decor's devoted to the chef's music biz roots, with massive gothic chairs and tables (all imported from India) surrounded by photos of rockers (Robert Plant, Muddy Waters, etc.), vintage guitars, and a 9-flatscreen grid making up a massive jumbotron showing concert videos dating all the way back to the '20s; grub includes a mustard-and-herb marinated fried catfish, a smoked filet mignon, and baby-back ribs that forego the typical saltwater brine for fresh-pressed apple juice -- so go ahead and take down a full rack, 'cause, hey, it's fruit! Sides come two-to-a-plate and (like all sauces) are fresh-made in-house, with options including sweet corn on the cob w/ chili-lime butter, crispy Maui onion rings, from-scratch baked beans, applewood smoked bacon, and nine different peppers, though none of them got along with Salt and Spinderella.For now, drinks include fresh frozen Slurpee-style lemonade and semi-sweet iced tea, but alcohol's hopefully coming soon -- at least that's what they've heard (it) through the grapevine.