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Looking for a Great Dinner spot in Long Beach

Gang,

I'm open to any cuisine as long as it has amazing food. A side dish of ambiance would be nice too. No chains, please.

What does the Chowhound Hive Mind suggest?

Thanks!

SAM

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  1. I'll let you decide on amazing and just list my favorite non-chain places. I'm sure others will debate/add to.

    Thai: Okay, technically this is in Lakewood: Thai Corner, at Carson/Paramount between 7-11 and Me n Eds. Recommended dishes: Spicy Chicken Salad, Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce, Papaya Salad, Sticky Rice and Mango. Ask for it spicy and they will make it very very spicy. Your option.

    Benley, 8191 East Wardlow Road
    Quasi Vietnamese with minalistic decor. Recommended dishes: Shaken beef, buttermilk panna cotta.

    Cafe Piccolo, 3222 E Broadway. Nice ambience on the patio. Solid California Med Cuisine and not terribly expensive.

    I'll leave Belmont Shore to others.

    Avoid: Tantalum. Yuk. Think PF Chang's food and Pier One Decor. But the view is nice.

    8 Replies
    1. re: mlgb

      My new fav in the area is Koi Sushi, assuming you sit with Taka. He'll do you right. Technically in Seal Beach, 5th and PCH.

      Belmont Shore has L'Creperie for good dessert crepes and even lunch/dinner. Yen Sushi and Bono's next door are also solid. I like Babette's for croissants, and Open Sesame for very good, inexpensive middle eastern. Bigg's had a very inventive grilled cheese, too bad that place is gone. We'll see if Vint's (the replacement) is any good.

      L'Opera and Mums down on Pine St have always been my favorites in LB, but it's been a while since I've been. There's a good cigar place above Mums. There's also good tapas downtown as well...Sevilla, perhaps?

      1. re: foodmonster

        Have you been to the cigar place and Mums recently?. For some reason I thought one or the other or both had closed. I don't really go to Pine Avenue so wouldn't know.

        1. re: mlgb

          Mums is no longer and has not been for awhile.

          1. re: justagthing

            Same owner- just updated into a hipper sports bar with a bunch of flat screen tv's and renamed it Smooth's. Not too sure if the food is any better (standard upscale bar menu); went there only once when it was Mum's.

            1. re: kdoc

              Went once as Mum's but have been there since as Smooth's. Owner was nice enough to let a bunch of teachers use the room in the back for a private party (small party of 10) without charging us. Food is decent, but the back room is a nice spot to have a small get together.

              1. re: justagthing

                Ah, bummer. I loved that place. Apparently I haven't been to Pine in longer than I originally thought!

          1. re: justagthing

            Seriously, I can't stress this enough! :)

      2. George's Greek food is the best, it's inexpensive and the portions are big. The fried calamari is one of the best I've ever had, and the gyro salad is also really good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cookee

          And if you call them in advance, you can reserve the upstairs balcony for groups of up to about 30. They even let us put up a huge banner for my daughter's surprise party.

        2. Ambiance? Quiet, the hip scene or romantic?
          -Cafe Gazelle-off of 2nd St. Small place with only 8 tables. Italian and appropriate portions
          -Ditto on L' Creperie-kinda noisy sometimes, not great acoustics
          -Tantalum has a great view, go for drinks in the bar, but I do like the calamari
          -Restaurant Koi on PCH in Seal Beach (right next door to LB)-great fresh sushi, sit at the bar
          -There are now 3 middle eastern/med restros on 2nd. I prefer Open Sesame and Magic Lamp, not hip on Sunin, but I will give them another try since they keep getting rave reviews.
          -Sophy's on Anaheim for Cambodian, but not much ambiance
          -Frenchy's on Anaheim, well know for french, not sure since it is on my list of to go to places
          -La Parolaccia Osteria Italiana on Broadway-huge menu-Italian
          -The Sky Room, views great, not sure on the food.
          -Buster's Beach House-breakfast is good, haven't been for any other meals, nice water view as well

          6 Replies
          1. re: justagthing

            These are great...and if romantic, which?

            1. re: SecretAsianMan

              If you like Italian, I think Cafe Gazelle is very romantic. Very small and intimate place

              1. re: SecretAsianMan

                Cafe Piccolo. Worked for me every time! (on the patio).

                1. re: SecretAsianMan

                  frenchy's and 555. last may be an odd choice, but it has a great, intimate steak house feeling. plus, thought the food is good, it's not the kind of stuff you obsess over, so conversation tends to be about other things than the menu.

                2. re: justagthing

                  That is a good rundown.
                  Romantic. I agree with Cafe Gazelle and Frenchy's. Both have great food and service. Neither are the best for views or roving soprano's at your table, but they are clean. Frenchy's is my favorite - dont let the bland exterior fool you!

                  I would add Christy's on Broadway. Great food, wine selection and service. Nice atmosphere.

                  1. re: justagthing

                    Sophy's: Disappointing visit for me. NO atmosphere and the food is very very average. And the time I went, the service wasn't very good either (staff chatting in the back of dining room with friends and not paying attention to custos).

                  2. Lot's of goodies in LBC:

                    Italian: La Travetta (great food/ambiance), Gazelle (never been but have heard great things!), La Opera (same as gazelle)

                    Steak/American: Kelly's on 2nd street (looks like dive outisde, but great inside), 555, Lashers

                    Frenchy's is awesome.
                    La Creperie is good, but one step away from being a chain, and the worst live musical performances I have ever encountered.

                    Also on 2nd st: FORA and NICO's

                    1. One place that I love is Patty's Place in Seal Beach. Behind Restaurant Koi in the same center on PCH. They specialize in prime steaks and they have a beautiful wine selection, Wine Spectator award of excelence for the last 3 years. Great little bar and small dining room with some outdoor seating.
                      http://pattysplacerestaurant.com/