Inspired by my time spent on the West Coast,  I want to share my favorite late summer patio tribute to all things California: Tri-tip steak and Margaritas.

This California classic, the signature flavor of al fresco dining in the West Coast sunshine, is only improved upon served with your favorite tomato salsa (obviously featuring Vidalia onions and fresh Georgia tomatoes) and accompanied by the perfect margarita. It’s bliss. With Californians moving to Atlanta in droves, it’s high time to marry the best of California cuisine and al fresco style dining with the Southern tastes of Georgia by introducing this historical Santa Maria Valley recipe to the citizens of Y’allywood. Embrace your inner Californian with this easy-to-make tri-tip recipe! Try giving it a proper Southern welcome by serving it with potato salad and coleslaw or on a sandwich, or stick to the classic California style. Either way, you’ll crave our signature margarita to go with it!

How to Cook the Perfect California Tri-tip

How to Cook the Perfect Central Coast California Tri-tip Steak


  • 2 Tbsp of kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Cooking Method:

  1. Mix the all of the dry ingredients together to create the meat dry rub.
  2. Evenly coat the tri-tip with olive oil and set sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Using all of the rub, generously coat all sides of the tri-tip, set aside for 30 minutes.
  4. Setup your smoker for cooking at around 220°F using indirect heat.
  5. Once the smoker is ready, place the meat directly on the grate and let smoke for 2 hours.
  6. Remove from the smoker once finished and set aside allowing the tri-tip to rest for 20 minutes before slicing against the grain.
  7. Serve with your favorite salsa!

How to Make the Perfect Margarita

The Perfect Margarita Recipe


  • 1 1/2 ounces 1800 tequila silver
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedge for garnish
  • Salt or sugar to rim the glass depending on your taste


  • If desired, salt the rim of a chilled margarita glass.
  • Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake well.
  • Strain into the prepared glass with or without fresh ice.
  • Garnish with the lime wedge.