HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
What are you cooking today? Share your food adventure

Your top long beach restaurants

shay_d Nov 24, 2009 04:08 PM

OK i aborted my search for decent restaurants along the LB marina. I don't want to go to a
chain restaurant.

Looking for quality food in downtown LB. My parents are in town and i'm taking them out to dinner. They are not the adventurous type - any recs for American, Italian, Mexican or Seafood restaurants are much appreciated (non chains preferably)

Many thanks!

  1. t
    TheOxfordian Feb 17, 2011 09:47 PM

    I live in the Shoreline Village area.
    A great neighborhood hole in the wall restaurant, that is off the radar, but sophisticated enough for foodies, is called Utopia Good Food & Fine Art.
    It's on the corner of Linden Ave and 1st Street.
    I highly recommend it.

    They have a Sommelier and a very decent wine list.
    The menu is quite an interesting mix of traditional and fusion.

    Although I stated Parker Lighthouse, earlier in this thread, I'd like to change my vote to Utopia Restaurant.

    Good luck!

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

    6 Replies
    1. re: TheOxfordian
      scottca075 Aug 1, 2011 09:37 PM

      I've always thought L'Opera had good Italian and does Naples Sushi qualify as seafood?

      I also like Belmont Brewing Co. for their ales. I can take or leave the food.

      101 Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802

      Belmont Brewing
      25 39th Place, Long Beach, CA 90803

      1. re: scottca075
        virtual balboa Aug 1, 2011 10:18 PM

        I've never been to l'opera but am really skeptical. $9 minestrone and a history of being propped up by city "loans." almost all of those downtown places are largely skippable. it's encouraging to see the new beachwood location there!

        if you want really unique, destination worthy italian in long beach - it's michael's or bust. la parolaccia on broadway is more traditional and inexpensive. their wine selection leaves something to be desired but the food is solid.

        also michael's has a pizzeria now, right? how's that?

        1. re: virtual balboa
          scottca075 Aug 2, 2011 08:08 PM

          So you haven't been to L'Opera, but you are ready to declare it, "michael's or bust" for Long Beach?

          101 Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802

          1. re: scottca075
            virtual balboa Aug 2, 2011 08:25 PM

            and with gusto! but enjoy the "favorito!!!"

            1. re: scottca075
              josephnl Aug 2, 2011 08:38 PM

              I don't think many will argue that Michael's is LB's most dependably excellent restaurant.

              1. re: josephnl
                samthechef Sep 12, 2011 10:17 AM

                Amen. The best.

      2. b
        bulavinaka Jan 25, 2011 05:06 PM

        Haven't been here yet, but Congregation Ale House got big props from a reliable source. It's a gastropub, but my source tells me that they do it all right - at least strive to.


        1. c
          chezwhitey Jan 25, 2011 09:13 AM

          Open Sesame for great lebanese food.

          Open Sesame
          5215 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803

          8 Replies
          1. re: chezwhitey
            hbgypsy Jan 25, 2011 09:23 AM

            you are right, chez that was a good one, too!

            1. re: hbgypsy
              eglbc Jan 25, 2011 09:50 AM

              1. Michaels in naples
              2. Frenchys
              3. Enriques
              4. Sophys thai
              5. beachwood bbq in seal beach

              Sophy's (moved)
              3720 E Anaheim St # 102, Long Beach, CA

              1. re: eglbc
                mlgb Jan 25, 2011 12:52 PM

                News release...Beachwood is opening a location in downtown LB in a few months, including some onsite brewing.

                A few other things places have opened since this post started, (not downtown but in North LB/Bixby Knolls)

                The Factory Gastropub

                El Pollo Imperial (Peruvian with lots more then just chicken)

                The Factory Gastropub
                4020 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

                El Pollo Imperial
                5991 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90805

                1. re: mlgb
                  reality check Jan 25, 2011 01:05 PM

                  There is a SmoQue Barbeque on 2nd, but I wasn't impressed the first time I went. Both ribs and brisket were average.

                  I like At Last Cafe, but I think since they were on Food Network, the quality of the food has gone downhill.

                  Bai Plu & Sushi Bar on Bellflower near Cal St. LB, is one of the better sushi restaurants in LB.

                  For quick, on the go fish & chips, England Fish & Chips, is great.

                  1. re: reality check
                    phatface Feb 17, 2011 12:25 PM

                    We ate at SmoQue a while back. Bland and mediocre. Bad service, bad food and stupidly expensive. You know you are in trouble when you see no prices on the beer menu. I could do a full review, but the place has NO reason to exist

                    1. re: phatface
                      skjax Feb 18, 2011 09:27 AM

                      Yes, the food at Smoque is absolutely horrible. It seems to get worse every time I go there. They do have some decent beers on tap (had Ten Fidy on tap last time I was there) but rather go down to Beachwoods in Seal Beach for better food and better beers.

                2. re: eglbc
                  rjw_lgb_ca Feb 17, 2011 02:28 PM

                  Frenchy's has closed permanently, which is a real bummer. So has Da Vinci at Long Beach Airport (food was good, but the room was stunning).

                  Michael's on Naples is still first-rate. Enrique's for killer Guadalajaran cuisine is always worth a trip. What new treats am I missing since I stopped going out to eat so much?

                  1. re: rjw_lgb_ca
                    mlgb Feb 17, 2011 06:52 PM

                    omg that is a shame about Frenchy's

                    El Pollo Imperial in North LB for Peruvian is my new favorite hole in the wall but I am a fiend for Peruvian.

                    El Pollo Imperial
                    5991 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90805

            2. h
              hbgypsy Jan 25, 2011 08:37 AM

              Naples Rib Joint......one of my favorite restaurants, ever...

              1. j
                josephnl Oct 18, 2010 10:16 AM

                Had dinner again last night at Michael's on Naples, and once again it was really excellent in all ways...from the greeting from Michael upon entering the restaurant, to the food and drink, to the service, to the ambiance, everything is first rate. We started with martinis which were perfectly made, then split several courses including an excellent flatbread, an heirloom tomato burrata cheese salad, a wonderful house made vegetarian pasta, and a terrific Italian cheese cake. Everything was great as always. It's hard to figure out why this restaurant doesn't get more praise in the press...it competes favorably with LA's best Italian restaurants (Valentino, Angelini, Mozza, etc.), and is certainly one of Long Beach's very best restaurants.

                Michael's On Naples Ristorante
                5620 2nd Street, Naples Island, CA 90803

                1 Reply
                1. re: josephnl
                  Servorg Oct 18, 2010 10:20 AM

                  One wonders if the OP (shay_d) ever tried any of the suggested places and, if they did, how they liked them? Shay, don't be shy - come back and tell us what you've eaten! ;-D>

                2. 2
                  2intune Sep 9, 2010 07:36 PM

                  When in Long Beach, I am always pleased with Frenchy's Bistro, halfway between the marinas.

                  Frenchy's Bistro
                  4137 East Anaheim Street, Long Beach, CA 90804

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: 2intune
                    wilp Aug 1, 2011 09:28 PM

                    Frenchy's is closed

                    1. re: wilp
                      josephnl Aug 1, 2011 09:37 PM

                      No great loss. In the few times I went to Frenchy's, I never thought it was better than barely mediocre.

                  2. h
                    heckonwheels Mar 25, 2010 07:59 AM

                    If I'm feeling rich, it's 555. Otherwise I like McKenna's on the Bay at Seaport Village or Russo's in Naples for Italian.

                    McKenna's on the Bay
                    190 Marina Dr., Long Beach, CA 90803

                    1. m
                      mbbear Mar 24, 2010 05:47 PM

                      Try La Parolaccia. Excellent Italian.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mbbear
                        longbeachmod Sep 8, 2010 12:42 AM

                        I have given La Parolaccia a few chances, and each one comes up weak.
                        They serve your food on cold plates. Two bites and it's time to wrap it up. Plus,
                        you have to beg the server for grated cheese. The menu is pretty mundane. I have seen more creativity at Olive Garden. But what is insulting is the phony italian accents by the staff that seem fresh out of the yucatan.

                      2. b
                        BlackTruckCatering Mar 24, 2010 05:40 PM

                        There's a restaurant in downtown Long Beach called The Sky Room. It has a great view of the city and I remember liking the food. They serve American food and seafood too. You should try to go Thursday-Saturday because they have live bands that play jazz music.

                        Sky Room
                        40 South Locust Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: BlackTruckCatering
                          klyeoh Mar 25, 2010 06:11 AM

                          Yes, I quite enjoyed dinner at the Sky Room a fortnight ago:

                          Sky Room
                          40 South Locust Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802

                        2. m
                          mlgb Nov 27, 2009 11:15 PM

                          Michael's on Naples is very good Italian.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: mlgb
                            klyeoh Mar 22, 2010 11:23 PM

                            I'd second Michael's on Naples. Other good choices here:

                            1. re: klyeoh
                              virtual balboa Mar 26, 2010 08:09 PM

                              third'd for michaels, if you're looking to go high end.

                              1. re: virtual balboa
                                josephnl Sep 11, 2010 09:51 PM

                                Fourth for Michael's on Naples. This is certainly one of LB's best for food, service and ambiance. Michael is a wonderful host, and on a pleasant evening dining on the upstairs patio is a real treat!

                          2. r
                            Ringo Gato Nov 25, 2009 02:53 PM

                            Downtown, near one of several marinas in Long Beach, there are many non-chain choices. To name a few: Pine Avenue has L’Opera (upscale Italian), Alegria (various Latin), Madison (steak), Sevilla (Spanish, albeit part of a three restaurant chain), King’s Seafood (part of a chain but it was the original location, if that matters). A few blocks away, 555 is one of the better steak restaurants in so Cal. Across the harbor at the Hotel Maya, there is Fuego (again, various Latin themes) as well as Sir Winston’s on the Queen Mary. I think another post recommended Parker’s Lighthouse, which is downtown in Shoreline Village. There are more. Of the restaurants I have noted, my personal choices are L’Opera and 555.

                            FYI, there are two large marinas in Long Beach (Alamitos Bay and downtown) and several smaller marinas. You specified downtown and some of the other recommendations are for good restaurants that are not in downtown but are in Belmont Shore and Marina Pacifica.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Ringo Gato
                              ocshooter Jan 25, 2011 02:04 PM

                              I will second (or third...) 555. I don't get to Long Beach often, but we took a client there for lunch and the steak was perfect. I got mine without butter, which they dab on as the default. The fries were surprisingly mediocre though.

                              555 East American Steakhouse
                              555 E Ocean Blvd Ste 208, Long Beach, CA 90802

                              1. re: ocshooter
                                reality check Jan 25, 2011 03:15 PM

                                Unless 555 has improved dramatically, I've found it to be below average steaks, at very high prices. Been there three times, each time steaks undercooked, tough and lacked flavor.

                                1. re: reality check
                                  hbgypsy Jan 25, 2011 03:21 PM


                                  1. re: reality check
                                    klyeoh Jan 26, 2011 04:37 AM

                                    I shared the same experience as reality check.

                                    1. re: reality check
                                      ocshooter Jan 26, 2011 10:51 AM

                                      I was there for lunch in December and my steak was perfect. A nice red all the way through without anything dripping out, good flavor even without the obligatory smear of butter... It has been a while since I have been to Mortons and I have never been to Ruth Chris, but the steak was as good as I could ask.

                                2. m
                                  mpinsp Nov 24, 2009 07:26 PM

                                  There are also many restarants on 2nd Street in the Belmont Shore area.

                                  1. m
                                    mpinsp Nov 24, 2009 07:24 PM

                                    You might enjoy the Queen Mary.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: mpinsp
                                      JeetJet Nov 24, 2009 10:09 PM

                                      My rec is George's Greek cafe but in the future I will be boarding the Queen and don't know anything about the place. What is enjoyable?

                                      George's -- the chicken is succulent and so tasty.

                                      1. re: mpinsp
                                        klyeoh Mar 22, 2010 11:35 PM

                                        I LOVE Sir Winston's for the sheer atmosphere. Service is warm & friendly.
                                        Food's on par with Madison's on Pine Ave (so are the prices, but Sir Winston's sides are priced at least $2 lower on average).
                                        Some hits:
                                        - Lobster ravioli, served with cauliflower puree & scallion oil;
                                        - Sir Winston's classic Caesar salad - absolutely fresh romaine lettuce, crisp croutons & very nice Caesar dressing;
                                        - Entree: Vegetable Wellington was delicious. 7 types of vegetables used, but I particularly liked the beetroot. Lovely buttery crust;
                                        - Rack of lamb with mustard-pistachio crust & roasted garlic jus. Accompanying root vegetables were hit-and-miss - didn't like the stodgy carrot patty, but loved the roasted beets;
                                        - Grilled shrimps, warm lobster & crab salad with blood orange syrup.
                                        Desserts - don't miss the ginger-infused creme brulee. Souffles are okay - Grand Marnier one was great, but chocolate one was underwhelming.

                                        Sir Winston's
                                        1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802

                                      2. Servorg Nov 24, 2009 04:39 PM

                                        When you say "in downtown LB" what area does that actually cover as far as you are concerned?

                                        15 Replies
                                        1. re: Servorg
                                          shay_d Nov 24, 2009 05:13 PM

                                          near the marina

                                          1. re: shay_d
                                            Servorg Nov 24, 2009 05:17 PM

                                            Did you see that you had some suggestions on your other post on this subject?


                                            1. re: Servorg
                                              shay_d Nov 24, 2009 05:18 PM

                                              yes, but they seemed to mainly chain restaurants. wanted to see if there were any mom and pop places. i'm willing to venture away from the marina.

                                              1. re: shay_d
                                                Servorg Nov 24, 2009 06:41 PM

                                                Enrique's for Mexican. One of the best Mexican food places in all of Southern California.

                                                6210 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90803

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  Professor Salt Nov 25, 2009 08:05 AM

                                                  Agreed. In the marina area, Enrique's is a great choice. You won't have a view of the water, but oh well. The carne en su jugo is a good entree, as is the huge pork shank braised in green sauce.

                                                  If you like BBQ, you can take a 5 minute drive south to Seal Beach and hit Beachwood BBQ. Very small, casual place with a nice selection of beers.

                                                  1. re: Servorg
                                                    drewb123 Sep 12, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                    Do you have any updates of restaurants for Long Beach or Huntingon Beach? looking for where the locals eat..Good mex, italian, asian, I consider myself a foodie so just really good food for all meals and cocktails or wine as well. BYOB is welcome.

                                                    1. re: drewb123
                                                      Servorg Sep 12, 2011 10:28 AM

                                                      I would still recommend Enrique's. I keep wanting to try the "At Last Cafe" since I saw it on Diners, Drive-In's and Dives.

                                                      At Last Cafe
                                                      204 Orange Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802

                                                      1. re: Servorg
                                                        Neta Sep 13, 2011 04:35 PM

                                                        We tried At Last Cafe last week and really enjoyed our meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. The gravy on the potatoes was excellent and the leftover meat loaf the next day was even better. We also had a pear and arugala salad which was good. There was a gentleman next to us that had ridden his bike (M/C) from Orange County. He had the Manhattan style clam chowder and said it was the best he'd ever had. Man next to him also raved about his pulled pork sandwich. We will definitely go back from the SGV. We were there about 2 P.M. and while business was booming we were still able to get a table. The space is very small. They do take reservations I understand. My only complaint was the fresh lemonade was not fresh and the orangeade was watered down and tasteless. Other than that, we enjoyed a lot.

                                                        At Last Cafe
                                                        204 Orange Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802

                                                        1. re: Neta
                                                          Servorg Sep 13, 2011 04:48 PM

                                                          Thanks for the report, Neta. Exactly the sort of place I would love to have in my neighborhood.

                                                      2. re: drewb123
                                                        josephnl Sep 12, 2011 12:29 PM

                                                        Once again, Michael's on Naples is excellent...and I would guess that their new pizzeria next door is good also.

                                                        1. re: josephnl
                                                          skjax Sep 12, 2011 01:20 PM

                                                          The pizzeria is just ok in my opinion. I prefer Ortica and Mozza over Michael's Pizzeria. A little bland.

                                                          1. re: skjax
                                                            josephnl Sep 12, 2011 01:23 PM

                                                            Thanks for that. The restaurant is nevertheless dependable, and certainly one of LB's best.

                                                        2. re: drewb123
                                                          skjax Sep 12, 2011 03:05 PM

                                                          Beachwood BBQ opened up a second location in LB. It is located a few yards from Congretation Ale House. Good beer on tap (although I still like Seal Beach Beachwood better) and I really like their burger.

                                                          In Huntington Harbour a new placed called Red Table opened up. I've only dined there once but I thought the food was pretty good. It's is located behind Trader Joes.

                                                          Slater's 50/50 opened up their second location in HB a few months ago. They are known for a burger that is half bacon. I'm not a big fan of this place but seems like others like it a lot. 80 beers on tap (most of which are not very special). Located on Beach and Adams.

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

                                                          Slater's 50/50
                                                          6362 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92807

                                                  2. re: shay_d
                                                    FED Nov 25, 2009 09:35 AM

                                                    depends on which marina. There is the ports of call area near downtown that has boats, and then there is the marina pacifica area further east. ports of call area ... i'd go for King's Fish House, if you order simply, or even Parkers Lighthouse, if you order VERY simply (nice view and i had a good piece of grilled fish there recently). As other posters have pointed out, if it's the Marina Pacifica marina, there are a TON of choices on second street. i'd recommend Sunnin, Lebanese but familiar enough to be acceptable, i believe.

                                                    1. re: FED
                                                      TheOxfordian Feb 17, 2011 09:19 PM

                                                      We love Parker Lighthouse! I take my Dad there every Father's Day.
                                                      Great view if you sit outside (you really can't beat the view).
                                                      Awesome Seafood Linguine.

                                                Show Hidden Posts