In downtown Long Beach lies an unexpected mash-up of all of my favorite things. Beachwood BBQ and Brewing is one of those restaurants that you can go to time and time again and it’s always outstanding food and the best current tap handles full of rarities to try. When you are a beer snob, it’s impressive that they always have things on tap that I haven’t had yet, and they continue to surprise me with new and cutting edge releases.
It does help that Beachwood is in Long Beach, and every time I have gone it’s always been sunny, warm and bright…everything that makes you love living in California. So, by the time you get there, you are already in a good mood. Parking is ever prevalent with a big lot right across the walkway that allows for all day parking, and makes it way too easy to spend more hours there than you care to admit. The building from the outside is very new and modern and very clean. This is very attractive to me because the last thing that I want to be synonymous with food is dirty. But that’s just my opinion.
When you walk-up to the entrance, you notice the big patio with expanded seating. It’s always full when I go so I haven’t yet been able to enjoy barbeque and beer in the fresh air and sun, but I keep hoping that one time when I go there will be openings. When you enter, you are greeted by the host who informs you that you may sit at the bar or get seated. The bar area also includes tall tables and stools which I have sat at several times. It’s very social and great for when you have big parties that keep getting bigger as the night goes on.
Sitting at a table against the floor to ceiling windows with my fiancé Sean, we contemplate what drinks to order. Not wanting to start with something too strong to kill my palate, I choose Kopstootje by Stillwater Artisan Ales. It’s a farmhouse spiced saison 6.5%ABV and a good start to dinner. It was maybe a little more spice than I should have had before eating salmon, but I regret nothing. Sean had 6th Anniversary by Port Brewing Company, which was a really good DIPA. It was sweet on the front and hoppy and dry on the finish. A touch of bitter left on the tongue and a smack on the butt with 10%ABV. Really impressive stuff.
We ordered the deviled eggs and chicken nachos to start. I don’t know what it is with guys and deviled eggs, but my Dad and my fiancé loves them. Do all guys love deviled eggs? Is this something that comes with conditioning from birth by their mothers? Anyhow, I have had my fair share of deviled eggs at family gatherings but none compare to Beachwood’s deviled eggs. They are fresh, salty, bright, citrusy, and has a great texture. The addition of capers, roasted red peppers and red onions are divine. It reminds me of what comes with a caviar plate, only without the caviar. The nachos were addictive yet greasy, but you can tell the chips are fried in house which is a nice touch. They come with BBQ chicken and guacamole and a tangy white sauce. Nachos are way too easy to eat, so these are downright dangerous.
Before our entrees came we ordered one more round of drinks. I got the Stone Brewing Company LeVariation Ale which is a Pale Ale at 5.3%ABV. It had a fantastic amber color and a nice white head and lacing. The flavor was a bit more on the mild side, which is surprising coming from stone. It reminded me of a really good session ale, which conveniently went really well with my dinner. I ordered the salmon dinner, and choose the two sides of asparagus and carrots, and it came with cornbread.
Sean ordered the 2008 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Aged in Red Wine Barrels by Stone Brewing Company, which was ridiculously delicious. The wine taste was right up front but it was complex and sweet but dry and robust. Not-to-mention, the ABV was something over 10%. Sean ordered a pulled pork sandwich on a pretzel bun with creamed corn.
The food arrived and my salmon was perfect. I love fish and I eat it a lot, so having perfect fish just makes my day. So many places don’t get it right, but Beachwood gets it right. The skin is rudely crispy, the fish flakes when you apply pressure, and it’s still steaming when you take a bite. It’s meaty and salty and crunchy, and it balances so nicely with the onion and orange compote on top. The sweet caramelized onions balance the salty skin and the orange adds the right amount of citrus to cut the fattiness of the fish. The asparagus are also perfection, with a hint of char on the outside and cooked just the right amount while still having a crisp snap that is what makes asparagus so wonderful. The roasted carrots are surprising with a bit of a spicy kick, it makes you forget you are eating carrots, which are naturally sweet. The cornbread just rocks your world. I don’t normally like cranberries in my cornbread but it just makes this cornbread all the more spectacular. I would like to slap some bacon in between two slices of cornbread and have a cornbread and bacon bonanza party. It’s that good.
In case you weren’t already in love with Beachwood, the prices are reasonable to add the cherry on top of a very satisfying sundae. So grab your friends and go, no excuses. They also brew in house, so try some of their award-winning beer while you are there. It’s great to have a lazy Sunday afternoon, Saturday night meet-up or a random Tuesday after work drinks. I highly recommend Beachwood BBQ and Brewing to the food lover and beer geek alike!