Krazy Smokey Teriyaki Is Crazy!

One of the unlikeliest barbecue meccas in OC is within a small space at 11513 Knott Avenue in Cypress, in a shopping plaza that has seen better days. For nearly 20 years, it has hosted one pit master or other who appreciated the philosophy of low and slow—first, the much-missed Jay Bee's BBQ, then Mike's BBQ, then a place called Hickory BBQ that didn't even last a year.

Krazy Smokey Teriyaki has now occupied the building about a month, and it's already packed. A big, sturdy grill stands outside, letting the world know about the bona fides of its meat. But this is 'cue for the new Cypress, a city with a huge Asian-American population and eaters from the nearby office parks and community college raised on multicultural fare. So instead of Southern hospitality, customers get the manic greetings of an izakaya, complete with a clucking rubber chicken. While Krazy Smokey does use wood to smoke all its meats—a mix of chips depending on how the owner feels, although he was complaining to a customer the other day about how hard it is to get cedar—the sauce here is teriyaki: slightly watery, but peppery. Appetizers are just egg rolls—delicious, sold in three. The complimentary side isn't hush puppies or mac and cheese, but a bowl of miso soup that'll actually make you stop and appreciate its creamy, scalding qualities. When was the last time you bothered to think about miso soup as something other than what needs to be guarded against splashing and staining your shirt?

Right now, Krazy Smokey only sells three meats—chicken, pork and tri-tip, each served with a side of cole slaw and over a bed of brown or white rice (another option: put your meat over yakisoba noodles, the finest expression of Japanese-American panache since George Takei). And while $9 for a plate seems excessive, it'll last you three meals minimum. The only real suggestion I have is to offer dental floss instead of just toothpicks—not all of us have immaculate chompers, you know? And what's up with that car bumper lying on the floor? KRAZY!

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