June 2019 – by Chris Melingonis
All right, listen up. La Mesa. Newsflash, San Diego has a ton of barbecue joints, but none of them have what this place has. You see my postings on La Mesa happenings in the Facebook group. You’ve seen that they serve some of the greatest soup that I’ve had in San Diego County. You’ve got to check out West Coast, Smoked and Tap-House.
All right everybody. I’m here with Chelsea Chase and she is the manager here at West Coast Smoke And Tap House. One of my favorite places. I consider myself a regular.
You are, you’re regular.
I come often. I come for lunch and what do I get whenever I come?
The soup, the soup. So let’s start off with, we’ll do a little history lesson in a minute, but let’s start off with my favorite things, the two favorite things. The soup and the tap list.
So how did all of a sudden the soup come about in a barbecue joint?
Well, we used to have chili on our everyday menu and when we changed things up, we decided to showcase some of our chef’s talent and one of which is the soup. He makes it all from scratch and today soup is roasted tomato. And yesterday I saw him like kind of like peeling [crosstalk 00:01:22] and he was going to smoke the tomatoes and then put them in the soup. So yeah.
Right after we’re done with this. Okay. It’s lunch time, pretty much anyway. So what is, in your opinion, the most? The most favoritist soup?
Okay. We get a lot of requests for the Green Pestole. Oh, very popular. And it does start-
with those sprinkled tortillas.
Yeah, the tortilla chips, Cilantro, sour cream. And that’s actually his family recipe. So yeah. So that one is, it’s very top secret and I think another one would be the the Beer Chili, just because it’s so good. It’s so popular and it goes well with some barbecue items, but it goes great on its own standalone. And then one of the surprise soups, I think that’s been super popular is the Chicken Curry And Veggies. Just because you wouldn’t think that a soup with a lot of curry in it would be that good. But he does just enough to make it amazing.
I have myself, I’m not a curry fan.
I’m not either.
First Time I had it, you know, my wife made me try it and it was really great. Yeah, I loved it. I loved the rice in it too. It gives it a really good texture and kind of a little bit heavier.
I want to go into the history. How did it start? Now I know, Larry, who is not with us anymore, started this place and he got a really good craft beer account through-
Well, through Tom Nichols. So he actually started out as a regular at O’Brien and a Lutheran pastor and he would hit up Tom and they became friends through all of their beer trips, they did beer trips to Belgium.
Yeah. Total beer geeks, beer nerds all the way. And so with that they developed a friendship and then Larry’s dream was to open his own place. And so Tom silently partnered with him to make that dream a reality. And that’s West Coast. So that’s kind of how it all started.
They opened the place seven years ago, February and it was a barbecue place before and so he just added And Brew to the end of it. So West Coast Barbecue And Brew. And he put in the tap tower, 20 taps of beer. Larry loved Belgian beer. So we started off having a lot of Belgian beers. Like specialty, unique kinds of beers that you wouldn’t get in most places you would go.
So that’s kind of how it started. And then he built these amazing relationships with like Sierra Nevada and Society, Hess Brewing, just like all kind of in the beginning and that kind of-
Lot of local.
Yeah, a lot of local.
Yeah. Drink local.
Let’s do an other cheers.
After Larry’s passing, Tom took over and there was a revamping of the menu at some point. Tell me a little bit about-
Sp one of the really smart things that Tom did after Larry passed was he took his headshot from O’Brien’s, which was Humberto and he actually pulled him down here and made him a partial owner.
So with that happening, you see that, you know that drive to make a better life for his family, that drive, that passion of what he loves to do and he’s put it all into this new menu, which includes the daily soups and switching it up. And it includes doing prime rib dinners on Fridays and steak nights on Saturday and some crazy taco specials on Tuesday. And I mean it just kind of snowballs from there. But you can really, I think you can taste the difference when you have a stake in the actual ownership of the company not like making the food .
Is there a way to follow you guys?
We are on Untapped, Instagram and Facebook and then we just redid our website. So all of which, well, the Instagram and Facebook will have our daily specials, which I post every day actually. So you can find a pun or two in there. And then that’s the best way to find out what would be the drink for the day. If we tapped a crazy new beer, we’ll put it on there. And then we also update Untapped as well, just so you can find the current list without even walking through the door.
And where are you guys located? We’re in La Mesa.
Yeah, we’re on Lake Murray Boulevard. We’re right next to the rock. Lake Murray and Dallas is the best cross street. They just put a new Starbucks in so look for that.
Well, Chelsea, thank you so much. I appreciate it and I really wish you a lot of luck. You’ll see me pretty much four times a week like you normally do.
Thank you for watching another episode of Listen Up La Mesa, where we support and feature local businesses here in La Mesa and her surrounding communities. If you’d like to feature your business on this show, please contact me directly. Thank you.