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“Best BBQ in San Diego!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Brazen BBQ Smokehouse & Bar

Brazen BBQ Smokehouse & Bar
441 Washington Street at 5th, San Diego, CA
619-816-1990
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Ranked #518 of 4,370 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Barbecue
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Takeout
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Takeout
Manhattan Beach, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best BBQ in San Diego!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

I compete in KCBS BBQ competitions throughout California. Brazen BBQ has won many awards at these competitions and they have carried their award winning BBQ into a great restaurant. Best BBQ you will find in SD with great atmosphere!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank TimZins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 reviews from our community

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Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
320 reviews
260 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Brazen BBQ smoking up the best Texas-style BBQ in San Diego, CA”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Crawfish Corn Fritters are housemade corn fritters stuffed with crawfish and drizzled with a spiced maple glaze. These were down-home Southern-style fritters that are crispy on the outside with a deep dark brown color yet fluffy on the inside with tender, succulent crawfish. The corn kernels were crisp and juicily burst with each bite. Thumbs up, way up!

Brazen's Smoked Wings are slowly smoked to tender perfection. Choose from dry rubbed, buffalo, B.R.A.G. (which is one of their signature BBQ sauces), or sweet Creole mustard. Wow! This blows any wing out of the water. The smoky flavor goes down to the bone and the rub flavor was perfect. No sauce needed with these babies. They were juicy, smoky and fall-off-the-bone tender. I can't believe that these are not fried! Thumbs up, way up!

Onions Rings are thick sweet onions dipped in homemade batter, cooked to a golden brown, and served with sweet Creole mustard sauce. We have been on a search for the perfect onion ring since Andrew's in Anaheim closed up shop. I think we've found it. The batter was puffy like tempura but flavorful, evident by the spice flecks in the batter. The outside was crispy and fluffy on the inside. Thumbs up, way up!

Bolt's Platter for Two is your choice of three meats and three regular sides. We had the Brisket, Pulled Pork, and Baby Back Ribs. The brisket was fantastic with a great smoke ring (burnt ends are always the best), tender, and full of flavor. Thumbs up, way up! The pulled pork tasted exactly like kalua pig (Hawaiian roasted pig), juicy and contained the essence and flavor of pork. Thumbs up, way up! The baby back ribs were dry rubbed. Their rub was not overbearing and accentuated the meat. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender. Thumbs up, way up! The sauce is served on the side so you can drown it if you like or just eat it au natural. I urge you to taste the meat first without the sauce.

The sides we tried were Ancho Spiced Baked Beans, Smoked Kernel Corn Medley, Crusty Macaroni & Cheese, Corn Bread, and Collard Greens. The Ancho Baked Beans were sweet like baked beans but much more flavorful from the ancho pepper and spices. Thumbs up, way up! The Smoked Kernel Corn Medley had a great smoky flavor with sweet corn kernels. The vegetables were vibrant and added a refreshing flavor to the corn. Thumbs up, way up! Mac & Cheese seems to be the trend now and you see it on most restaurant menus now days, but Brazen's version is really good. The cheese sauce is made in-house and encrusted with melted cheese on top like a French onion soup. The macaroni was perfectly cooked and slathered in their cheese sauce. Prepare to be tempted! Thumbs up, way up! The corn bread was moist and almost cake like. It had a nice sweetness to it and could be a dessert. Thumbs up, way up! The Collard Greens are a Southern favorite, just like mama used to make but without the vinegar taste. You can taste the green flavor with garlic to boast. Thumbs up, way up!

On Friday and Saturday nights, they smoke up Beef Ribs. They were super-meaty, juicy, and had a great smoky flavor. The bone gave the ribs even more flavor. The meat was tender and just fell off the bone. Thumbs up, way up!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank OCFoodDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, NM
Level Contributor
71 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Cool Place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

Very good food. I had the pulled pork sandwich. Very flavorful with some interesting touches that made it Brazen's own. The sides were tasty and plentiful. We sat outside with our dogs in tow, which was very nice. One nice little surprise? A hand-wash station in the center of the restaurant. I'd go back!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank abqactor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
63 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“OMG - Outstanding Food & Drinks”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

I ordered the Brisket and Pork Spare Rib combo platter; while waiting I had a cucumber martini; the martini was delicious and refreshing, the brisket was so tender and the taste was outstanding; I would say it was the best brisket I have ever had, the pork spare ribs were nicely smoked and tender. I am ready to return San Diego just to eat at Brazen again.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank tommym2u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
172 reviews
105 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“More a bar than a restaurant”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

This seems to be a bar which just happens to sell fast food - the decor did nothing to add to it's appeal for us. The food & service were both fine but we felt like we were eating in a railway station concourse & the bar seemed to be the main attraction. We ate here at the start of our 3 week stay in San Diego & did not bother to go again, although it was the closest restaurant to our hotel.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank George A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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