Bo-beau kitchen + bar gets everyone’s attention because it’s the latest Cohn venue housed in the redone Thee Bungalow in Ocean Beach. If you like the French-inspired casual bistro interiors of Philippe Beltran (Vagabond and Bleu Boheme), you’ll find his third variation here where the many rooms are filled with all things old French. Beltran’s got a whimsical sense of decorating humor: Sit in the noisy bar and look up at the ceiling where you’ll see a huge canvas painting of a woman in white laying on a bed, legs seductively apart–Buzz hears the piece depicts a French prostitute. Love the huge mirror on the far wall of the bar.
Two visits gave us hits and misses with the food that left us wondering how much young chef Katherine Humphus (trained in Paris) gets to assert her mark on the menu. One imagines it can be difficult especially when the Cohn group of restaurants is known for less than stellar food that aims to please a tourist/convention diner. Of the hits, try the very classic and good onion soup ($7) or the calamari fritti (watch the cherry pepper pieces that are spicy hot and fried with the tender squid that includes tentacles) that come with a zippy tomato/caper dipping sauce that could be the base for caponata ($9.50). Six escargots stay in the shell bathed in butter and garlic, a classic preparation though more garlic would give it a boost of flavor ($10.50)
Not impressed with the bland chicken fricassee with Brussels sprouts that needed more mustard (or Champagne) as the sauce promised ($17). Flatbreads are more like pizza, thick crusted and baked as a rectangle, cut in fingers–ours touted chorizo and Serrano ham…flavors that got lost with the cheese and marinara sauce ($12). An appetizer featuring crispy Brussels sprouts, pancetta, Parmesan with a balsamic glaze came with very al dente and not so crispy sprouts ($7). And some (though not Buzz) like the cute idea for serving–in a brown paper bag– Sadie Rose sliced bread for the table. Dinner from 4pm, 4996 W. Point Loma Blvd., Ocean Beach, 619-224-2884.