There will always be days when immeasurable workload can take its toll on you, and keeping off the grid on some place miles away from the metropolis is the only way to keep one’s sanity.
It’s why me and my friend went to La Union, sea foam and curling waves aplenty. We decided to stay in San Juan where accommodations are side by side, and where surfing is nothing but a local habit. Tucked in one of the oldest resorts in the barangay is a hidden restobar you can consider a gem for locals and tourists alike – the Le Point Bar PH.
Le Point has only been around for three months, and aside from researching your way to La Union, the only way to find it is via stickers on tricycles. You would need to walk inside the Monaliza Surf Resort and be greeted by black golden retrievers called Draco and Poochi, and eventually you will find your way as it is the only food station inside.
The restobar weds two concepts together, the Filipino and the French, quite literally. The owners, couple Filipina Julia Flores and French Roland Redier, seem to have created the place as an extension of themselves – artsy, laid back, and accommodating. Flores is a former band member of the already-defunct bossanova group named after her, The Julia Project; while Redier’s paintings have already been exhibited in different parts of the country. You can see Redier’s works hung all over the place.
The couple initially planned to build a courtyard-like coffee shop in Salcedo in Makati, but decided that La Union is where they want to settle down. Both beach bums who met in Puerto Princesa, both Flores and Redier do not know anyone in La Union but fell in love with the province since the first time they went way back during the 90s.
The place used to house Monaliza’s own restaurant, but the management, who became good friends with the couple, decided to have the place rented. With a perfect view of the beach and the sunset, wind blowing in your shirt, some blues or bossanova music in the background, it’s hard not to relish in Le Point for hours.
<breaker> He cooks the food, she makes the drinks
Although the place is entirely Filipino, with decorations and totems all the way from Baguio, the food is entirely French with Redier as the head chef. Their overloaded crepe made of tomatoes, bacon, eggs, and tuna, is a gooey treat that melts in your mouth. Also considered as their bestseller is the pizza baguette which they source all the way from France. Our personal favorite is the pork chop that comes with a cup of rice and salad. What makes it distinct is the sauce made of French mustard, rum, and different spices that Redier decides to keep as a secret. We also tried their Mango Nutella Crepe and Pesto – both divine and tasteful.
The restaurant also have an extensive bar menu, although quite ironic that the French bar doesn’t have wines. Flores says they are planning to add a wine list later this year, and we will definitely be back to try that. If you’re lucky, they will give you their testicle-like lychee and ginger rum on the house. They also take pride in their Irish coffee and cocktails.
Other curious drinks are Oh No! made of Jager and red bull, and the Le Point Brew which is a mixture of local beer and rum. All drinks are created by Julia, who also acts as the restaurant’s manager.
While Le Point may sound fancy, prices are cheaper compared to other establishments in San Juan, even lower than the famous Surf Shack. The dishes range only from 120 pesos to 250 pesos. Make sure to be there around five in the evening to catch their happy hour – local beers are as cheap as 40 pesos while cocktails drop from 150 pesos to 100 pesos. If you happen to be in San Juan on a weekend, the place hosts a beach yoga session in front of the beach where you can enjoy a perfect view of the sunset and natural juice drinks extracted from fresh fruits and vegetables. They also have a “chill and grill” weekend where bbqs are served along with big jars of cocktails.
What makes the place even better are the conversations you can have with the owners and their mainstays – artists, photographers, and veteran surfers who decided to retreat in the comfort and peace of rural life. From the bar, you can watch surfers dance with the waves, and beach dogs run with sticks in their mouths.
Le Point Bar PH gives you the best of San Juan, La Union – waves, sunsets, friends, and cheap drinks.
Le Point Bar PH is located at Monaliza Surf Resort, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union