A highly-anticipated new restaurant in Del Mar’s One Paseo complex is now open for business: International Smoke, the collaboration between restaurateur Ayesha Curry and Michelin award-winning chef Michael Mina.
The restaurant – located at 3387 Del Mar Heights Rd. – is the brand’s fourth installment in the U.S., and its first in San Diego County.
International Smoke is known for its grilled and smoked meats, including wood-fired steaks and ribs. Seafood makes a splash on the menu, too.
The San Diego location is led by chef Ryan Orlando, who will blend San Diego-inspired flavors into the globally-inspired menu, the company said Wednesday. Diverse spices, traditional live-fire cooking techniques and a so-called "vegetable-forward vision" with fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers also drive the dishes.
According to International Smoke, Orlando is a native San Diegan who has worked at Campfire in Carlsbad, Pamplemousse, and Chart House.
Last month, the San Diego Business Journal reported that Curry – a chef and cookbook author in her own right – was attracted, in part, to San Diego as her next market for International Smoke because of the city’s accessibility to good, local produce and meat. Mina told SDBJ that San Diego’s foodie-forward scene also made it an appealing city in which to expand their brand.
In a press release Wednesday, Mina added that Orlando’s experience with local ingredients, produce and flavors, "brings a creative edge to the menu that will lead San Diego’s flourishing food scene."
Other menu highlights – released for the first time Wednesday – include the Smoked Korean Bone-In Short Rib, Cedar-Smoked Salmon, Whole-Roasted Cauliflower and the brand’s signature Smoked St. Louis-Style Ribs.
Behind the bar, patrons will find creative cocktails and – being in San Diego – a curated tap list of top-notch craft beer. For instance, there’s the "Punch Drunk" made with You & Yours vodka, peach, lime and raspberries, and the "Blowing Smoke," made with Neo Facundo rum, pineapple, Apricot Luxardo and CBD. There’s also a head-turner called the "Lilikoi Mai Tai," a specialty cocktail served in a SPAM can that’s made with Havana Club rum, Goslings, lilikoi, pineapple and lime. Check out the cocktail menu here.
As of Wednesday, the One Paseo location is open daily for dinner. Weekend brunch service will begin there on July 27; weekend lunch service starts on July 29.
The weekend brunch menu will feature dishes like Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Five-Spiced Fried Chicken & Waffles, and the Porcini Mushroom Omelette, to name a few standouts. The San Diego eatery will also offer a kid-friendly “Lil’ Smokey’s” brunch, lunch and dinner menus.
Dogs are welcome to enjoy the "Fido’s Feast" menu, which includes offerings like the "Doggy Moco Loco" with ground beef and steamed rice.
International Smoke debuted as a pop-up in 2016 in a MINA Test Kitchen and, in three years, has grown to include four restaurants. The other three International Smoke locations can be found in San Francisco, Houston, and Aventura, Florida.
In addition to her career in the restaurant, food and lifestyle industries, Curry is the host and executive producer of the TV show, "Family Food Fight." She’s also the co-founder of the Stephen & Ayesha Curry Family Foundation, a nonprofit that she runs with her husband, NBA All-Star and Golden State Warriors player Steph Curry.