Come Play At Backyard Kitchen & Tap | Pacific Beach's New Grub-And-Brew Hotspot

April 13, 2015

The latest in a series of upscale, gastro-taverns to open in Pacific Beach, Backyard Kitchen & Tap has taken over the prime location at 832 Garnet Avenue that had been left dormant by Moondoggies for all of 2014. Eric Leitstein and his OMG Restaurant Group (Union Kitchen, PB Alehouse) completely overhauled the space, pimping out the giant al fresco patio, back bar and exterior, and ramped up the menu to offer elevated yet laid-back items with PB flare.

Backyard Kitchen & Tap revamped the location previously occupied by Moondoggies, renovating it into a modern yet rustic grub-and-brew hotspot. Garage doors open to the street inviting all to enjoy its spacious interior spaces, flanked with artfully-crafted reclaimed wood. Outdoor areas are celebrated with three cabanas, live walls, fire pits and an indoor/outdoor bar, setting the stage for memorable afternoons or entertaining nights on the patio enlivened by frequent late night DJ’s and live music appearances.

Executive Chef Bill Sauer presents delicious coastal fare that reflects the beauty surrounding Pacific Beach. Savor homemade specialties any time of day with three large menus aimed to satisfy hungry appetites for brunch, lunch and dinner. Start your day off right with an order of eggs Benedict, biscuits and gravy, pulled pork hash, or visit Backyard for lunch and enjoy gourmet flatbreads, Baja shrimp ceviche, pulled pork sandwich, or grilled salmon salad on the patio surrounded by lush greens. With an extensive list of craft cocktails and local beers to choose from, Backyard Kitchen & Tap offers an elevated culinary experience in Pacific Beach.

Baja shrimp ceviche
“I want our guests to get a feel for the unique sense of community Pacific Beach locals and visitors share, and bring them together for a fun, relaxing and tasty experience,” explained CEO of OMG Hospitality Group Eric Leitstein.

We recently visited Backyard for a leisurely dinner, sampling some of the restaurant's current offerings from a supper menu they deem 'still under construction.' We started with two ice-cold pints from Backyard's stellar craft beer list - an Alpine Duet IPA ($7-14oz and $9-20oz) and a Societe The Madam Belgium Strong Ale ($7-10oz).

After perusing the eclectic menu, we decided on the half rack of pork ribs ($12) to start - a pile of sesame-hoison glazed baby back ribs sided by a most refreshing wine-cucumber salad. The taste was on point, but the texture left us yearning for those 'fall-off-the-bone-type' ribs.
We next decided to cleanse the palate with an Ale House California Golden salad ($10). Being that Ale House had to close after a tragic kitchen fire caused extensive damage, requiring a complete restaurant renovation, Backyard picked up some of the restaurant's staff, as well as some of their favorite menu items. Combining Arcadian mixed greens, honey roasted almonds, white wine macerated apricots, golden raisins, feta and basil vinaigrette made for an exceptional dish that could certainly moonlight as an entree.
Of the entrees, our first choice was the seafood boil ($25) - a monstrous bowl of mussels, fish, shrimp, potatoes, Andouille sausage, and corn in a spicy white wine and shrimp broth served with grilled bread. Although some of the shellfish were a bit meager, this dish was a definite value...and tasty too.
Although it may not be the prettiest, the barbecue jerk chicken ($19) is the dish that really stood out. Mary's all natural boneless breast and thighs receive a dry, jerk spice marinade before being grilled and sided with herb-roasted potatoes, charred scallions and a warm arugula salad. Although we thought the arugula was unnecessary, we loved this dish and are eager to return for seconds.
During your visit, don’t forget to save room for dessert! Try Backyard's tasty s’mores with traditional honey graham cracker, chocolate ganache, toasted marshmallow, and smoked sea salt caramel. The salty and sweet dessert is sure to hit the spot.

Come play at Backyard Kitchen & Tap, located at 832 Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach. For more information, visit