Every seat in this three-story space offers the beachy bohemian feel that the restaurant’s name is intended to evoke. Bermudez’s wife, Michele Emmons Bermudez, put her professional design experience to work to create the breezy vibe: wood-paneled walls in varying shades of maritime blue, a comfy two-seat swing on the second story, and counter seating on the third floor, overlooking the square.
For a taste of what the kitchen is capable of creating, order ceviche de marisco, the most satisfying option from the raw bar menu. Especially generous with octopus, the mixed seafood had the bracing bite of lime and red onion.
While Boho115 features fish and seafood in plenty of other raw and cooked dishes — predominantly in Spanish and Mexican preparations — the menu leans heavily on shrimp, octopus and tuna, making its offerings feel a bit repetitive. Seafood and fish tostadas were duplicates of the ceviche, albeit served on top of a fried house-made corn tortilla instead of alongside them. Ditto for the tuna sashimi, which is enjoyed best as a shared plate featuring the bright pink thin strips of fish laced with sesame oil and soy sauce under crisscrossed carrot matchsticks.
Do not miss the shatteringly crisp fried calamari — with curls of fried red onion for good measure. It was deliciously seasoned with extra shakes of black pepper, and was served with a kicked-up remoulade. Like many dishes at the restaurant, the portion was ample.
Plump, tender octopus and shrimp came to the fore (yet again) inside corn tortillas with salsa verde. And, among the tacos, crumbly, highly seasoned Mexican chorizo satisfied.
But, misnamed lobster tacos were little more than burritos stuffed with rice, beans and barely discernable lobster meat. And, Baja fried fish tacos mostly were filled with sloppy, creamy slaw.
Also, entrees left my party wanting. Grilled salmon was woefully undercooked. A plate of head-on diablo prawns was left largely untouched because of an acerbic chile-tomato sauce. A barely warm 12-ounce New York strip and oversalted lobster tails were a near waste of $58. The saving grace of that surf-and-turf option was the side of mashed potatoes, seasoned with piquillo pepper puree.
As it turned out, one of the tastiest dishes on the menu can be had for as little as $9: a cup of caldo verde de marisco, made with divine sea-green poblano broth teeming with shrimp, mussels, octopus and tuna.
I would have liked to sample grilled razor clams, the one Espinaler product that undergoes cooking at Boho115, but they were out of them during my visits; same with the octopus needed for Galician-style and charred preparations. Supply issues are understandable, but they affected service, with the staff seemingly confused about the availability of menu items.
It also seemed odd that the restaurant didn’t offer a fresh catch of the day, but whole roasted fish (oysters, too) will debut next month.
Despite the uneven execution on dishes that were in rotation, Boho115 still provides reasons to amble over to Decatur Square. With a dirty martini in one hand, and a sardine on saltine in the other, you’ll find it’s a lively, carefree place to eat out of a can.
Service: proactive, outgoing
Best dishes: tuna sashimi, ceviche de marisco, caldo verde de marisco, garlic shrimp and octopus tacos, steak and chorizo tacos, calamari fritti, piquillo pepper mash
Vegetarian dishes: chips with guacamole and salsa, mushroom or caprese empanadas, rajas vegan taco, roasted root veggies, mushrooms, piquillo pepper mash, mango napa slaw, rice, beans, garlic bread
Alcohol: full bar
Price range: $$$
Credit cards: all major cards accepted
Hours: noon-11 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, noon-midnight Fridays-Saturdays, noon-10 p.m. Sundays
Parking: paid street and lot parking
MARTA station: Decatur
Reservations: not accepted
Wheelchair access: yes
Noise level: average
Outdoor dining: limited sidewalk seating
Takeout: order via phone or in person
Address, phone: 115 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-343-4637
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