Long Beach Lunch: Bo-Beau Kitchen and Roof Tap

In the open-air “Roof Tap” area of Pine Avenue’s Bo-Beau, lunch feels like more an under-promoted day club than a traditional mid-may meal. For the last few months, the San Diego-transplanted, future-French Steampunk-inspired concept has been opening its upper level bar at noon on weekends only, hiring a too-cool androgynously youthful DJ to spin a fist-pumping selection of Ace Hotel-approved pop remixes and serving its regular nighttime bar menu to a thin crowd of mostly tourists (because they’re the chosen few who can afford $10 plates of bacon-broiled Brussel sprouts).

Bo-Beau’s entry into daytime dining might not be built to attract the low-key Long Beach set, but that’s not to say it’s not worthwhile for locals to check it out, too. In addition to feeling like a visitor in your own town (Bo-Beau’s cavernous bohemian-industrial design whisks you away—like Vegas away), their new weekend hours are some of the only times when the Roof Tap isn’t so completely over-packed that you can actually find a table for your entire group, order drinks and food and get a full-service experience without an excruciating hours-long wait. (It’s amazing how much better a $17 flatbread tastes when you weren’t elbowing your way to the bar for 45 minutes to order it.)
While another Bo-Beau location in San Diego rolls out a special brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday morning, Long Beach’s location is weening its way into the idea, opening only the Roof Tap’s smaller upstairs kitchen and offering the same limited food menu you can get there all evening. This means lots of decadent, booze-soaking stuff like short rib and truffle poutine, jalapeño macaroni and cheese, buttery chicken pot pie and a melty turkey Monte Cristo. Some of the appetizers even have words like “big fat” (fries) and “jumbo” (pretzel) in the name, to accentuate their opulence.

Not interested in downing a full day’s worth of calories in one swoop, though? Lighter options are limited but available, mostly lurking in the flatbread and salad arena: the presence of tiny globs of chorizo doesn’t weigh down an otherwise airy thin-crust shrimp pizza; and the salads are thoughtful full meals in themselves, designed around meat (ahi, steak or chicken) or a medley of vegetables and fruits in a house-made vinaigrette.
Since they have the uns-uns music going and you’re enjoying another sunny day on a rooftop patio in paradise, you might as well get a drink with your lunch, but watch the prices. Beer—even local brands—can cost a few dollars over fair market value ($10 for a Budweiser-owned Golden Road IPA?), and specialty cocktails also add up quickly. For vodka fans, shots of the neutral spirit from Bo-Beau’s wide list are all $10, but a house sangria or mimosa ($8) pairs nicely with the vibe as well.

After the meal, you can ask the bartender for a set of paddles and take to the ping pong tables, watch whatever game is being projected on the two big-screen TVs that flank the brick wall, get tipsy and start dancing to DJ Androgynous’ bedroom Bey remix. Or, hell, just enjoy the uncharacteristically relaxed atmosphere at the Roof Tap, downtown Long Beach’s newest pseudo-day club.

44 Pine Ave, Long Beach; 562-983-0056; cohnrestaurants.com/bobeaukitchenrooftap

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