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Aug 13, 2006 04:48 AM

Are there any fun, inventive restaurants in Long Beach?

I just moved down to Long Beach from the heart of LA, and really miss all the fun options I used to easily be able to pick from. Am I missing some key restaurants that pack a lot of flavor down in Long Beach? I haven't found anything too exciting, and am looking for something that I can't cook at home (or wouldn't think to cook at home). Any inventive restaurants out there?

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  1. You can't miss with Biggs on 2d St.--small plates, nice wines, everything very tasty. This is not complicated food--just very good, Cal/Med menu prepared by people who know what good food tastes like and how to make it that way.

    1. I moved away from Redondo Beach (to NoCal) about three years ago and dearly miss Long Beach.

      The Indian restaurant in the Barnes & Noble strip mall has really great lamb biranyi as well as fabulous Indian seafood.

      Belmont Shore was a favorite Friday and/or Saturday destination for a number of restaurants including Z Pizza, Open Sesame, and Babette's (I really miss their opera cake but just stopping in for a vol au vent or crepe). These suggestions are all on the cheap-eats end of dining as I was a student at the time.

      A bit higher-end, down in Napes, is a great sushi joint (sorry, don't recall the exact name), Monty's for wine, and at the far end, a restaurant with the BEST lamb.

      In downtown, there is La Traviata and a seafood restaurant (again, can't think of the exact name, but hard to miss).

      In all, Long Beach is a great food city and you are also close to Gardena which has the BEST Japanese food in the state! I REALLY miss Shin-Sen Gumi, Sen Nari Sushi, and both the malls...

      1. Update on the Long Beach scene...
        The Indian place is no longer there and the replacement is so-so.
        Morty's has totally changed! For the worse in my opinion. There's no more fun & friendly wine bar--it's really snooty now. I saw that they added a full service restaurant and hired a chef from La Aubergine (spelling) in O.C.

        I recently wrote a review of Benley's Vietnamese Kitchen in Long Beach, which was a unique experience...chic but cheap Vietnamese fusion.

        Also, we love George's Greek Deli. It's not fancy, just typical Greek food but it's VERY good and we LOVE George!! The original location on Pine is better than the one on Second Street. The one on Second Street is still training their wait staff and the service is sub-par.

        We also like the Belmont Brewing Company. Again, not fancy but very good food, good beer and a great location on the water. It's a very neighborhoody place that draws a varied crowd from 20-somethings to old folk.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bohemiana

          The Indian place is there: it's called Kamal Palace and it's below the Cost Plus store. I love their mattar paneer and the last time I was there, a friend, who's traveled a lot to Goa, was with me and said the lamb vindaloo was kick-ass (he ordered it extra spicy and one tiny bite made my eyelids sweat).

          For an unusual kind of fun, try New Paradise for Cambodian on a Saturday afternoon when couples are auditioning potential wedding entertainment. It's on Anaheim along with most of the other Cambodian choices.

          Are you guys talking about Morry's wine/liquor store?

          At the northern end of the same mall as Kamal Palace (where the WOW store is), is Tantalum. Appetizers are good and it has a very nice ambiance.

          For Mexican sit-down, try Enrique's on PCH.

        2. I second the "Biggs" suggestion.

          Also check out my favorite, Fora, in Naples on 2nd Street.

          Frigale ROCKS - french food - $25 per head for a prix fixe menue. Also located in Naples on 2nd.

          Been to the new Cafe Sevilla downtown yet? Pretty fun - food is fair - worth a trip for the Sangria.

          How about steak? Just outside of LBC in Seal Beach is my favorite steakhouse - Patty's Place on Main and PCH. Excellent menu, friendly crowd.

          Also outside of LBC in Sunset Beach is Daimon Sushi and Teppan - they have a d.j. on weekends spinning old school tunes. I love that place. It's on PCH and Mariner.

          Best Mexican in all of LBC can be found at Enriques. Located in a strip mall on PCH & Loynes. Weekend evenings can be a long wait - I suggest a lunch for first try. I live at this place!

          For something fun - or for date night - you may want to try La Traviata on a weekend evening. The restaurant has a roaming oprah singer with dinner - really fun. Food is mostly Cal-Italian. Located on Cedar and 3rd downtown.

          Cafe Piccolo is fun and generally good Italian. Great patio dining. Located on Broadway and Coronado.

          Morry's in Naples is awesome for a glass of wine and dinner.

          If you have time, please stop by Casa Vino on Pine and Ocean (on the beachside of Pine). I really hope that place sticks around - friendly service, great appetizers, good wine choices.

          :) Welcome to LBC, my friend!

          1 Reply
          1. re: knoxymama

            Gotta chime in on Daimon. IMHO, food is very average. Last time we were there, the music was loud enough to ruin the experience. As another interesting note, my son went to school with one of the owner's kids, who never had anything good to say about the quality of the place. That was enough of a testimonial to keep me away permanently.

          2. Thanks everyone! You have me feeling better about moving down here!

            1 Reply
            1. re: lempy

              Try these of the top of my head:
              Shangrila near Colorado Lagoon (check schedule, they mess with it a lot and change owners often, but the chef is good).

              For an amazing view, try the Cafe at the Long Beach Museum on Ocean for breakfast or's beautiful.

              Picarelli's has great Italian; it's behind Cal State sort of...I think it's off Atherton.

              I used to like Open Sesame in Belmont; but sometimes service isn't so good. Good Mediteranean food/crepes.

              I definitely recommend George's Greek Cafe in Belmont, also. I'm Greek, and this place really does it well.

              There's a new Lebanese Restaurant there that's also supposed to be good. Also, the Indian Restaurant (forget the name) in Belmont Shores is also good.

              Madame Jo-Jo's on Broadway is supposed to be amazing; never been there.

              But there are lots of great are also close to Little Saigon in Garden Grove with amazing choices and Little India in Cerritos (go to Udipi on Pioneer for vegetarian Indian).

              Will write more if I think of it.