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Long Beach: Good food, ethnic food

I just moved to Belmont Shore area of Long Beach and I'd love to hear any recommendations people have about the best restaurants in the area. I'm especially interested in good ethnic restaurants (Indian, Chinese, Thai) as well as good places for breakfast. What about the surrounding areas downtown and in the OC?

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  1. If it's ethnic you're looking for, Long Beach is the center of the Cambodian community and as such there are many restaurants along Atlantic Blvd. Having spent nearly a month in Cambodia last year, and having been forced to give their cuisine a healthy shot, I came away from Cambodia not very enamored with the food.

    The most famous dish, called amok fish, always tasted limp and overly sweet to my taste. The best food we ate were the little barbecued sticks of chicken and pork, and the fresh tropical blended fruit shakes which were magnificent.

    Also, the only meal that ever really filled me up there was the beef loc lac... I certainly wouldn't mind hearing of a local place which serves a good rendition.

    Perhaps this Cambodian Association might be a good place to start exploration of this largely overlook neighborhood
    2201 E Anaheim St # 200
    Long Beach, CA 90804
    (562) 433-2490

    Mr Taster
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    4 Replies
    1. re: Mr Taster

      I think Siem Reap is one of the best Cambodian restaurants on Anaheim. It's smaller and easy to miss, but having been to all of the big places for weddings, etc. I definitely prefer them. Plus, if you like live singing there is always lots of entertainment :)

      1. re: cookee

        Siem Reap is pretty good. Also another Cambodian restaurant on Anaheim, a little before Siem Reap, on the left side (coming from Belmont Shore) is Monorom. I love their chicken with lemongrass. and also their fish rice soup with rice noodle is good also. It's in a little plaza with a bakery and market.

        For sushi and thai food in one restaurant... there's Aki Sushi and Bai Plu Thai.. (www.akibaiplu.com) on 7th st... and i believe Walnut?

        1. re: vibrant

          yeah-7th and walnut. That place is great. We went for my mom's birthday-ate thai. I think we ordered at least 9 entrees and shared them, plus we had drinks and it was only $70!! the food was so good too.

          1. re: cookee

            You can order from both menus!!! japanese and thai... great for indecisive people like me. the sushi is fairly good and everything i've tried from the thai menu was always very good.

    2. Try Open Sesame
      5215 E 2nd St

      A small Mediterranean restaurant in your new neighborhood. Yummy!

      2 Replies
      1. re: rickiek

        Benley is awesome! Super fresh clean food at wicked silly prices, a gem for sure.
        It is tiny so reservations are a good idea. The do not have a wine list so it is BYOB.
        Benley
        8191 E Wardlow
        East Long Beach

        1. re: bubbles4me

          You have to try Benley-it's a Long Beach hidden treasure.

      2. In Belmont Shore: Open Sesame, Sunnin, Magic Lamp for Moroccan, Lebanese, middle-eastern. La Creperie for (what else?) crepes and a French atmosphere. Taco Surf for Mexican. George's for Greek. Babette's Feast for boulangerie. Famima for Japanese fast food. Aroma di Roma for pannini, espresso, and gelato. I know there are more, but these are my regulars. Shore House for breakfast. Head up to Artesia (just north of Long Beach) to little India for your pick of Indian cuisines.

        1 Reply
        1. re: CynD

          There is also a good Indian place in Marina Pacifica below Pier 1 Imports. They have a restaurant in Artesia, but this is closer. There is also some good Chinese (Macau St, Caanan and more) and Filipino food in Cerritos/Artesia area, oh and pho of course (Pho Saigon)

        2. Sophies is not far. Its a (common to LB) Cambodia/Thai mixed menu. Both are good, there are some posts here on Sophies. Going Left on Anaheim from Redondo on the right is a very good Pho house - can remember the name - but is across from McD's. The very small mini mall next to McD's is Long Beach Thai - my favorite Thai in the area. Low key and unknown.

          Keep going down Anaheim west and find your favorites - I agree with above - pure cambodian not worth chasing. Hak Heng is on the right - its as close to good Cambodian you will find - soups are good. There are some other-than-pho Vietnamese places on Anaheim, but I dont go too much and I forget the names. I love the markets on Anaheim - good asian products for asian cooking or not, for dirt cheap prices. You will see a place called Joe Josts on the right side at Anahim and Temple, GO IN.

          For Breakfast I like Potholder in the heights and Schooner or Later in the Marina. This new place on 3rd near Termino is promising. For Indian - drive to Artesia - search for one of many threads here on Indian in Artesia I like Udipi Palace and Woodlands. For Mexican - Enriques is the best around - it is at Loynes and PCH in the strip mall. Chinese I like Chens on Broadway and Cherry.

          6 Replies
          1. re: wilp

            I love Sophy's, I know there are others on this site that don't so much, but I enjoy the Beef Salad and tom yoong soups as well.

            As for breakfast, Bake & Broil is great, on Atlantic a couple miles north of the 405. They also do a great burger med. rare if you ask. But I didn't like their onion rings, way toooo greasy.

            If you want a nice Italian, Cafe Gazelle is off 2nd St. and only has 9 tables. Small, quiet and quaint.

            1. re: justagthing

              Cafe Gazelle just opened a Huntington Beach outpost at Edinger and Bolsa Chica. Haven't tried it yet but I'm told it's a bit larger than the original.

            2. re: wilp

              I second the Thai place in the strip mall close to the McDonalds on Anahiem. I think the sign just says thai food. Their food is really good and you get a total hole-in-the-wall vibe.

              Cambodian: Go with the noodles! Cambodians eat noodle soup and rice porridge for breakfast so I suggest going in the morning for it. I'd recommend getting the ga thew phonm Penh (rice noodles with duck, chicken, pork). Add a little soy sauce and sugar to show that you are dow with the cambodians. Most places only serve it until the afternoon.

              1. re: kek is khmer

                It really is called "Long Beach Thai", just an fyi.

                1. re: justagthing

                  We tried "Long Beach Thai" for lunch on New Years Day when our first two choices were closed. It is a bit hard to find, it in the strip mall on the southwest corner of Anaheim and Redondo, between the McD's and Redondo.

                  It's quite divey and a bit grubby, not that there's anything wrong with that. We had the Tom Yum Kai soup and a shrimp salad. Both were fine. We gave them props for not overcooking the shrimp, and not having made the soup too salty. A lot of people were having a noodle soup with what looked like tripe in it. The service was friendly if a bit slow (I guess we were not ordering the standard lunch fare). We would return.

                  We still prefer Thai Corner (inside not divey, more generous portions and use of herbs, and they'll actually go spicy for gringos). We always get the spicy chicken salad (they must charcoal grill the chicken), tom yum kai, and basil eggplant stirfry.

                  -----
                  Thai Corner Restaurant
                  2615 Carson St, Lakewood, CA 90712

              2. re: wilp

                The pho place you're talking about is the best! My husband and I have been going there for years. It gets pretty crowded on the weekend. Oh-and on the weekends you have to get the fried bread (I forgot what it's called) with your pho.

              3. Jongeward's Bake 'n Broil (Maybe the best place to eat in town. Breakfast, Chicken Fried Steak, Pot pie, Burgers, Red Velvet and other cupcakes, sticky buns, Cakes - Red Velvet, and Pies– Banana Cream and more are so good! )
                3697 Atlantic Ave (North of 405 – corner of 37th st.)
                Long Beach, CA 90807
                (562) 595-0396

                Egg Heaven Cafe. (I eat here 2 or 3 X a month. Cash Only – Very good breakfast and burgers. Blue stack, sausage, and omelets are all very good. I like everything but the hash and biscuits and gravy)
                4358 East 4th St. (Corner of East 4th and Ximeno St.)
                Long Beach, CA
                (562) 433-9277

                Sweet Jill's ( Just for Cinnamon Rolls and coffee -- no breakfast)
                5224 E 2ND St
                Long Beach, CA
                90803-5329
                (562) 438-4945

                Roscoes Chicken & Waffles
                730 E. Broadway
                Long Beach, CA, 90802-5134
                (562) 437-8355

                Chuck's Coffee Shop (good breakfast and burgers, I also like the ambiance – true coffee shop)
                4120 E Ocean Blvd
                Long Beach, CA
                (562) 433-9317

                Golden Eagle (breakfast burrito served all day)
                2101 E Willow St. (Just South of 405, off at Cherry)
                Long Beach, CA, Long Beach, CA 90806
                (562) 492-1336

                Frisco’s (Indoor carhops? Yep! Pancakes, burgers are pretty good also. Skip the tuna sandwich)
                4750 Los Coyotes Diagonal (Cross Street - PCH)
                Long Beach, California
                562.498. FOOD
                http://www.friscos.com/

                3 Replies
                1. re: JeetJet

                  JeetJet, my brother from another mother. I love these places but I've never been to Egg Heaven. Frisco's just okay, but I do like that you can get chili cheese fries or zucchini for your side dish. Just had Potholder this weekend. For pics...

                  www.thatgirlcaneat.blogspot.com

                  1. re: JeetJet

                    Absolutely love the chicken burrito at Golden Eagle - get it with extra salsa!

                    1. re: So Ho La

                      Oh yeah... that baby is a cheese bomb!

                  2. i'm surprised no one has yet picked up on what i think is the best taco shop in town: Taco Loco #3. Magnolia between PCH and Anaheim. This is serious, serious stuff. freshly made tortillas, great meats, lots of different salsas.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: FED

                      GREAT call. Probably don't want to go there at night time, but that only adds to the charm right? Seriously, this is not only my favorite mexican food in Long Beach, but probably the best I've ever had. The tortas are RIDICULOUSLY good. Carnitas torta, awesome. Birria is really great too.
                      Go there for lunch, and go next door to the mexican bakery for dessert....

                      1. re: ccapestro

                        Is this related to the Taco Loco on PCH just past Banning Park in Wilmington? I used to work in Wilmington, and miss my favorite cheap, tasty and convenient lunch choice.

                        1. re: lbcmama

                          i'm not really sure. i've never been to the other ones. do they do hand-made tortillas?

                    2. If you want good Korean, Buena Park is the place. At Beach and Malvern is SuRah which is an upscale full service restaurant with excellent panchan. Very reasonable and popular. In the same shopping center there's a branch of Paris Baguette (which is a Korean chain) and there's a food court at the supermarket.

                      My favorite Thai restaurant is at the corner of Carson and Paramount (next to Me'n'Eds pizza and 7/11). I was so not impressed with Sophy's. Used to eat at Dear Heart but not so fond of it with the newest owners.

                      Hole Mole on PCH (near Recreation Park) is good for fish tacos and Mexican breakfast burritos. Supermex is Long Beach's own, basically it's an old school LA Mex type but not bad. Lots of outlets.

                      Obviously for Indian head to Artesia. I haven't really liked the Indian restaurants in Belmont Shore or the Marina but they're okay for what they are, Indian for gringos.

                      There's a Brazilian Green Field Churrascaria on PCH near Recreation Park. How could spitgrilled meat be bad.

                      Benley's: Love it.

                      Lucille's doesn't get much respect because it's a chain, but actually the smoked tritip sandwich is an excellent value, and you can request it with no sauce. I like the greens there also. There's one in Belmont Shore.

                      I'm sure you've smelled Sweet Jill's already for cinnamon rolls.

                      1. Thanks, everybody, for all the information. I have months of culinary excitement ahead of me!

                        1. There's a good "La Parilla style" Mexican place called Los Compadres a few blocks from Alex's Bar on Anaheim that I like.

                          1. La Creperie Cafe and Open Sesame for sure. Crowded as heck, but excellent grub.

                            1. Have breakfast at the Coffee Cup Cafe on 4th at Grand, south side of the street. Try the eggs Florentine and the veggie omelete. They are open for breakfast and lunch only, close at 3 p.m.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: susans

                                Welcome to the 562.

                                BABETTE'S FEAST, walkable from just about anywhere in your B'Shore hood, is the spot for breakfast/brunch or for its decadent array of desserts to eat in or take with. Its founders and former owners @ BABETTE BAKERY supply fresh baked goods to a number of cafes, restaurants and independent coffee houses in the area. A few steps down is less ethnic but, no less authentic SoCal Sonoran at JR. MEX, where the burritos are as big as your arm and where they fry whole corn tortillas in place of chips. If it's pizza you crave, SLICE OF NY, a short drive over the water or a nice kayak trip south to Seal Beach, imho, is the best slice in SoCal and blows away anything on 2nd Ave. including NY's UPPER CRUST, Z, DOMENICO'S and BJ's. Across the street from SLICE OF NY, the tender brisket, smoky sausage, blue cheese grits and microbrews await at BEACHWOOD BBQ.

                                So you like a view with your meal? Talk a jaunt down Seal Beach Pier to its end and request a table on the far west end at RUBY'S, a SoCal diner chain where breakfasts, burgers and shakes are the best bet. Back to the LBC, at Shoreline Village, a table at PARKER'S LIGHTHOUSE at dusk can actually moisten the eyes.
                                For a rare ethnic treat, sample true South African fare at SPRINGBOK BAR a few yards down while taking in a rugby match with the lads.

                                Cerritos/Artesia, seven minutes away on the 605 N, is a veritable treasure trove of ethnic eats. Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Indonesian, Hawaiian and, as stated earlier in this thread, South Asian and Indian cuisines are among the better-represented. Artesia Blvd., just west of Palo Verde, is home to HOLLAND AMERICAN MARKET, the largest Dutch grocery store in SoCal and about a mile and half east lies its Iberian counterpart, PORTUGAL IMPORTS, a rare area gem.

                                -----
                                Babette's Feast
                                4621 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803

                                Beachwood BBQ
                                131 1/2 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

                                Holland American Market
                                10343 Artesia Blvd, Bellflower, CA 90706

                                Portugal Imports
                                11655 Artesia Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                                1. re: Kris P Pata

                                  Wow! I can't believe that Holland American Market is still there! I actually attended Wonderland Preschool back, way back in the day. Use to have my dad take me there for chocolate. I will defineatly have to make a trip.

                                  1. re: justagthing

                                    OK not ethnic but a Long Beach must try is Joe Josts. A Schooner of Pabst, a pickled egg, peanuts and a special, (Hot dog sandwich on rye with mustard and a pickle) a perfect meal!

                                    1. re: bubbles4me

                                      yes, thinking of Joe Josts made me travel up and down Anaheim, mentally, and one that I haven't seen mentioned here yet is Frenchy's...

                                      1. re: bubbles4me

                                        just out of curiosity, how is Joe Josts NOT ethnic?

                                    2. re: Kris P Pata

                                      Yes, Beachwood BBQ is a superb new place -- lotsa interesting menu items like blue cheese grits, sweet potatoe fries, and corn bread with hunks of fresh cherries.

                                      And they make up nifty to-go boxes that are handy for taking a pulled chicken sandwich down to the beach in Seal Beach.

                                      Yum!

                                        1. re: justagthing

                                          and when was the last time you saw deviled eggs on a restaurant menu?! that place is pretty rad.

                                          1. re: ccapestro

                                            Now I am so into their fish...oh how I want some now. I tried both the salmon and the ahi, the ahi is my fav, but the salmon wasn't bad. I'm just a salmon snob.

                                            1. re: justagthing

                                              los compadres mexican restaurant in long beach is excellent. on anaheim near cherry i think.....good food, good service, and very clean inside.

                                  2. Another one not yet mentioned, although not ethnic is Delius, which has just opened their new location near the Costco in Signal Hill. Haven't been to the new location, but they've just expanded the menu and prices look reasonable.

                                    -----
                                    Delius
                                    2951 Cherry Ave, Signal Hill, CA 90755

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: mlgb

                                      I was thinking of trying it. What do you order there? I was kind of sad to see "The Rib" go even though I never ate there. When I was a kid learning to read my dad says that was the first sign I read out loud without being prompted.

                                      1. re: Oh Robin

                                        Went back to dinner with a larger group for the second visit.

                                        Things to order:

                                        Mushroom soup
                                        Crab cakes. Two big cakes and will do nicely for a main course.

                                        The pork chop on the regular menu at the bottom. Huge double boneless chop, cooked as you prefer. Both diners liked theirs.

                                        Mac and Cheese, again both parties liked it and took the leftovers home. You might even want to order one entree and serve it family style, it's huge.

                                        Don't order--the curry vegetable soup. Not much curry flavor and watery. One diner only took one spoonful. The server was kind enough to bring her a salad in its place.

                                        Anything with salmon. This time it was mushy, last time it was just okay.

                                        The prices are reasonable, service is good, and the room is lovely.

                                        I'd like to try it for brunch and the happy hour next.

                                        Note: Anything labeled as spicy really isn't. They have a light hand with the seasonings.

                                          1. re: Oh Robin

                                            Not required, but I think you'd feel underdressed if it wasn't at least business casual.

                                    2. has anyone tried Lily's Bakery French Sandwiches on Anaheim? really good banh mi for $1.75. also lots of different Vietnamese for take-out, banh xeo and goi cuon. 2 sandwiches, a jackfruit smoothie and an order of goi cuon for $8.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: FED

                                        i think i've been here... they have papaya salad also right?

                                        1. re: FED

                                          My Le across the street is also good for a quick lunch fix. I vary between these two as I work at the school across the street. Lily's also has very good crossaints, plain or ham and cheese, for when I don't feel like Khmer food.

                                        2. This thread that has been going for months now hasn't even touched on Downtown Long Beach -
                                          if you're headed that way La Muse on Ocean of Breakfast or Lunch, great Crepes and coffee
                                          Georges Greek (from 2nd st) also has a Restaurant on Pine between 3rd and 4th
                                          Utopia in the E Village arts district,
                                          Cha Cha's Caribbean Fusion on Pacific between 7th and 8th
                                          There's also a few great wine bars - Casa Vino on Pine and there's another at Linden and Ocean I think.

                                          1. Just tried Mi Oaxaca on 10th and Orange. Brand new, and the staff and owners are excited about their new place and eager to show off their specialties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. They serve 4 out of the 7 moles of the region, and the coloradito is especially good.

                                            1. Go to Artesia. That's where the food is! There are TONS of authentic Indian and Chinese places.

                                              1. Open Sesame has the best baba ganoush, pita, chicken skewers around if you are into med. style food.

                                                1. Egg Heaven in Long Beach, on Ximeno, I believe, is the best breakfast place in the area. Order the turkey scramble, or check the board for specials. I used to work by the traffic circle on PCH/Ximeno years ago, while living in Huntington Beach. I still live in Huntington, and drive several miles for breakfast at Egg Heaven. It's really, really good, and there's an ambience/atmosphere there I can't find in the OC, including any breakfast place in Huntington.

                                                  1. Great suggestions from everyone. No one has mentioned Enriques yet, so I'll put in a plug for it. It's in a strip mall on PCH, south side, it's south of Bellflower, past the Greek Orthodox church.

                                                    Just a step up from the usual; great food.

                                                    1. Just found a new one, at least to me: Linda's is a Mexican restaurant near the corner of Seventh and Redondo. Really good, fresh food. Terrific chilaquiles and the beans a fried in what tastes like really good lard! for future research, it's in a mini-mall with a bbq place called "Porky's" right out front.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: FED

                                                        Might as well add Rivera's.

                                                        -----
                                                        Rivera's Mexican Restaurant
                                                        2901 E 7th St, Long Beach, CA 90804