Restaurant Review: Ocean Beach’s BO-beau Kitchen Bar

by on November 7, 2017 · 6 comments

in Ocean Beach

Restaurant Review

Kitchen Bar
4996 W. Point Loma Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92107

Sometimes people celebrating their birthday want to just forget about it; others want it to go on for a few extra days.  My friend Mary is one of the latter people, and, after celebrating her birthday Saturday night at another restaurant, she decided it would be fun to celebrate again at BO-beau’s in Ocean Beach.

It started out as a frustrating experience because when I called to make a reservation I was told that they didn’t take reservations but I could be placed on a “waiting list” and would be called as soon as our 6:30pm table was available.  (Their menu on-line encourages you to make a reservation.)  We called Uber for the 1 1/2 mile drive – after all, we reasoned, we wanted to have a drink and it couldn’t be too expensive to get there from our house.  (It was more expensive than I thought it would be – $7.32  without the tip!)

CWhen we arrived there was a party of 4 ahead of us, and they apparently had been waiting a short while, but were seated soon. When I told the hostess that we were on a wait list – as “Suzie Curry – go figure – we were given the choice of outside or inside, and we chose inside.  (When Mary and I had been there before neither of us remembered the noise volume as loud as it was last night.  It wasn’t bad, but we did have to speak a little louder than usual to be heard and thankfully the background music was soft and appropriate.)

We had decided that we would have a drink while looking over the extensive menu, and Orion, our server, took the order almost immediately after we were seated.  He returned with the drinks very quickly.

Mary wanted to have an appetizer, and out of the nine offered, with a range from $5-17.50, selected the assorted marinated olives.

Although the menu was printed on paper, there was also a “wall hanging” that was quite large, of the same menu.  It was interesting to see how they managed to list everything on the board that was on the menu, and for me, facing the board, it made it easy for me to make my selections.

Gluten free steak and fritis

I should say at this point that we had seen on-line that there was a gluten-free menu available.  Mary asked to see it, and it was almost identical to the menu I was looking at, but with modification to those items that she could not eat.  And, on the back of the gluten-free menu was a menu for vegetarians.

Mary wanted to try one of the gluten-free flatbreads, and there were five listed, ranging from $15.50-19.  We chose the Chorizo and Serrano flatbread, that had a marinara sauce, and was covered with 5 Italian cheese blend sauce and basil.  It was listed at $16.

There were two soups offered – their regular French Onion ($8.50) and the Soup Dujour ($9.)  There were also 4 salads on the menu, ranging from $11-13.  Mary selected the compressed watermelon and heirloom tomatoes, with feta and mint sprinkled with balsamic vinegar.  It was $13.

There were four varieties of moules (mussels) and all were $23.00  There were also 4 varieties of pasta’s and risotto’s, ranging from $14-21.

There is a desert menu that had 7 deserts listed, and they ranged in price from $9-11.  Additionally there are 3 variety coffee’s listed.

The main part of the menu, at least for us, was the Bistro Classics, and there were 9 offered, ranging from $16-27.  Well, sort of, because if you ordered the Streak Frites, you had your choice of a ribeye or hanger, OR filet Mignon, and that steak was $6 more.)  That is what Mary ordered – with the filet – and it came with haricot verts and pomme frites, and her choice of sauce – au poivre, herb butter or bleu cheese. However, because she realized that the pomme frites were coated with flour she could not have them, and from the gluten-free menu ordered fingerling potatoes instead.

klScaI ordered the seared diver scallops that was served with a creamy polenta and bilbao chorizo, with sweet corn and tomato mixed in it. It had a tangy citrus vinaigrette topping.  It was $27.

The assorted olive tray had about 25 olives sitting in an oil base. The first ones we had tasted fairly salty, and were not pleasing to the palate.  I wish they had been served with a small spoon – or fork – because we had to take them out of the tray with our fingers, which then became covered with oil.  I don’t think I would order them again.

Mary loved the flatbread.  I have to say that the topping was good; but the flatbread, to my taste, was “flat.”  Remember, it was from the gluten-free menu, and probably had more taste than most gluten-free products, but it was not to my liking. However, in all fairness, Mary thought it was very good, and would order a flatbread from that menu again.

The watermelon salad was very different.  There were chunks of watermelon as well as chunks of tomatoes in a balsamic dressing and was very tasty.  The menu said there was also feta cheese, but I did not detect that flavor.  I would order it again.

Mary asked for her steak to be more on the “well done” side than the rare side.  It was pink on the inside, and, although she did not send it back, ate it as it was.   She said it was very tender, very tasty, and when she heated up the leftovers for dinner that night would cook it the way she likes it.  The fingerling potatoes were small and succulent; she was not unhappy with her meal.

Watermelon salad

It is amazing to me the different flavors one can have from scallops. I had had scallops the night before at the other restaurant, so I was ready to make a comparison, but I couldn’t.  The three on the plate were large – same number as the other eatery – and the creamy polenta gave the scallops a totally different flavor than the night before.  They were tender; seasoned well, and I enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed the ones last night.

The wine list was very interesting also.  They had wine by the glass listed as “cheap”, “moderate”, “expensive”, etc.  Both Mary and I had wine, which was brought in a small carafe but poured into a 6 ounce juice glass. (At least it looked like a juice glass.)  We had no complaints about the wine.  There is an extensive wine list, and many “specialty drinks.”

Because Orion knew that it was Mary’s birthday, he brought her a complimentary Melange, but it was chocolate and she couldn’t eat it. (I enjoyed a few bites.)  We decided that we wanted to share a Crème Brulee, which was cooked just right.  The top almost crackled when we broke though the surface.

Over all, we were very pleased with our meal.  The food was good; Mary felt that it took a long time between items to be served, but I felt it was just about right.  I do not remember sitting with nothing to eat.

The total of our meal was $168.15. AND that included a $4.56 3% surcharge.  (I had heard that the Cohn group had dropped the surcharge.  That, obviously, is not the case.)  I think we are fortunate that she likes to celebrate her birthday and I do not like to celebrate mine, so we probably won’t be racking up these expenses for another year.  And just as an aside – our cost to return home from the restaurant, again on Uber, was $4.92, without a tip.  Go figure!

Editor: See Judi’s review of Bo-Beau 4 years ago.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Val November 7, 2017 at 11:22 am

Since the greedy Cohn family has put the surcharge in place I have not eaten there. Previously, we were regulars too, living a stones throw away. Even IF they took the surcharge away, the bad taste is left in my mouth. Like a badly cooked brussel sprout.


Muir Avenue Ale November 9, 2017 at 11:57 am

Surcharge? Does it have anything to do with the increase in minimum wage a while back? If so I’ll join you in staying away. I thought for sure anyone doing that had stopped by now.


judi November 9, 2017 at 2:19 pm

The surcharge definitely has do do with the increase in minimum wage. This is the statement on their menu: “A 3% surcharge will be added to all Guest checks to help cover increasing costs and in our support of the recent increases to minimum wage and benefits for our dedicated Team Members.”


Muir Avenue Ale November 9, 2017 at 9:55 pm

It’s really none of my business how a restaurant contends with covering its costs. All I know is the EVERY business in San Diego has to comply with the same minimum wage laws, and most manage to do so without crying about it on their menus. Wonder how their employees feel about being blamed like this. It’ll be a while before I eat at Corvette Diner, Third Corner, Prado or this bean wagon again. Thanks for the heads-up, Judi.


judi November 10, 2017 at 10:33 am

Interesting, because I called Miguel’s and asked if they still had the surcharge. They told me “no”. Wonder why some have it and others don’t.


GML November 7, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Thanks for the thorough review. One of my favorite restaurants in San Diego. Uber and Lyft fees will vary based on time/demand/# of drivers as well as distance.


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