In the middle of the Mission, under vaulted churchlike wood rafters, is a new cathedral for those who worship barbecue. This temple of smoked meat, Hi Lo, comes from restaurateur Scott Youkilis (who runs the neighboring Hog & Rocks) and executive chef Ryan Ostler, formerly of Boulevard and Range.
This isn’t your regular ol’ barbecue joint: Here, traditional Texas sauces and smoking techniques meet fresh NorCal ingredients and gourmet inventiveness. Ostler uses a bright-red, 1,500-pound wood-fired smoker straight from Mesquite, Texas, to ensure an authentic taste.
A few of our favorite dishes: The pork belly is nearly silky after being braised in sake. And the South collides with Vietnam and Thailand in the Pho ’Cue ($10)--say it aloud for a laugh--a bowl of beef broth laden with smoked brisket, Chiang Mai sausage, daikon radishes, chiles, Thai basil, cilantro and sprouts.
Cocktails from drink masters Scott Beattie and Michael Lazar partner well with the smoke and spice. We highly recommend the Jerk Mary, a twist on the Bloody Mary that gets a serious kick from the house mix of habanero, white onion, allspice, garlic, sage, cinnamon, soy and apple cider vinegar.
Blissfully barbecued out, head home with a banana whoopie pie ($3) or a bag of salty butterscotch cookies.
3416 19th St.; 415-874-9211 or hilobbqsf.com