Best New BBQ in the West
B-Side BBQ; Oakland, CA
Bobby Flay protégé Tanya Holland brought quality food to gritty West Oakland when she opened Brown Sugar Kitchen in 2008. The new B-Side BBQ furthers her mission with spot-on barbecue. Still, the French-trained chef can’t resist adding upscale touches, like the thick-cut pain de mie for her pulled-pork sandwich. 3303 San Pablo Ave.; bsidebbq.com.
Copita; Sausalito, CA
Television personality Joanne Weir’s Mexican menu centers around chicken cooked on a spit over an open fire, plus the agave-nectar margaritas she perfected while writing a book about tequila. 739 Bridgeway; copitarestaurant.com.
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French Blue; St. Helena, CA
Napa starchitect Howard Backen partnered with entrepreneur Leslie Rudd on this cozy restaurant, where customers gather around fireplaces. Chef Philip Wang mans a giant wood-fired grill, cooking Cal-Med dishes like chorizo and mushrooms over polenta. 1429 Main St.; frenchbluenapa.com.