Vibe Restaurant @ The Belamar Hotel
Overall Rating (++++)
food (++++) | ambiance (++++) | service (++++) | price ($$)
South Bay's hidden oasis, The Belamar Hotel :)
We've been always curious about The Belamar Hotel every time we drive by. The street signage for the hotel (brown + light blue) is kinda nice and different, so it catches your attention. But the hotel itself (from quickly driving by) doesn’t look as exciting since you can't really see much of anything from outside.
I checked their website, and it is designed very nicely and looks very high-end. So we decided to check out the hotel (we didn't stay there) and eat at their restaurant for our 2nd year anniversary :)
We valet parked our car and went inside the lobby and talked to the guy at the front desk. (There was no signage of the restaurant anywhere in the lobby.) The lobby was modern-contemporary style and had a very hip and cool vibe :) They had Chihuly's glass pieces installed at the front desk and a painting (or photograph) of Chiwawa in matching blue background.
Anyway, we asked the guy where the restaurant is... and he told us it's upstairs... But!! not to be alarmed if it looks closed or empty. Interesting... So, we walk up... Hmmm... no sign of any people or food. Very very interesting... Since the guy at front desk warned us... we decided to walk inside where it's supposedly a "restaurant". There were absolutely no sign of people or smell of food. All the chairs were stacked up on a table. We were starting to get really concerned since we were not only hungry, but also it was for our anniversary! I was starting to think "Even if they decide to lay out all the chairs for us to dine, there is no way I would want to eat here." But, we kept wondering deeper into the room to look for someone, and we heard some voices behind the curtain! Great! People! Someone!! Both of us were like "Is this it??? Should we leave??"
We peeked through the curtain, and we saw a bartender with a few people at the bar and a few people at one of their tables. Behind the curtain was Vibe restaurant's Lounge area, and I guess they only open their Lounge at night during the week since... not very many people dine here besides their hotel guests?? I don't really know why...
The seating setting was kind of weird and interesting for eating purposes. There were no regular chairs, all of them were more like sofas and easy chairs for relaxing.
We ordered beer, and the bartender Robert helped us with their menu.
He was really really nice, and he recommended a few things from their appetizers and a few plates from their entrees :) We pretty much ordered from his recommendation :)
By the way, the beer on draft here was awesome! Look at the picture with perfect form. Doesn't it look good?
We ordered the Calamari for our appetizer, and it came with spicy sauce with lemon. It was very tasty and went really well with our beer! Highly recommended.
And our salad arrived :) The salad came in small cups that are made out of cheese. We were both pretty impressed with the decoration of the salad. The portion was small but enough to share and get some green in our tummy. By then, we had the whole lounge to ourselves! We kept talking... if this place was in Hollywood, it would be packed with people.
Their steaks were awesome as well. I had their New York style steak medium with peppercorns, and Paul had the Rib-Eye steak medium rare which came with onion and mushroom. The New York style steak was very lean and tender, and the Rib-Eye was so juicy and so soft. Yummm... both of them were excellent. I liked the Rib-Eye better, but Paul was having a tough time deciding which one he preferred the most.
Excellent food and fantastic service. Why no people?
We asked Robert (the bartender) if they prefer quiet, but that wasn't the case. I guess they even have a Jazz pianist over every Wednesday night. The lounge also plays tasteful music in the background which was pretty cool. It is a hidden oasis :) This place is still not perfect, but a place like this would be packed if it was in Hollywood! We were so glad that we went in and discovered this hidden oasis :) And I'm so proud that a place like this is in South Bay! We'll be going back there for sure!