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Swagyu Debuts Japanese Barbecue in Pacific Beach As It Plots Even More Expansion

The growing restaurant group has also brought James Montejano onto its culinary team

Skewers of meat cooking on a grill.

Starting Friday, July 8, the front patio at Swagyu’s flagship restaurant and butcher shop in Pacific Beach will have a chef manning two binchotan-fueled grills, cooking up the latest component of owner Steve Brown’s ever-growing wagyu beef brand. Yakiniku, or Japanese barbecue, is a new addition to its updated steakhouse-styled menu that includes Brown’s signature smashburgers as well as dishes based on the restaurant’s whole animal allocation program with Ohio’s Sakura Farms, ranging from wagyu beef tongue pastrami and steak frites to an 18-ounce ribeye. The chef has also added a six-course option of his wagyu tasting menu.

With a Swagyu Burger location opening in Poway at the end of the month, its Imperial Beach footprint spanning to include a full-service restaurant by August, and his upcoming Oceanside steakhouse and cocktail bar expected by early 2023, Brown has brought on James Montejano (La Valencia, Huntress) as the group’s corporate chef to help oversee culinary operations.

Two men stand next to each other in a restaurant.
Chefs Steve Brown and James Montejano.

Swagyu is headed next to Maui, where it’s building a burger spot and butcher shop in Lahaina, with plans for more locations in the Hawaiian Islands. Closer to home, Brown tells Eater that he has an outpost in the works for Mira Mesa that will offer yakiniku as well as burgers and a butchery; he also intends to bring the brand to the northern reaches of East County.

Slices of beef jerky and a tin of caviar.
Swagyu’s house jerky and caviar.
Slices of wagyu beef steak on a plate.

Swagyu PB new menu

Swagyu PB

966 Felspar Street, San Diego, CA 92109