Our December restaurant pick: Bo Beau located in Ocean Beach, north of Point Loma.
Atmosphere: Bohemian French (with music like Weezer playing throughout. Hm.) - chalkboards everywhere, hand-stamped logos on the paper table-coverings, wooden beams-and-stuccoed cottage walls. The sink is communal & trough-like, located outside the bathrooms, in the foyer of the restaurant (which is weird, no?). The tables are close together; conversations are easily overheard (luckily they were all about food and we appreciated the input!).
What we drank: Jen got Le Bohemien made with St. Germain elderflower, rum, mint, and lime juice. Elisabeth tried Le Romantique which consisted of Belvedere black raspberry, pomegranate-rose petal nectar, champagne, and a rose petal.
Appetizers: We split the duck fat deviled eggs, Jen had the Caesar salad, and Elisabeth had one oyster on the half shell.
Entrees: Jen ordered the leek "fondue" mac n cheese with the works (pancetta and lobster) while Elisabeth had the burger royale with cheese and fries.
Dessert: We indulged in the menage a trois, which consisted of white chocolate bread pudding, bittersweet pot de creme, and chocolate ganache with peanut butter brittle.
Elisabeth's take: By now you know I love my cocktails on the sweeter side. My Romantique was not (you'd think otherwise, with words like 'nectar' & 'raspberry' in the description, but I was disappointed). But Jen's was - so we switched (thanks, friend!). The Bohemien was a delightful combination of flavors, and anything with St. Germain usually has my vote. The duck-fat eggs were decent, but were very chilled and and lacking a salty note to complement the kick. My oyster was delicious, but I really enjoyed the perfectly soft-boiled egg from Jen's salad plate (again, thanks for sharing!).
Burger time: I am always a sucker for a great buger. This one was a let-down: very salty. The salt overpowered the other seasonings and for someone who loves salt, I was hard-pressed to enjoy the meat. The fries on the other hand, were perfectly textured and seasoned and I mowed through them. I just wish the burger had been better.
When it came time for dessert, I was so excited to try the menage a trois but it fell flat: the white chocolate bread pudding was bland and the chocolate items (ganache & pot de creme) were very ordinary to me. I suppose I was expecting something as clever & off-beat is the name, but no such luck here.
Jen's take: I'd heard a lot of good things about this restaurant prior to our night out which can sometimes lead to a let down. In this case it definitely did. Overall the food was so-so, the atmosphere strange, and the service missing.
The drinks sounded delicious and I was looking forward to my Le Bohemien. It turned out to be overly sweet for my taste. Fortunately Elisabeth and I were able to trade and enjoyed each others choices. Our first app, the deviled eggs, is one we've enjoyed at a number of restaurants and I was looking forward to them. When they arrived we puzzled out why they weren't that great: they needed to be brought to room temperature and salted. I think if those two things had been done we would have enjoyed them immensely. My salad on the other hand was delicious. I don't like to make salad at home so I often order one at a restaurant. This one was satisfying if not a bit simple.
My meal was rich, creamy, and flavorful, my favorite combinations in a meal. I was a bit nervous when it arrived as the presentation was lackluster and there was a pile of white sauce on top of the dish but after digging in I was not disappointed. I'm not sure the works (pancetta and lobster) made much of a difference in flavor as I barely noticed them; I would probably withhold them since they weren't worth the extra money.
Prior to dinning at Bo Beau I had looked up their desserts and knew I had to convince Elisabeth to order the menage a trois. She readily agreed, especially as we had seen a table near us receive the dish when we arrived and it looked delicious. The pot de creme was good, nothing special but the rest of the dish was bland.
The verdict: A good place for a decent meal. Not the Cohn group's best dining effort, but a go-to for interesting atmosphere and French-inspired, albeit casual, menu.
Yelp.com reviewers average 4.5 stars for Bo Beau. We think a 3.5!
Elisabeth & Jen