Among the new additions to Long Beach restaurants, Bahia Social Club hopes to serve West End diners something out of the ordinary.
Owners John Rugolsky and Michael Orza said Bahia strives for a vibrant and exciting establishment, specializing in Brazilian style cuisine and cocktails, which other Long Beach locations simply cannot offer.
"Our staff, plus the originality and quality of our menu items, keep customers coming back," Rugolsky said. "
The duo, which share experience in both the hospitality and business worlds, opened Bahia on July 4 and have since attracted a crowd of regular patrons, both Long Beach residents and out-of-towners.
The West Beech Street restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining with simple seating and an essentially plain setting, where brightly painted designs make the white walls pop. On entering, the circular bar is the main focus, taking up nearly half of the floor space.
Bartenders can mix up quite the cocktail. A popular option is the Caipirinha Sunset ($8), a spin on a Brazilian specialty that blend cachaça, sugar, lime, pineapple juice, pomegranate juice and passion fruit.
Another client choice is the Bahia Mojito Regal ($8) that mixes Bacardi Silver, fresh lime and mint, sugar and a splash of Banfi Rosa Regale. Tasty frozen concoctions such as margaritas, daiquiris and coladas can be made to order. In addition to cocktails, Bahia offers a lengthy list of both bottled and tap beers, including Kona Seasonal, Sierra Pale Ale, Sam Adams, Amstel Light and Red Stripe.
Beyond the bar area is a small but modern dining room to accommodate patrons looking for a more intimate dinning experience.
Bahia’s menu boasts tasty trays featuring pulled pork, steak and seafood that are sure to satisfy. Patata Bravas ($5), crispy potatoes with spicy aioli, are a simple choice that just about anyone can enjoy as a start to the meal.
Another mouthwatering appetizer is Croquettas de Jamon ($7), a creamy ham croquettes with smoked paprika. Bahia fish tacos ($9) are the perfect seafood selection for starters, offering just the right proportion of market fresh catch with lettuce and tomato, picked red onions, coleslaw and avocado.
For a more filling meal, the Pulled Pork Arepa ($12) is a delectable choice for any meat lover. Cooked 18 hours to perfection, this dish is topped with corn arep and served hot. The Churrasco Skirt Steak offers a flavor-filled dish topped with tostones, sweet plantains and picked red onions for just $14. If you’re craving something from the sea, try a combo like the Mussels & Sausage, ($14) smothered in linguica, garlic, oregano, white wine and olive oil. The Seafood Ceviche ($10) offers a distinct taste, as it is marinated with a strong dose of citrus and spices.
Live music can often be heard throughout the restaurant, featuring the smooth sounds of local rock, reggae and salsa ensembles.
Exceptional service and a friendly staff is a big part of what allows diners to return to Bahia, Rugolsky said.
“We are a fun, vibrant place that happens to have amazing food and drinks,” he said. “There are a lot of great spots in Long Beach and we are proud to be among them."