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Long Beach Thursday: Date Place

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2 gay twenty-something men in Long Beach are looking for a night out. Where to go? One is new to the area, the other lives in Santa Monica. Don't want to spend a fortune and willing to try off-the-wall places. Any suggestions? This board is always good to me... don't steer me wrong.

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  1. Most of the city is gay-friendly. In Belmont Shore you can go to Biggs on Second Street-- basically a tapas place. Service is leisurely, but the food is really tasty, and the house red is surprisingly good and cheap.

    Bono's, across the street and down a block from Biggs, is a nice room and has an attractive (mixed) clientèle. The food can be hit-and-miss, but my last time was really good.

    Christy's and Lasher's are both on Broadway in Belmont Heights. I love them both; the former is northern Italian, the latter is high-style Comfort Food. Presentation and flavor are great at both; Christy's has a somewhat better wine list, if that's important.

    Benley, way over in East Long Beach (Wardlow and Los Alamitos), serves Vietnamese small plates in a surprisingly stylish, low-key room (in a mall with a Curves and a TJ Maxx-- or is it a Marshall's?!). Real thought goes into the preparation, and every ingredient clearly contributes flavor and texture to every course. Their pho is a work of art. NOTE: No liquor license. BYOB is happily accomodated.

    If you want Mexican and don't need a low-lit, romantic room, Enrique's on PCH (at Loynes) serves superb cocina jalisqueña. NOTE: Beer and wine only.

    1. If you are in the mood for Italian, Cafe Gazelle in Belmont Shore is excellent. It is tiny and cozy and the food is great. Perfect place when it is cold outside