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L'Opera & The Madison

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Some office mates of my husband have been raving about these places and gotten my husband all in a lather about going, so before I shelp my butt to Long Beach and spend a nice chunk of change, can anyone chime in?

I've searched the archieves but haven't found many comments.

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  1. Had some fairly good meals at L'Opera over the years, but it is fairly pricey (entrees $16-27 or so), yet probably the best of what downtown LB has to offer. Went to the Madison shortly after they opened and not only was the service erratic (newness may have had a bearing), but the steaks were worse! I like the room fairly well, even tho it is almost barn-like in size. Noise is definitely a problem in both restaurants. Have had good and average meals at Mum's in the same area.

    1. I wish I could help, but those are on my "when my ship comes in" list.

      LBQT?

      1. Don't bother. L'Opera is basically a second-rate trattoria charging Valentino prices. The Madison is just bizarre, though it is in a nice building. If you REALLY need to eat someplace nice in Long Beach, go to Frenchy's Bistro, which will remind you of hte first French restaurant you ever ate in, but at least is friendly and reasonable. Or go to 555, the steakhouse. Get a nice steak, their onion brick, the roquefort salad with blue cheese and a nice bottle of wine (they've got littorai pinot noir and a great rhone whose name escapes me, both under $50). It's not art, but it's not bad.

        1. I thought the Madison was fun. It reminded me of what a mid scale Manhattan Restaurant must have been like in the 1920s (though this is not on purpose, and would not be flattering to the management). It's in a cavernous old bank buiilding (ask to see the original turn of the [20th] century vault downstairs), and there's usually live music. Don't go for the food alone - it's nothing special and hardly a bargain.

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          1. re: Griller141

            I agree with Griller. The Madison is architecturally magnificent, but the food (based on my one experience) was good, but only slightly above average. They do get high marks for their coffe, though. They make it fresh at the table in a french press, and in small enough quantities that it's always perfect. You could shlep down to Long Beach and do both: drinks and music at the Madison, then mosey across the street and have dinner at L'Opera.

          2. I've never been to the Madison, but I've never had a bad meal at L'Opera (in half a dozen visits). It's a "special occasion" place; nice room--also a former bank--with exposed kitchen. And the desserts are to die for; can't remember the pastry chef's name (Asian woman), but she's incredible. L'O/Madison also own Alegria down the street which is tapas. Also very good.