Friday, July 25, 2014

Food Porn Friday- Bo Beau Kitchen and Roof Tap

I used to work in the heart of downtown Long Beach so going back to try the newest hotspots is always such a treat for me.  It brings back fond memories of cruising down Pine during lunchtime picking up a quickie bite at George’s Greek Cuisine and stopping by my fave fashion boutique for weekend clubbing gear.  But times they are a-changin’ with notable eateries replacing former haunts namely Bo-Beau Kitchen and Roof Tap having opened this May where Smooth’s sports bar used to be.  

Bo-Beau Kitchen’s Art-Nouveau meets bohemian-industrial décor is right up my alley, complete with a succulent-filled entry façade, reclaimed wood paneling, exposed timber beams, and oil-rubbed bronze steel framing.  It’s like stepping into Paris during the Belle Epoque era, glamorous, free-spirited, and très, très chic.  

Upon entering the lower level you’re met with a row of tufted crimson banquettes on one side, open dining in the middle, an elongated bar and expedition kitchen combo on the opposite end and in the midst of this romantic reverie, a fabulous group dining table situated right in front of a cozy little fireplace.  Ahhhhh can’t ya just feel the love?  Easily one of the most dazzling interiors I’ve experienced lately and a gorgeous one to boot!

While I’m raving about the décor, I’m sure you’re wondering: what’s the food like?  Sadly, the cuisine was a bit sub-par for our group.  Think coastal SoCal meets French Riviera with a little German twist.  

Notable menu items included crispy brussel sprouts, braised short rib flat breads, and their claim-to-fame giant Bavarian Jumbo Pretzel.  They missed the mark on pretty much everything else since it was wayyyyy over-salted and seriously inedible!  

But seeing as how we were only offered the Rooftap menu (when dining on the roof top only); I’m definitely intrigued to see what else they’re cookin’ up for dinner.  Did I also mention that they boast 50 different craft beers on tap?  Yup, raising the rooftop in the LBC y’all!  They don’t mess around with their beers so perhaps I’m judging them a little harshly for pub grub?  You be the judge!


 Bo Beau Kitchen and Roof Tap
144 Pine Ave.
Long Beach, CA 
(562) 983-0056

*Insider’s tip:  They don’t accept regular dining reservations as the lower and upper levels are first come-first served.  If you’re stopping by for happy hour make sure to head straight up to the rooftop where the scene is livelier and you also get a pretty sweet view of Pine street traffic down below.  But for those looking for a more intimate dining experience, try snagging a seat at one of their cozy banquettes (you can call an hour ahead to be put on a "wait list" and spend the night staring into your hunny’s eyes by candlelight.  Baby-making magic is in the air!*

Happy Friday y’all and as always…Bon Appétit mes amis!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Puerto Vallarta Photo Diary Part II

On our last day there, le bf and I took a mini-trip over to the islands of Las Marietas, home to Puerto Vallarta’s marine wildlife reserve and now a national park catering to locals and tourists through chartered boats.  We booked the excursion right through our hotel (Hard Rock’s the shit y’all, seriously look into booking HERE if you’re planning your next Mexican getaway) and the round-trip cost for 2 came out to $160 total for a 7-hour jaunt.  We began our voyage at Vallarta Adventures early in the morning and after an hour-long ride on a mid-sized catamaran, we arrived at our destination of turquoise waters and a group of tiny islands with hidden beaches and caves to explore for the day.

After snorkeling the calm waters, traversing the small tunnel, you arrive at this hidden beach, accessible only through the short swim from the boat to the shore.  It’s an easy swim with various electric blue and yellow-striped fish right underneath your toes.  I opted to half-swim/ half-snorkel to really take in the scenery. 

A quick frolic around the blue lagoon and now we’re ready for adventures in caveland!

The rocks are slippery from the algae so every step was calculated and measured for safety!  Love that we found little critters lurking around every nook and cranny.  A testament to how preserved this ecosystem truly is.

I wonder what mystical treasures await in the grotto

 Soft waves break at the rock formations causing a slight dewy mist to penetrate the air…

Such a magnificent sight, as I pour through the images I’m transported right back…

I grew up by the water so I often find myself mesmerized by its fluid and unpredictable nature.  I love the sound of a babbling brook, the scent of fresh rain, or in this case the taste of salty sea air in its purest and most natural form.

There’s nothing like being at one with nature y’all.  Seriously.  Nothing.

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