You never thought grilling could look like this.
Things are heating up south of Market Street with the much-anticipated arrival of International Smoke from celebrity chef Michael Mina and Bay Area girl boss, Ayesha Curry. Curry has slowly been building a culinary empire hosting two TV cooking shows, authoring her own cookbook, launching a meal kit company, and now finally creating her own restaurant (not to mention finding time to be the wife of Steph Curry and mom to two adorable children—what can’t she do?).
For those unfamiliar with the journey of International Smoke, it began as one of the rotating pop-up concepts for Michael Mina’s restaurant, The MINA Test Kitchen, which regularly partners with chefs to showcase different menus. Recognizing they had something special on their hands, Curry and Mina collaborated to launch a full-scale restaurant, flipping the now-defunct RN74 into a trendy, hip spot embellished with copper columns, moody lighting, and graffiti in various languages etched into the wall. Naturally, the food here really steals the show—a collection of cuisine from around the world with a range of spice, flavor, and, of course, smokiness.
International Smoke Menu
The shellfish options at International Smoke are drool-worthy. Expect options like oysters, shrimp, lobster tail and King crab, all charcoaled grilled — and the dishes Mina personally whips up for any backyard party he is hosting.
Duck wings are covered in Ayesha’s jerk spice and cooked for several hours before being seasoned with a delectable green sauce.
The team likes to keep dinner an interactive affair with many of the dishes prepared tableside, like these cubes of wagyu beef that are cooked in a hot skillet then placed into lettuce wraps.
Bring on the fire! Do not miss the smoked pork ribs from the “Pork” section of the menu, offered in three varieties representing different countries: American BBQ, Cuban “Mojo” and Korean Gochujang.
The International Smoke mains section offers dishes you’d be looking for like a prime burger and ribeye steak. Also keep an eye out for Sinaloa chicken, smoked duck leg, pastrami and Vietnamese pork chops (above).
The menu is truly a global affair, representing all different types of meat and cooking techniques. The Punjabi-spiced fish fry brings an Indian element to the menu, heavenly seasoned for the right amount of kick and served with naan and cucumber raïta.
Dessert rounds out the finale of this grand dining performance. Chocolate lovers will quickly get on board with thick, rich Mexican chocolate flan.
If you only get one dessert at International Smoke though, definitely make it the Thai coconut pudding. This fruity treat is deceptively juicy, a dessert more reminiscent of over-the-top, decadent shaved Hawaiian ice than a pudding with layers of passionfruit tapioca, lemongrass jelly, and mango ice.
The design firm Bishop Pass helped style the warm, upscale environment that elevates the 80 person dining room, creating an inviting atmosphere to cozy up with your dinner companions.
The large bar invites those passing by to pop in for a quick cocktail with space for 20 guests to lounge in relaxed, green leather bar stools surrounded by a few plants, bringing a touch of nature to our downtown urban jungle.