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Best LONG BEACH restaurant.

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Wife's Bday is coming up.

I'm tired of driving to Laguna for a nice "HIP" dinner. Some places we have enjoyed.. been to Nicks Laguna (good) Sapphire (good) Kya (very good)......

and We went to Old Vine Cafe (great!!!), last year for her bday, and WE LOVED IT.

Anything similar in Long beach.. Want to head north on the 405 this time instead of south.

Thanks.

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Kya Restaurant and Bar
1289 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Old Vine Cafe
2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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  1. Consider Michael's on Naples for excellent Italian fare in a very upscale environment with nice cocktails, wine and very good service. They make all of their wonderful pastas in house, and have very good meat and seafood. The main dining room is very nice, but the upstairs balcony is our favorite. Michael is a wonderful host, and if you let him know that it's your wife's birthday, I'm sure he'll save you a nice table upstairs.

    Another thought...but it's in Costa Mesa. Probably one of the best special occasion diniing experiences you can have in the Southland, is a tasting menu at Marche Moderne. It needs to be ordered in advance, will be expensive, but will be truly spectacular.

    One more thought...The Hobbit in Orange, although rather old world in atmosphere, and perhaps a bit stiff, really is very much a special occasion experience from it's champagne and snacks in the wine cellar, to a multi-course prix fixe dinner upstairs.

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    Marche Moderne
    3333 Bristol St 3001, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    1. Im not at all familiar with any of the place you previously went to, but I am familiar with Long Beach :)

      A really cool place would be to eat on the Queen Mary. I love that boat! I believe the Restaurant is called Sir Winstons. Probably pretty pricey, but being on the boat is pretty awesome. If nothing else, you can go for after dinner drinks at their observation bar. Always fun to take a look around.

      Next to the Queen Mary is The Reef and Hotel Maya - both different feels... the food is pretty good, the view is unbeatable as you look upon the LB skyline.

      Tantalums is a pretty great place. The food is wonderful and unique. Its located in a stripmall, but once you walk in you are transformed into another world. Their restaurant sits on the harbor and their bar faces the water. Great for sunsets!

      The Sky Room is located near downtown and sits at the top of a sky scraper - fancy, great views, pricey, but pretty neat.

      If youre looking for more casual but on the beach - La Palapa and Belmont Brewing Company are both great local options :)

      For whatever reason thats all I can think of off the top of my head - there is sooo much in long beach... if you have more questions or more specifics I can work off of, let me know, Id be happy to help!

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

      Queen Mary
      1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802

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

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

      La Palapa Restaurant
      2222 E 7th St, Long Beach, CA 90804

      2 Replies
      1. re: Steftacular

        Sir Winston's sounds like a great idea! Obviously the setting must be incomparable, and it's a place I've just put on my "must try" list. I'm not a huge believer in Zagat's, but it is nevertheless a compilation of votes by diners. It gives Michael's on Naples a 27 for food, and Sir Winston's a 22. So, I guess if I were deciding between the two for a special occasion, it would depend whether food or extraordinary ambiance were more important. Certainly the ambiance at Michael's is very nice, but nothing can compare with the QM!

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

        1. re: Steftacular

          Another place is the Madison in downtown - Ive always wanted to go there - very pricey but its like walking into another time era. The building is just beautiful inside. Definately a special occasion restaurant.

        2. Can't imagine no one has mentioned L'Opera on Pine Avenue, with the following write-up from Open Table:
          The perfect blend of Metropolitan meets Majestic! Vaulted ceilings and jade marble columns accent the historic "L'Opera" building in the heart of downtown Long Beach. Owners Terry Antonelli and Enzo DeMuro believe in a warm and elegant approach to fine dining. A fusion of classic and modern Italian cuisine combined with an "awe"-inspiring wine list, knowledgeable staff, and a true passion for customer service have garnered numerous awards: "Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence" - 1995-2007, the "Golden Sceptre" - 1990-2007,the "Bacchus Award" - 1998-2007, and "Sommelier of the Year" 2005.

          And the other one is 555 East, operated by King's Seafood, aka Water Grill, King's Fish House, etal.

          Both highly regarded.

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          Water Grill
          544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

          L'Opera
          101 Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802

          King's Fish House
          100 W Broadway Ste 1000, Long Beach, CA 90802

          555 East
          555 Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802

          1 Reply
          1. re: carter

            Although I cant comment too much on 555, I wouldnt refer to any of those other places as "hip" or extraordinary - sure theyre fancy and pricey, but id choose something with atmostphere over any of those places. L'Opera is a really nice Italian restaurant, but Ive had much better in more quaint and personal enviroment - i.e. Cucina Picarelli and Roman's Cucina both have amazing italian food and an adorable interior and service. Kings Fish house is OK. Nice date place but I wouldnt consider it for a special occasion like a birthday, though the food was good.

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            L'Opera
            101 Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802

          2. I'm surprised that no one has seconded my recommendation of Michael's on Naples. Am I the only CH who thinks that this is one of the best in LB? I think it's a terrific spot, and on a nice evening, their outdoor roof deck is a beautiful and romantic spot to dine (imho).

            5 Replies
            1. re: josephnl

              Thanks to all the replies.. sitll deciding... i think i'm leaning towards michaels.

              1. re: broncophil

                I don't think you'll be disappointed with Michael's. Be sure to let us know where you go, and how it turns out.

                1. re: broncophil

                  You should lean toward Michaels, yet my mention of the two places downtown was more meant to make sure you were not avoiding obvious options, both of which have been around for nearer 20 than 10 years.
                  Exciting, no, good enough food, yes.

                2. re: josephnl

                  Consider Michael's thirded. Great upscale Italian, friendly service, a beautiful patio. Just please stay away from the awful swill they'll feed you at the Reef. Your money is better spent if you throw half of it in the nearby Pacific and pick up burgers at In n' Out on your way back home.

                  Seriously, the Reef: dishes hover around $25 for sloppily thrown together, poorly presented plates that are neither original nor well executed traditional recipes. Also, the bathrooms are filthy.

                  1. re: virtual balboa

                    Fourthed? on Michael's.