Pull up a tufted chair at the main bar, where choice cocktail options include the Bees Knees and BB Cooler.
Peri-peri prawn tacos with avocado, mango salsa, cilantro and peri-peri aioli served on corn tortillas
Following a 3 ½-year front-and-center display at Phipps Plaza, Yebo’s second incarnation has arrived as a coastal spin on South African fare. Rounding out restaurateur Justin Anthony’s portfolio of eateries that include 10 Degrees South, Cape Dutch and Biltong Bar, Yebo Beach Haus is fresh, modern, highly palatable and—oh, yeah—pretty hip. Better reach for your hottest Hamptons-party getup, ’cause this is a spot where you’ll want to turn heads.
The picturesque location Anthony selected (at 111 W. Paces Ferry Road) has just as colorful a history—the past digs of Seeger’s, Home and most recently, Tom Catherall’s Coast Seafood & Raw Bar. But thanks to the talents of his wife and hospitality partner, interior designer Kelly Wolf-Anthony, you’ll perhaps find it hard to believe it was previously any of those establishments. In fact, it feels much more like you’ve wandered into your most stylish friend’s beach house. From the airy upstairs loft to the laid-back main dining room to the inviting bar (complete with upholstered stools) to the basement wine cellar and entertaining space featuring a top-shelf sound system, everything here feels startlingly residential. (Read: cozy, comfortable and encouraging of a few lingering cocktails.) Don’t miss a photo op by the little orange motor scooter fronting the host desk. And since it’s sweet summertime, soak up the sunshine on Yebo’s umbrella-dotted, white-tablecloth patio, providing chill vibes and ideal views of the Atlanta History Center and Dorsey Alston, Realtors’ fetching facade. Maybe order a plate of biltong (South African jerky) and a pitcher of the Jim Beam rye-spiked Chapman’s Tea. You can’t go wrong.
After all, we’re talking about Justin Anthony here: the former South African footballer who’s turned Atlanta—and in time, the whole nation—onto the fare of his mother country and, well, his mother too (yep, she’s a consulting chef!). But with Yebo 2.0 (his third new concept in twice as many months), he’s shaken and stirred those culinary influences with a splash of Hamptons swagger and sophistication—best paired with fresh cocktails like the Bees Knees (Deep Eddy vodka, lemon and South African red fruit soda with lavender bitters) or the BB Cooler (Broker’s gin, clover honey and lemon). If you’re not into the hard stuff, try one of the uncommon wines chosen in collaboration with sommelier Mike McElhiney, like a Triennes Rosé from Provence or Anthony’s favored Boschendal blend, all of which pair well with the light fare.
Staying for dinner? Start with the cheese platter, which is beautiful and decadent, with goodies like grilled peaches and pineapples, blackberries, and pomegranate seeds. Or perhaps the light langoustine ceviche, featuring yuzu chile sauce and house chips.
You could also opt for the ultrapopular watermelon salad with mint, balsamic and feta, but we ordered the golden beets salad—featuring blood orange segments, sliced tricolored cherry tomatoes, burrata (yum!) and frisee, plus a smattering of sunflower seeds and arugula pesto. Since this resto puts an emphasis on healthfulness, this starter could have benefited from a sprinkling of Kosher salt—just ask for some.
Also, everything prawn here is A-plus-plus, so if you want a creative and fun way to enjoy them, try the peri-peri tacos featuring avocado, mango salsa, cilantro and peri-peri aioli. A vegetarian version with mushrooms and lentils is just as scrumptious. Routinely flying off the menu are the crab claws with yellow basmati rice, marinated tomatoes and coconut-milk curry; the indulgent peppadew (piquanté pepper) mac and cheese garnished with crunchy panko breadcrumbs; and the perfectly browned truffle fries with house ketchup.
But might we give a resounding recommendation for the crazy craveable grain bowl? Though these are ubiquitous in L.A., you’ll be hard-pressed to find a dish like this elsewhere in the metro. And just one taste is all it takes to understand why it’s become Yebo’s most coveted new dish. Think seared tuna, edamame, white and black quinoas, sliced avocado, kale and house-roasted almonds. Seems simple, but it’s simply to die for (order it during lunch service, which launches this summer, for just $15). Anthony says the dressing—a sesame-soy vinaigrette—makes it.
Want something heartier? Order the whole grilled snapper, lollipop lamb chops, linguine and clams, or the excellent kebab platter (at $39, the priciest plate on the menu), which includes skewers of curried chicken, peri-peri-marinated prawns and buttery filet on a bed of Mediterranean rice with toasted almonds, fennel seeds and raisins (a South African signature), with chimichurri sauce to dip. And if you’ve managed to save room for dessert, citrus flavors await in the form of mango sorbet and passionfruit mousse, while the toffee brownie cake with salted caramel gelato will satisfy any chocoholic’s cravings. Food coma, commence.
Yebo Beach Haus
111 W. Paces Ferry Road NW