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Feb 23, 2009 07:32 AM

Long Beach recs?

I am looking for an anniversary dinner tomorrow night in the Long Beach area. I remember a thread a month or so ago that had a recommendation of something on Broadway that caught my eye -- Thai perhaps? I can't find it now, and would welcome any other ideas as well. I've always been curious about Open Sesame so current thoughts on that are welcome.

The perfect place would be: Funky, but nice enough to spend a couple of hours. Any type of menu or food is good, but it is a weeknight so we don't want something that too heavy. Up to $100/total before wine. Easy to get to and easy parking is always a plus!


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  1. Open Sesame is good but not sure if you want to hang out there for a couple of hours. Le Creperie can be fun, sometimes they have a piano player and it is a bit on the funkier side as far as the interiors are concerned. There is a new place on Orange, but I can't recall the name, but from the recent threads, it sounded wonderful. Tract's in Downtown LB gas also received rave reviews, but I have yet to get out there myself. If you are in the mood for sushi, I would go for Koi in Seal Beach. For BBQ, try Beachwood BBQ, also in Seal Beach, but literally, it's just the next city over, so close and so good. Happy Anniversary!

    4 Replies
    1. re: justagthing

      I'm going to second Le Creperie. It can be a great place for an awesome night out with the SO. I'm a big fan of the cheese and pate plate, and I would eat any one of their dessert crepes. Enjoy!

      1. re: attran99

        The hubby would love it. I'm not a big fan of crepes -- do they have anything else? Cheese, pate, and a salad would make me happy.

        1. re: runandeat

          Yes, they have more on their menu; pastas, salads, and more.

          1. re: runandeat

            You actually might like the crepes. Many are not the "classic" thin flour and water crepes, but are made of heavier ingredients. I think they had a cornmeal crepe with salmon that was good, for example. And the interior is a lot of fun - like being in an elegant European apartment of 100+ years ago. However, like Ringo Gato said about Walt's, someone is bound to eyeing your table if you linger too long. Le Creperie does not accept reservations, so there may be standing around time involved . . .

            La Creperie Cafe
            4911 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803

      2. We enjoy Beachwood BBQ, and it's "funky" but it's also a tight squeeze (seating is very tight). It might be a bit easier during a weeknight. You said you didn't want anything "too heavy." I guess it does depend on what you order, but this is BBQ - and with sauces and sweet potato fries, etc . type sides (think down-home style) this might not be what you want. This is definitely not a place for intimate conversation - unless the place is half empty, you'll normally be talking a bit loudly in order to be heard by your dinner mate.
        It's fun and great food, but perhaps not "anniversary" special. Just a heads up.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Joani Macaroni

          I agree with you in terms of noise level and all, but if you order their smoked fish, that is quite light and so yummy too. But when the OP said they wanted funky as well as for this special occasion, I guess I figured the funky would be the bar area, where they could hang out a bit afterward and try some local microbrews. Tract's isn't funky, but is nice...guess a little more input from the op would be helpful.

          1. re: justagthing

            I've never had their fish - but I'm a fish lover, so I'll give it a try the next time we're there. Thanks for the tip!
            Yeah, they could hang out in the bar, but perhaps after dinner they'd like to take a long walk down the pier first . . . ?
            We usually go to Walt's Wharf for fish (right down the block), and if I'm not mistaken, Walt's son has a vinyard and Walt's features some of his wines. Runandeat mentioned wine . . .
            Hey, maybe Cafe Sevilla's with its dining and bar options and lots of tapas to choose from might be just the spot . . ? Definitely different and fun - maybe even "funky?"

            Cafe Sevilla Long Beach
            140 Pine Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802

            1. re: Joani Macaroni

              I was thinking of Sevilla as well, but not sure the food is on par with what they want. I love 2nd St, Pine or Main St. as they are all great places where you can walk around before or after.

              1. re: justagthing

                Thanks. Cafe Sevilla looks perfect.

                Sorry to be vague. I guess my idea of funky describes my preference for cheap, ethnic, hole-in-the-wall food -- but on the nights when I'm dressed up, able to spend a bit more, likely having a bottle of wine, and lingering for a while. Does that make sense.

                Thai often fits that bill. Anything else?

        2. Fora, in Naples, is a comfortable place with good food where you won't be rushed. I would also consider La Traviata which is probably more in the funky category, partly because of its downtown LB location and its focus on opera (probably no opera singers on a Tuesday).

          I love Walt's Warf in Seal Beach but I don't think it is the kind of place to hang out for two hours. It is usually pretty busy and I think someone may want your table.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ringo Gato

            True - someone will. Although during a week night, might be easier to stretch it out. But you can get out and walk around Old Town, and then pop into any of the dessert or coffee places and hang out. Or stop in at ay of the four Irish pubs. Or take in a movie at the vintage movie theater at the east end. There's also a wine tasting place, but I'm not sure of the business hours. The Abbey might also be a place to hang out.

          2. I went to Utopia once and had a really fantastic meal. Only been there once, so I cannot vouch for their consistancy...
            Meal was great, decent wine list and the dessert was heaven.

            Utopia Good Food & Fine Art
            445 E 1st St, Long Beach, CA 90802

            3 Replies
            1. re: megs8

              I worked in Long Beach for a long time and used to really enjoy "Delius Restaurant" They've since moved to a more modern building and has a totally different ambiance... It used to definitely qualify as funky but also special. Haven't been back in a while since I no longer work there so I can't say if it still is what it was. But it sure WAS unique!


              1. re: megs8

                Thanks for all the advice.

                Utopia was the perfect evening. I'll definitely hold onto the other suggestions if I find myself in Long Beach needing a nice meal again.

              2. La Gazelle in LB has only 8 tables, but the food is made fresh to order NOW, delightful Italian owner and staff, and we found them attentive and the food inexpensive and delicious. Walt's Wharf for GREAT service AND Seafood in Seal Beach.Koi twice in 5 dasy for the best sushi ever, and MANY cooked ityems of niterst. Trust the wait staff FOR SUGGESTIONS!. Dave's Burgers is a walk up easy to miss but great greasey burgers- chips only no fryer. Schooner or Later is great lunch beer patio and wholesome good lunch place.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Geane

                  Actually, that would be Cafe Gazelle, but they were also looking for something funky. Restaurant Koi but it is best to sit at the sushi bar.