Cocktail: The food and drink at BOA are designed to make memories. Courtesy photo

Overview:

BOA Steakhouse has a reputation you go to when you want to celebrate and enjoy something a little special.

BOA Steakhouse has a reputation. It’s the restaurant you’ve seen on TV, read about online and seen in the background of many a celebrity photo but for the staff that work there, they hope it’s the restaurant you go to when you want to celebrate and enjoy something a little special.

The restaurant’s Santa Monica location at Ocean Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. draws locals and tourists alike for a classic, sophisticated dining experience that make it almost tailor-made for the holiday season with dishes that are memorable and focus on the guest experience.

“Really seeing happy faces and seeing people enjoying what they’re eating and kind of moving along to the ambiance, the vibe of the whole restaurant and that energy is why we do what we do,” said executive manager, Andrew Ha. “It’s not easy, for sure, but you know, you have to love it, and that’s something that I do love, seeing happy faces all throughout the dining room.”

He said hospitality workers who may be missing celebratory events with their own families draw their inspiration from knowing that the experience may be a core memory for guests.

“Oh, that’s what we thrive on in this business. That’s what fuels our fire, that’s what drives us to be bigger, better,” he said. “And, you know, it gives us energy when we see things like that, it’s like creating a dish that people are like, ‘wow,’ and they’re just blown away by it.”

While it’s a steakhouse, Ha said they value innovation at the restaurant with seasonal dishes and some unexpected applications of their classic techniques.

Their fan-favorite Goat Cheese Baklava takes a dessert dish and converts it into something that can go before or after the main course.

“When you think of a Goat Cheese Baklava, you might think of a dessert, but it’s actually a savory dish,” he said. “It’s a nice, sweet, savory dish that people kind of cling on to. It has a nice, crisp, exterior taste, and then it has a creamy richness and the sweetness of the dish that people really like, with the honey and the goat cheese and the truffle. We put some pistachio nuts in there as well, so there’s a lot of lots of components to the dish, and when we prep it, it does take some time and some love,” he said.

That time and love is a big part of their philosophy and extends to their front of house staff.

“The friendliness of our team, the welcome that you get when you come in,” said Ha regarding what makes a customer’s experience worthwhile at BOA. “And being near the beach and having a 180 degree view of the ocean helps as well. When you can see the ocean from almost every seat in the dining room, that’s a big, big plus.”

Ha said the goal of any meal served at BOA is to make a lasting impression.

“You know, we make memories,” he said. “We want [customers] to be like, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to go back again.’ That’s the depth of emotions and the feelings that we want to trigger with each and every one of our guests.”

BOA Steakhouse, 101 Santa Monica Blvd. boasteak.com

Smoke Show

2.5 oz Knob Creek Rye

.25 oz Grade A Maple Syrup

1 dash Orange Bitters

1 dash Angostura Bitters

.25 oz water

B-Stamped Large Ice Sphere

Apple Wood Chips, Smoked

Garnish: Luxardo Cherry

Editor’s Note: With family gatherings upon us and visitors aplenty in town, the Daily Press is highlighting several local restaurants and talking to chefs about their approach to the holiday season.