Bar Rouge is an unexpected piece of lux tucked away within the confines of Southern California’s Hotel Huntington Beach. As many in the area know, Huntington Beach is notorious for overzealous bros pump-fisting the night away and while the image no doubt conjures thoughts of romanticism, elegance and posh dining are not what Huntington is known for.
So, when the Foodbeast crew rolled through in our usual snapbacks-pulled-backwards + sneakers chic (the girls wore heels, thankfully), the sleek interior of Bar Rouge and the gourmet decadence of its menu piqued our interest. The lounge is decked out with a sweeping bar and plenty of seating adorned with plush pillows. The walls are covered with tasseled kanji blocks and the lighting casts an ominous soft red glow upon its patrons. Not a puke stain in sight!
We made our way into the VIP area, a spacious alcove where wine and an enticing drink menu were waiting. We, of course, started off our dinner with a hefty round of drinks for good measure. Among the most memorable were the Rouge Vojito, a tarty mix of Absolut vodka, berries and muddled mint, and the Lynchburg Lemonade, a marriage of Jack Daniel’s and Comber Liqueur.
A few glasses of wine and several cocktails later, we were ready to take on the meal platters. An array of their signature dishes in mini portions arrived, all petite and amusingly frou frou. Our notable favorites:
Chicken & Waffles
These buttered up darlings were exquisite. The fried chicken was doused in just the right amount of syrup and the waffle was crisped to perfection. Our only regret was that we only had one bite worth, it took all our strength to refrain from sweeping up the entire plate of petite noms.
Corned Beef Hash Grinder
We specifically requested a full plate of the Corned Beef Hash Grinder. I mean, can you blame us? Everything about the name oozes meaty indulgence and when it arrived we were thrilled that the actual dish lived up to the name. It was a phenomenal hot mess of sliced potatoes, chunks of corned beef, melted cheese and a fried egg, whose yolk we smothered all over the its counterparts.
While kicking back in our boozy food coma, we contemplated the charming contrast of Bar Rouge’s upscale ambiance and it’s menu of cozy comfort food. It’s always a peculiar wonder when a restaurant combines epicurean decor with nostalgic menu items that call back to our favorite childhood dishes. We will most definitely be back.
Bar Rouge is located at:
7667 Center Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA
Open from 11am to 2am (21+ after 10pm)