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Long Beach & beyond, please help!

My husband and I are coming to Long Beach at the end of the month to visit some friends and need help deciding where to dine. (We live in Berkeley, so are spoiled by the vast dining options here).We will definitely be going to Mozza, but need help deciding which one? Our friends love the mozzarella bar at Osteria, but I'm more intrigued by the menu at the Pizzeria. Any opinions?

We will only be there for two days, so we need help deciding where to go for our other meals. Some places that our friends have mentioned are:

Campanile, The Foundry, Charcoal, Father's Office, Fraiche, Robata Bar, Angelini Osteria, or Holy Cow India Express...

Any thoughts on these places or recs for other places we should check out.

Thanks in advance, LA Hounds!

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      1. campanile is good.. def not one of the "hot" or "top" places for the past couple of yrs tho. Def go to Father's and try p.mozza at least for their grilled bread appetitzer and butterscotch budino dessert. YUMMERS!! i'm guessing by ur list that you're not rilly lookn for sushi but thas sumfn i think is def better down here than up there. if $$ is not an issue then try urasawa. :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: namstermonster

          The list is just what our friends threw out there for us to have some options to choose from. If there are better places, we are definitely open to suggestions!!

        2. Judging by your list of choices, it looks like you'll be headed up to L.A. for all your meals. But, if you don't feel like driving one night. Check out Benley, a Vietnamese Kitchen, on the perimeter of Long Beach. The restaurant is small and modern in design and the menu is simple and always delicious -- if you like this kind of food. It's still one of the best kept dining secrets in LB.

          3 Replies
          1. re: birdyyumyum

            Please see my previous post! We do not have our hearts set on driving to LA for all our meals. Those are just some of the options that my friend offered me. However, I'm the only CH in the group (but not the only foodie) so its my job to search out the good grub.

            Any other must-try places in Long Beach??

            Also, we don't really have any good BBQ, so suggestions for that would be appreciated as well.

            1. re: chemchef

              Next to Long Beach, there is Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach on Main St. Great BBQ and it is all about the smoke here.

            2. Campanile hasn't been a "hot" place for well over a decade. Fraiche is solidly very good, and is a current "hot" place. Pizzeria Mozza was not special, to me. Haven't tried the Osteria.
              It's actually very hard to make suggestions since this seems so open ended.
              A few "big name" places I've enjoyed: Sushi Zo, Providence, All'Angelo, Craft is also good.
              A couple of places from my to-try list: Mori Sushi, LA Mill.
              A few smaller name places I've enjoyed: Lal Mirch (excellent Indian), Upstairs 2, Neomeze.
              Can't get enough of the pancakes at The Original Pancake House.
              Guess I'm just throwing out a few names too.
              Haven't been to Robata Bar and probably never will. Not really into corporate-made aka factory-made dining. Much prefer izakayas like Honda Ya, Izayoi, Haru Ulala, and also Shin Sen Gumi.

              5 Replies
              1. re: slacker

                I appreciate your suggestions. Yes, I know that the question is fairly open-ended, but mostly I want to try places that are different from what's available here in the bay area. Are there any places that have an emphasis on fresh, organic, local, sustainable ingredients? We have a lot of that here, but I'd love to experience an LA approach to it.

                1. re: chemchef

                  I love Tender Greens if you happen to be in Culver City, it's focused on salads.
                  http://www.tendergreensfood.com/

                  Lou on Vine. I still have not been and it's on my short list.
                  http://www.louonvine.com/welcome_to_lou

                  I think there may be a recent thread related to what you're seeking, sorry couldn't find it.

                  1. re: chemchef

                    Perhaps try Tracht's in Long Beach. I haven't been, as I'm never in Long Beach. But she's a great chef.
                    http://www.trachts.com/
                    LA Times review: http://www.calendarlive.com/dining/cl...

                    1. re: slacker

                      Tracht's is great. I love their side dishes like the purple Japanese yams and the brussels sprouts. They have a few service kinks to work out. The staff is well-intentioned, but not always as on top of things as they should be. The food, however, is wonderful. It's been too cold until recently to sit on the patio, but that will definitely be the best spot in the house on a nice evening.

                    2. re: chemchef

                      If you're really passionate about fresh, local ingredients, keep going south to Brad Ogden's place, Arterra, in North San Diego County. It's an excellent kitchen inspired by one of California's best chefs, and they shop for produce a few miles away at Chino Farm, an American treasure (shipping daily to Alice Waters in your hometown). The only downside to Arterra is the big room -- in the Del Mar Marriott -- which needs baffles and soft surfaces to quiet the noise. If you go, request a table away from the bar.

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                      Arterra Restaurant
                      11966 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130