Whilst La Plage is hardly comparable to tawlet in terms of cuisine, if there is a better spot to sit and drink in Beirut, i’d like to see it. Both an extremely trendy beach club (which in Beirut means having the privilege of paying $30 to sit by a pool and catch some sun along with the beautiful people – no sea or sand available usually) and a restaurant located on the jetty next door where the better off amongst us can moor their speedboat while they alight for lunch or dinner, La Plage is a beautiful spot none the less.
The menu is mostly seafood based mezze as you might expect from the location and is decently priced, especially given the location. I visited a few times on my most recent trip, to sit in teh sunshine with an arguileh and a glass of obscenely cheap Massaya Rose wine ( $6 a glass) and once to have lunch as well.
I ordered Malifa, small local fish which were served with tahini and fried arabic bread ( if you have never tried tahini and white fish, i advise you do it now, it really is an exotic, delicious pairing) along with tabbouleh and batata harra, small cubes of potatoes fried with coriander, garlic and chilli – all in all not too dissimilar to Fish and chips (well you can take the girl out of England…) but far, far better.
If you are in Beirut in the summer i would recommend you make a visit here – their set menus for groups of 4 or more looked absolutely perfect and help remove a lot of issues with knowing where to start with the abundant choice of mezze.