Foodie on a mission: BO-beau Kitchen + Bar is beauty in a plate

Restaurant in Ocean Beach serves rustic French fare.

By Katelyn McCullough

One of life’s greatest pleasures is experiencing new things. This is no exception when it comes to food. While some may be hesitant to venture out to new places or seek out different cuisines, the end result is well worth the uncertainty.

The standard food meccas of San Diego include Hillcrest, Del Mar and Pacific Beach among others, but nestled in Ocean Beach is a French bistro. The interior is a cavernous nook, which lends to the personal touch and accommodation that the French are not so widely known for.

From the outside BO-beau Kitchen and Bar does not seem too impressive, but this appearance also lends itself to creating a cozy cottage atmosphere. BO-beau is in the style of traditional French recipes with a modern twist. The interior of the restaurant is very rustic with dim lighting and a large glass door as the entrance. If you wants to escape the traditional seating, then a heated outside patio is available where you can watch the wood-fired flatbreads being created. Playing along to the rustic rhythm of the restaurant, the tables are wooden and adorned with candles in mason jars.

Now onto the food. To begin the meal, BO-beau offers appetizers such as crispy Brussels sprouts with pancetta and Parmesan cheese topped with a balsamic reduction (syrup created from heating balsamic vinegar) or an almond crusted portobello mushroom. Or to be more European, start off with a charcuterie board with an assortment of five meats, three cheeses and the chef’s accompaniments.

Another option for patrons to start the meal with or select as an entrée are the wood-fired flatbreads. None of these flatbreads are the traditional combinations for pizza. Two of the most popular ones are a goat cheese topped with beets, a curry onion jam, roasted peppers and jalapenos and the braised short rib flatbread topped with horseradish mashed potatoes. The cream of the crop of the appetizer options are the Brussels sprouts and the goat cheese flatbread, albeit in different ways. The Brussels sprouts are not overly crispy and the balsamic reduction is just tangy enough to cut through the earthiness of the Brussels sprouts, whereas the flatbread is light in texture and flavor. The curry onion jam is really what makes this flatbread exceptional, as there is just a slight kick for spicy-phobes with a hint of sweetness to balance out all the unconventional flavors. The winner is undeniably the Brussels sprouts.

As far as entrees go, the traditional choice would be the moules and frites or mussels and fries. However, at BO-beau they offer five variations of the moules and frites options.

The most interesting choice was the moules served in a red curry broth, which had a slight kick. The dish is perfectly acceptable to eat with your hands, as you are to dip the frites in the broth and eat it with the mussel. Another notable plate to try is the duck confit fettuccine. But health freaks should stay away from the duck confit; it is decadent in all manners of the word. A creamy butter and cream sauce with a touch of white wine rounds out the tender duck and velvety mushrooms adorning the dish. Be prepared to take some home or to take it in the belly.

BO-beau is pricier with most dishes going from $15 to $20, but for a special occasion, this is a worthy place to visit.

They do not take reservations and parking can be a little bit tricky. But if there is ever the urge to dip into a restaurant with soft lighting from the chandeliers above, hop in the car and head over to BO-beau. It’ll be the beginning of a beautiful (food) friendship.