Smoke City Market is pleasantly surprising, says liu. “When you walk in, you are immediately struck by that smoky BBQ aroma; it is not obnoxious but says that they are serious about smoking their meat.” There is a sign on the wall that orders you to try the ribs without sauce first—surely a sign of barbecue purity.

Smoke City is great at brisket and baby back ribs. Brisket is moist and does not need help from the sauce, says liu. What stood out for selfportrait93 was the baby back ribs, with meat falling off the bone.

If you do give the sauces a whirl, you’ll find them unique: “I have tasted no other sauces quite like these; the BBQ sauce is loaded with cumin and the vinegar sauce has a nice tang,” says liu.

Smoke City Market [San Fernando Valley – East]
5242 Van Nuys Boulevard, 
Sherman Oaks


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