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New and exciting in Long Beach? Also, any cochinita pibil close by?

SteveTimko Sep 30, 2007 06:37 AM

I'll be spending a few week days in Long Beach and I'm looking for new places to try, mainly for lunch and breakfast.
So far I think I'm interested in trying Cafe Picollo, Benley, Egg Heaven Cafe. Benley sounds particularly intriguing since the reason I'm probably a Chowhound is because of a French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant in Arlington, Va., called Queen Bee.
Anything new in Long Beach I should check out or worth exploring that hasn't been described yet? I like just about anything.
Also, a local Chowhound asked about cochinita pibil and piqued my interest. I searched the Los Angeles board. This thread is particularly helpful.
The one place that gets the most praise for cochinita pibil is only open on weekends. That doesn't work for me.
Logistically, the best place is Loteria!, since I'll be in the Farmer's Market area one day. Another option is Chichen Itza, which sounds like it's a better version. Maybe I can swing by there. Is there any place closer to Long Beach with a good cochinita pibil?

  1. Professor Salt Sep 30, 2007 10:31 AM

    Hi Steve, welcome to the area. One place you haven't mentioned is Enrique's, which is a Long Beach stalwart. They are not Yucatecan, so no pibil there. Nonetheless, they do some excellent homestyle Mexican cuisine. Not as casual as a taqueria, but not very formal, either.

    The things to get include: Roasted pasilla peppers stuffed w/ blue & jack cheeses. "Carne en Su Jugo," or beef braised in its own juices dish, the carnitas-ish braised pork shank dish (which is pretty huge). If I were eating alone, I'd pick the first two things for sure.

    Enrique's Mexican Restaurant
    6210 E. Pacific Coast Hwy
    Long Beach, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Professor Salt
      gsw Oct 13, 2007 10:21 AM

      Love Enrique's! Whenever I plan to pick up someone from Jet Blue at LB Airport, I plan my trip to include lunch at Enriques!

    2. Azizeh Barjesteh Sep 30, 2007 12:31 PM

      For breakfast, I'd try the Starling Diner on 4th street in the Belmont Heights area. It's off of Redondo in a residential neighborhood. You can check out their menu online, www.starlingdiner.com

      I also enjoy Enriques, and every time I go there I also get the Carne en Su Jugo. It just appealed to me the first time, and I really enjoyed it.

      1. Servorg Sep 30, 2007 02:50 PM

        Bake 'n Broil -- see review here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/405909

        1. b
          baloney Sep 30, 2007 06:42 PM

          Tracht's is fairly new in the downtown LB area near the convention center. It's very good and I believe open for lunch now.

          1. SteveTimko Sep 30, 2007 07:09 PM

            Thanks for the other recommendations.
            I had to eat off a taco truck for a couple of years so unless it's something really different I'm burned out on Mexican food.
            I've eaten at the Bake and Broil a half dozen times. In fact, the daughter of one of the people I'm visiting worked there for a while. I like it. I just want to try some place new.
            The Starling Diner looks interesting. Are the scones pretty good?
            What kind of food does Tracht's have?
            A person I'm visiting isn't too thrilled about going to the MacArthur Park area to go to Chichen Itza. How safe is that in the day time?

            2 Replies
            1. re: SteveTimko
              baloney Sep 30, 2007 07:52 PM

              I feel weird calling Tracht's a steakhouse, but I guess that's kind of what it is. It's a restaurant by Jar's Suzanne Tracht. It is somewhat expensive but top notch IMHO. They don't have a website yet, but if you google it you should be able to come up with a menu somewhere.

              MacArthur Park isn't so bad during the day(but I am used to that area so take that into consideration). There are just too many people around. You could make an argument that any place in any city would be dangerous.

              1. re: baloney
                cookee Oct 12, 2007 05:37 PM

                I ate at Tracht's for the first time last week...it was delicious. I had the pot roast with the japanese purple yams on the side-they were the best potatoes I've ever had. and the chocolate pudding is to die for. It's basically a really good european hot chocolate in pudding form. It's really nice for dinner b/c of the outdoor fireplace and the view.

            2. vickib Sep 30, 2007 08:57 PM

              Regarding Enriques, even if you are burned out on Mexican food, I would suggest you go and try him out anyway. He does fish really well. My favorite is either halibut or seabass (depending on what's good at the fish market), poached in broth atop a bed of spinach and tomatoes. Extremely light and elegant. Reasonably priced, too.

              I just came back from dinner at a new place, Vint's, on 2nd Street. My better half and I shared roasted chicken, mac and cheese, and sauteed spinach, with a salad each. Lots of garlic, which we happen to like, the chicken was really tender, the potatoes that came with it were wonderful. Very good mac n cheese.


              Vint's American Grill
              4722 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA

              1. o
                Oh Robin Oct 1, 2007 01:31 PM

                For a great local breakfast, my favorite is The Potholder.

                For a review, pics, and other Long Beach gems...


                1. SteveTimko Oct 2, 2007 02:37 PM

                  Is there any difference in quality for the two Chichen Itza locations? I was planning on going to the one near McArthur Park, since it seems closer to where I'm going, but one person seems to like the original location better.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: SteveTimko
                    SteveTimko Oct 9, 2007 11:05 AM

                    Anyone have an opinion on the two Chichen Itza locations?

                    1. re: SteveTimko
                      Ernie Oct 9, 2007 11:07 AM

                      They are both good. Original location in Mercado La Paloma is a very casual stand, while the newer location is sit-down with table service and feels more formal.

                      1. re: Ernie
                        silverlakebodhisattva Oct 10, 2007 11:21 AM

                        I've eaten at both repeatedly, though many more times at the 6th St. location; the food is almost indistinguishable; the 6th St location, though, is an actual restaurant, as opposed to a stand, with live music on weekends sometimes, a wine list, wait-staff etc. Still a bargain, though.

                      2. re: SteveTimko
                        DiveFan Oct 10, 2007 03:48 PM

                        The S. Grand Ave location
                        - has free, available parking
                        - closes about 6pm
                        The W 6th Street location
                        - is open late

                        Ahhh, linking is working ...

                        111 East Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802

                        6210 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90803

                        Chichen Itza
                        3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

                        Chichen Itza
                        2501 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

                        Jongewaard’s Bake 'n Broil
                        3697 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

                        Starling Diner
                        4114 E 3rd St, Long Beach, CA 90814

                        3700 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803

                        1. re: DiveFan
                          AGENT FOODIE Oct 10, 2007 03:50 PM

                          anyone else with good long beach recs? i work down there..

                    2. cookee Oct 12, 2007 05:39 PM

                      Benley is my favorite place-we got hooked and go at least once a week now. Everything I've tried is delicious. My husband and I are very picky about pho-but theirs is delicious and the flavor is very clean. The casava cake is not always on the menu-but ask if they have it when you go-it's really good.

                      1. l
                        littlefrenchgirl Oct 12, 2007 09:55 PM

                        I like:

                        1) Fora in Naples on 2nd Street (upscale but not pretentious food - creative, chef is Austrian)

                        2) Yen in Belmont Shore on 2nd Street (Japanese food - sushi and sake)

                        3) Delius on Cherry (new location) - contemporary

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