We're off on a quick road trip up the coast - ambling along at a nice leisurely pace. The first leg of our trip was just a couple of hours north to Seal Beach, a little community just south of Long Beach. We immediately liked the place - it reminded us a lot of our own neighborhood in Pacific Beach.
Our destination in town was Beachwood BBQ, a place known for passable barbecue (hey, that's a compliment in Southern California...) and one of the better selection of craft beers in the greater L.A. / Orange County area. The place is pretty small, and is split into two sections: a bar area and a separate seating area with 10 or so small tables.
We generally prefer to sit at the bar, but it was 5:00 on a Sunday and the place was packed - we had to wait a bit for a table. The crowd in the dining area was decidedly food and not beer focused, with the demographic being largely families with kids and older couples. After an appetizer and some drinks, we left for a while and came back later to sit at the bar. Much better.
On the beer front, our visit to Beachwood was definitely a success. After trying the Deschutes Hop Henge (which we quite liked) we moved on to some Belgian selections - the Houblon Chouffe Dobblen IPA Tripel (a favorite of ours) and the Maredsous Triple 10.
The Chouffe was very nice, as usual, but the star of the evening was the Maredsous. It poured with a beautiful, creamy head that lingered nicely. Although a bit maltier than what I think of as typical for the style, I thought it worked really well.
So, what about the food? I have to admit that we did more drinking than eating, but we did try a few of their offerings. They have a set of their sauces at each table:
We had an order of the bbq chicken nachos, which we quite liked - a good sized portion of smoked chicken with some nice guac and salsa. We were intrigued by their "fish sticks" (made with cold smoked ling cod), but they were just ok. The fish had some smoke flavor, but overall was under seasoned and didn't really grab us. Ditto the fried green tomato salad - fine, but fairly bland.
Beachwood is definitely an oasis in the craft beer desert north of Camp Pendleton, and certainly a worthy destination.
Between our two separate stints at Beachwood, we took a sunset stroll on the Seal Beach pier. The view looking north was a fascinating contrast between the serenity of surf and sand, and the industrial and urban sprawl of the Long Beach harbor and skyline.
131 1/2 Main Street
Seal Beach, California