Not to be confused with Joey's BBQ in Pomona, Chino, and Upland, Joey's Smokin' BBQ recently opened up in Tustin, after having opened previous locations in Manhattan Beach, Carlsbad, and Carmel Valley, and is partly owned by LA Lakers basketball player Luke Walton.
I decided to finally check this place out at the Tustin location last week, after reading mixed and average reviews. It's a very casual environment, where you order and pay at the counter, and then the food is brought to you when it's ready. The place was relatively empty when I went at around 1PM, with 2 or 3 other tables occupied. In comparison, the recently opened Lucille's Smokehouse nearby at the District in Tustin was a mad zoo, with a line out the door.
I ordered what's called their "Kobe Long Horn Beef Ribs", which was a 3-beef-rib platter, served with sides of cole slaw and BBQ beans. The ribs had a distinctive dark glaze to them, but were not smother in BBQ sauce as lots of other places do. At first, I wasn't sure if the plastic fork and knife would be sufficient to cut through the ribs, but the meat was extremely tender and cut right off the bone easily. These ribs were amazingly good and rank pretty high for me. Cole slaw and BBQ beans were pretty good, but I wasn't sure if I could substitute some of the sides, like for their sweet potato fries or mac 'n cheese. This combo went for $14, which is about average for BBQ in OC, maybe slightly cheaper than other places that charge $15-18 for a comparable meal.
This positive experience makes me eager to come back and try some of the pork ribs or their sandwiches next time. For beef rib lovers, this ranks among the best that I've found in OC so far. Tulsa Rib is still my top beef rib place in OC, with Ribs on the Run being 2nd, but Joey's Smokin' is 2a, rather than 3rd place. I still favor Joey's BBQ in Pomona/Chino as my favorite beef rib places, but I might visit Joey's Smokin' just because it's a lot closer to home and work.
Their website doesn't seem to be up, but here is the weblink listed on their menu, in case it starts working again:
Joey's Smokin' BBQ
2933 El Camino Real
3564 N Sepulveda Blvd
6955 El Camino Real
4645 Carmel Mountain Rd
There are also new locations coming in Carmel Mountain Plaza and Chino Hills soon, according to the menu that I picked up.