Fall’s pretty much here now, but it’s never too late to barbecue. Tomorrow, the highly anticipated restaurant Lady Jaye officially opens in West Seattle at 4523 California Ave SW — and its giant, 2,000-pound, applewood-fueled smoker the owners refer to as “Cletus” is ready to rock. Among the items on the menu to start are a smoked turkey drum with ancho barbecue sauce and lime crema, pork belly “Pork-strami” sandwiches on rye, smoked bologna, and garlic prawns.
That’s supplemented with some intriguing starters such as pimento cheese puffs, fried pork cheeks, chicken wings coated in bourbon teriyaki, and a smoked mushroom dip. Because nothing escapes the clutches of Cletus, apparently.
The new project is a collaboration among Sara Rosales, Tyler Palagi, Evan Carter, and Charlie Garrison, veterans of the popular Pike Place Market bar, Radiator Whiskey, and White Swan Public House (on Eater Seattle’s list of best places to slurp oysters). With that background, it’s no surprise to see oyster po’ boys make an appearance, as well as an extensive cocktail list that currently features a Uruapan rum concoction called the Big Peasy with ancho verde, a banana-infused cognac offering, and … a smoked old fashioned (in case that theme wasn’t clear). There will also be plenty of local beer, wine, and a selection of hard seltzers.
Lady Jaye takes over the space vacated by Pecado Bueno this past summer, with seating for 70 inside a revamped dining room that’s going for a cozy feel (chopped wood everywhere). There’s also plenty of room in the back patio, where patrons can warm themselves near a fire pit and admire a giant mural of Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings’s faces on Mount Rushmore. A little taste of country out west.