Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors, 2 time NBA MVP) and Ayesha Curry (celebrity cook and author) bring joy to fanatic basketball and food fans across the Bay Area in her debut restaurant opening, International Smoke. Ayesha created a showstopper restaurant that draws flavors from her southern roots and pays homage to her nostalgic taste for BBQ. In this endeavor, Michael Mina has partnered with Ayesha to realize her vision of pairing smoked and grilled meats with bold flavors and spices from across the globe.
Tucked into the one of the intimate booths in the 80 person dining room, we glanced around the room in hopes of seeing one of the Warriors, as they are known to frequent the restaurant. With no celebrity distractions in sight, we decided to get comfortable and commence our meal.
Though not one to drink much, one cocktail captured my eye, or rather one ingredient that caught my eye: CBD. CBD consumption in restaurants enters a bit of a gray area, and I had a difficult time actually finding a straight answer right away on its legality. In doing some research , it appears that in San Francisco you are not allowed to put cannabis-based CBD oils into alcoholic drinks because there might be traces of THC. However, CBD derived from hemp is free of THC and supposedly okay to drink. Seeing as this is such a high profile restaurant, I think it would be safe to assume this drink had the hemp version. Mixed into a delightfully tangy pisco drink (a Peruvian national spirit) with lime and egg whites, this was actually one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had!
The best way to experience of myriad of flavors at International Smoke is to order family style. We shared a bit of everything from ribs, to cod, to BBQ sweet potatoes, to coconut gelato. But perhaps the most memorable dish was the smoked burrata, which arrived at the table encapsulated by an oblong glass vessel. When lifted, the smoke literally puffed out and perfumed the air for a full sensory experience.
Full of theatrics and bustling with excitement, this is a fun spot to head with a group of friends if you are in San Francisco’s financial district.