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Chow recs in Long Beach

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Looking for Chow Recs in Long Beach near Loynes and PCH. My wife and I have a couple of hours free and we'll be in the area. Casual Dress and/or maybe a fun place to eat. Look forward to hearing from some of you esteemed chowhounds. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Enrique's is right at that corner. Lots of people love it but I only love a few dishes, I feel the rest are typical Mexican fare. Their appetizers/starters are unique--I really like the stuffed peppers. They also have a slow-cooked shank that is really, really good. Only beer & wine served.

    My new favorite place is only about a mile from there in Seal Beach (just a bit south on PCH) on Main Street....Beachwood BBQ. They have dry-rub style and the baby-back ribs are awesome.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bohemiana

      I took home baby backs from Beachwood last night, and once again, they were perfect. I have to agree that Beachwood is excellent.

    2. Go South on PCH, take a right on 2nd street. Stay on 2nd Street until you cross Bayshore. Once you cross Bayshore, look for the following restaurants...
      1. Taco Surf on the left
      2. Domenico's on the right - Pizza, Pasta, good salad and dressing

      1 Reply
      1. re: FDawson

        Taco Surf is o.k. and Domenico's is o.k. (the pizza is o.k. but the pasta is sub-par) but neither are places I would direct someone to go if they are only in the area for one meal. They could go into any restaurant on 2nd Street and get an o.k. meal.

      2. In the WOW shopping center there is Tantalum, although there are mixed reviews on the food, go for a drink in the bar and I like their calamari appetizers. On the other end of the center is a Indian restaurant and also a Persian restaurant, both are good and all three of these are next to the water.

        For wonderful sushi, go south on PCH to Seal Beach and try Restaurant KOI. You must sit at the sushi bar and best is to sit w/Tako.

        Have fun.

        8 Replies
        1. re: justagthing

          The room at Tantalum is nice, the food is eh (and overpriced for the quality). My experience of extremely slow service is apparently not unique on the restaurant side. I agree to go for drinks and appetizers and possibly try one of the other two restaurants there. Enrique's can get waiting-room only crowded for dinner, so might not be the best choice for dinner. There are also a few chain restaurants (Ruby's, CPK) and a pretty good fish restaurant (Jimmy's) in the shopping center diagonally opposite Marina Pacifica, that has the Trader Joe's.

          1. re: mlgb

            Oh yes, we have water in Long Beach...that reminds me to recommend The Belmont Brewing Company at the pier with a nice water view and outdoor dining. They have burgers, sandwiches, salads and some nice entrees. Just go down 2nd street all the way to where it flows on to Ocean Blvd. The BBC is right behind Vons at the pier.

            1. re: bohemiana

              I can't imagine going to Belmont Brewing Company for anything other than the view. Food is mediocre at best. I'd recomment McKenna's Creek, in the marina center off of Marina Drive & 2nd (on the far side, near Seal Beach) for better food with a view. Tantalum is better as well.

              1. re: CynD

                I took some clients to the BBC last week and I had an pablano cream soup that was fantastic. True, I had an average grilled artichoke. My husband ordered duck breast, which he was quite happy with. And you can't say anything bad about the peach/berry cobbler. I've never heard anything bad about BBC before, especially compared to mixed opinions of Tantalum and Biggs. I'll have to try La Palapa as an alternative for waterside dining.

                1. re: bohemiana

                  I've usually ordered fish or chicken at BBC, and can honestly say that I've been disappointed each time. I really wanted to like the place. After about four tries, I gave up going there. I'm glad you had a good experience.

                  1. re: CynD

                    I like beer and the view so I'm tolerant, but meals have always been standard at the BBC.. except... my wife dreams about the tomato soup with the baked crust (Tuscan Tomato?) we make a good verison at home now, no reason to go to BBC anymore.

              2. re: bohemiana

                I had some SEVERELY undercooked halibut there once. Ick. I can't get over it.

            2. re: justagthing

              The Indian restaurant you're referring to is called Kamal Palace and it is excellent. We usually do a small lunch of the Keema Samosas and some Mullagatawny soup, but their Nan is delicious as well and I have thoroughly enjoyed every other dish I've tried there. Definitely recommend it.

              Kamal Palace Cuisine of India
              6374 E Pacific Coast Hwy Ste A, Long Beach, CA 90803

            3. BIGGS on 2nd st. http://www.calendarlive.com/dining/73...

              STARLING DINER www.starlingdiner.com

              or grab some wine and cheese at WILD OATS and rent a duffy at BAY BOAT RENTALS if it's a beautiful day and tool around the bay.

              7 Replies
              1. re: revets2

                Biggs has changed ownership and I haven't heard one good thing about it since. I was there a couple of years ago when it first opened and recommended it to everyone. Now that it's changed hands I've had at least four people tell me to steer clear.

                So, if you want second hand cautionary advice, there you have it.

                Good casual food: La Palapa!! So good, and a SUPER fun place. It's right by the pier off of 2nd and Livingston. Their nachos are amazing, and they have some really fun music. Ooh, be sure to get a mojito. Jason makes the best ones on the west coast.

                1. re: Melissavina

                  Wow! Did La Palapa change owners? I had not heard any good reviews about this place.

                  1. re: justagthing

                    I don't think they did. I love it there, but I've only been going for a couple of years or so. I went to a wedding there a few months ago and got to see the reception area upstairs... really cool!

                    I recommend it to lots of people. Where did you hear the bad reviews?

                    1. re: Melissavina

                      Bad reviews from friends, but those were a few years ago, so maybe they changes owners or the chef since then. What dishes do you recommend? Am willing to give it a go.

                      1. re: justagthing

                        Well, the nachos truly are to die for. And they make a killer special salad that's not on the menu called the "Bella Diablo" if you ask for that, you won't be disappointed.

                        And wash it down with a mojito, man, that's some good stuff.
                        I imagine that angels will pour that down my gullet in heaven.

                  2. re: Melissavina

                    The food at Biggs is still good, but the menu is not longer small plates, which makes me sad. They have horrible wine, and while their soju cocktails are tasty one can only drink so many. I also find it strangely loud there no matter how many or how few people are in the place.

                    1. re: teach

                      I walked in about a month ago to peek at the menu, they did have tapas on the menu, So I'm not sure why you thought they didn't.
                      but we realized we'd been there before with a bad experience... we didn't stay to eat.

                2. Just north on PCH is Green Field, a Brasilian Churrascaria. A very Brasilian feel. Don't let the "all you can eat" part scare you away from a unique, fun, and tasty dining experience. They have a huge salad bar, and great cuts of grilled meat are brought to your table and served from the skewer.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bbirch

                    Green Field is great, but you have to really like meat.

                    We love Natraj on 2nd Street, and Pappaluci's has great calzones.

                    Another great option for Italian is Pasta al Dente - it's just off of 2nd street on Naples Island.

                  2. My current favorite spot for breakfast is Egg Heaven Cafe. I go on Saturday morning and get a seat pretty fast. On Sunday there will be a long wait – not much seating inside. I like the long low counter with chairs. The food is Hot and taste great. They have some special breakfast potatoes they call “Super Browns” which are a kicked up version of their regular style but add cheddar, jack, avocado, sour cream, mushrooms and onions. You can order a large plate of Super Browns only or pay extra to have the regular potatoes with your breakfast changed for Super browns.

                    I once ordered the “Blue Stack” (Blue berry pancakes) with a side of four really good sausage links and have done the same twice since then. Next time I will try other items. They have about thirty different omelettes including ten veggie omelettes. The menu also has a interesting “Sandwich Board.” I really want to try the burgers. Oh, the oatmeal is great – steel cut I think. The “Built oatmeal” with granola, bananas, brown sugar, nuts and butter is a must try also.

                    Egg Heaven Cafe.
                    4358 East 4th St.
                    Long Beach, CA
                    (562) 433-9277

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Like go grinz

                      Do they still have that collection of posters from the Grateful Dead era inside? Used to eat there ages ago when eggs, cheese, and hash browns were still in my diet. Great place.

                      1. re: mlgb

                        Ya, the ambiance recalls the 60's style and the servrers are cool people too. Team work as in helping each other -- LOVE not war. The place is what I would vision "Alice's Restaurant" to be like. The food is down-home as breakfast should be. Now you got me thinking of that burger I want to try there, I will go today. You know, the song starts out making it clear that the restaurant being song about was not really named Alice's but that was just the name of the song about the restetaruant that was being song about.. Maybe he was singing about Egg Heaven? You can get anything you want ....
                        Egg Heaven Cafe.
                        4358 East 4th St.
                        Long Beach, CA
                        (562) 433-9277

                      2. re: Like go grinz

                        Coffee cup cafe or Eggs Etc are both, IMO, better than egg heaven...
                        I went once, and have never back.

                      3. depends on how near loynes and PCH you want to stay. Enriques is, indeed, great if you order the right things--pork shank, stuffed peppers, etc. if you want to head over the bridge to second street, i'd go with sunnin for really terrific middle eastern. i wasn't aware that biggs had been sold. i ate there again about a month ago. food seemed the same though they had dumped the "medium plates" concept for a more traditional appetizer-entree arrangement. main difference was that the service was almost startlingly professional. before, it was like they'd pulled a bunch of high school kids who'd never been to a good restaurant. they tried hard, but the basic skill level was extremely low. there's also a chipotle off the traffic circle. i think the food is really good, but it's a national chain and therefore hardly chow-ish.

                        1. I gotta mention cambodian food places since LBC is home to a whole lotta cambodians. Both places below are on Anaheim Street. Dishes are usually family style and will run you $5-$10. Some places of interest:

                          Sophie's: Cambodian.Chinese food. It's a smaller resturant with good food in a nicer part of LB.

                          New Paradise: I think you'll be surprised at how the nice the inside of this resturant is. The food is mostly traditional cambodian fare and you can even order coconut juice from a fresh coconut. The service isn't great though.

                          Both places have picture menus.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: kek is khmer

                            Thanks for the Cambodian recommendations--I'm pure LBC, but I've always been too intimidated to go try Cambodian. What do you recommend for a novice?

                            Since you mention Anaheim, my favorite Mexican place is the Brite Spot on Anaheim, between Redondo and Ximeno. There's another one further down Anaheim, and they've just opened one on Orange and San Antonio in the Bixby Knolls/Cal Heights area.

                            1. re: Evan G

                              I love the Beef Salad at Sophy's which is right across the street from Brite Spot. Anaheim is a wonderful street with so many choices up and down that avenue.

                                1. re: justagthing

                                  Finally got to Sophy's the other night, Sweet and Sour soup was good, not stellar.
                                  rest was standard Thai.. we ordered wrong and went Thai.

                                  Beef Salad looked amaizing, whole fish dishes looked good and the "asian omelette" looked stellar... giant egg omelette filled with rice noodles and ??? served with "accessories" to eat by hand in lettuce wraps... GET THAT ONE! Love to know the origin of that dish - Vietnamese, Camboadian??

                                  1. re: wilp

                                    I ordered a stir fried dish at Sophie's that was listed as Cambodian (ginger chicken) and wan't overly impressed. The adjacent table had a beef salad and I didn't think it looked especially amazing. I've been to one of the other big Cambodian restaurants on Anaheim (maybe it was New Paradise) and it was much much better.

                                    1. re: wilp

                                      Sophy's definitely doesn't have the best food but its a decent starter for Cambodian food newbies and the environment isn't intimidating. Here are some staples you can order at a Cambodian restaurant:

                                      Salaw Ma Jew Uen- It's sweet and sour soup like tom yum but usually has fish , pineapple, tomatoes, and some greens.

                                      Salaw Ma Jew Chrun- Green sour ish soup with well done beef. This is good people will be impressed if you order it.

                                      Cha siek Ko (stir fried beef)- kind of like bbq that is served with picked vegetables.

                                      Cha Ga thew- The cambodian version of Pad-See-You but with more gravey and thinner noodles.

                                      Cambodian places also have noodles. I recommend that Ga Thew Pbing with the soup on the side. Its like eating pho with the soup on the side with duck, chicken, meatballs, and shrimp.

                                      Sorry if the names look totally foreign. It's hard trying to come up with phonetic spelling.

                                      1. re: kek is khmer

                                        Thanks for the recommendations. I recall we had the first dish listed with giant freshwater prawns and it was great (at the New Paradise..or it may have been the other very large one, it was quite a long time ago.)

                                        1. re: kek is khmer

                                          Well...Where should I go?

                                          Long Beach is tough, I had some great dishes that I assume are Cambodian, but there are no purely Cambodian restaurants in the area. The all seem to be mostly Thai/Cambodian mixed.

                                          With that said I'll look for the above. Thanks!

                                          1. re: wilp

                                            Review of Sophy's in the District Weekly, the new LB paper started by a bunch of ex-OC Weekly folks: http://thedistrictweekly.com/dwweb/?p=44

                                            I take it the photo is of the beef salad, but it didn't mention it in the review.

                                            1. re: wilp

                                              Thats because Cambodian/Thai/Chinese/Vietnamese food overlap (i.e. they use similiar ingrediants and spices) and the resturants in Long Beach have diversified their menus since Cambodian Food is still considered obsecure IMO. But try Hak Heang on Anaheim for a mostly Cambodian Menu (their food is so-so) but they have the Cambodian Channel on during lunch for extran cambodian feel. ^_^

                                  2. There is a great cafe in the back of the Long Beach Museum. Fantastic view and pretty good food -- only had a shrimp coctail a chicken ceasar, but the food was pretty good.

                                    1. Gaslamp is also right on that corner and the have a Great $5 Burger and Beer happy hour special.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: SRosie

                                        Tell me more about the Gaslamp. It seems so 1980s. I guess I keep remembering when it was Live Bait. Good food? Music? Of course, I'm always looking for a $5 burger and beer if it is good. Railey's on Anaheim has a burger & beer special on Wednesdays I think.

                                        1. re: bohemiana

                                          I too can't help but think of it as Live Bait. I still hear Richard Blade's voice in my mind as I drive past it from his countless commercials for it on KROQ.

                                          1. re: bohemiana

                                            I didn't know it as Live Bait, I've only lived here for 2 years, but I've been there a couple of times and the happy hour burgers are large and juicy. The beer was definately the cheap stuff, DosEquis or something of the like.
                                            It's been a while but i'm planning a return next week wtih my co-workers I think.

                                        2. I've just had good food at 2 new places in Long Beach: Riley's Pub and Grill on Anaheim near Ximeno, where they have a weekday lunch special: any burger or sandwich and a schooner of premium beer for $9, domestic beer $8.50, or nonalcoholic bev. for $8. The burger was huge, and nicely medium rare. I got an avocado burger with a schooner of Fat Tire, and my SO got a (yum) garlic burger with PBR. We walked out of there full and happy for less than $20.
                                          This morning (Sunday) we had breakfast at the Starling Diner on 3rd street. Again, delicious, if a bit loud. I had the goat cheese and mushroom scramble and she had roast beef hash and eggs. This one was a little bit more expensive: with coffee, our breakfast was $26. Both places are on our repeat list.