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Dinner near Aquarium, Long Beach?

Looking for a place to have a very casual (price doesn't really matter, but we will be dressed in t-shirts and jeans or shorts depending on the weather) dinner for two next Saturday evening, close to the Long Beach Aquarium/ Convention Center. We'd prefer not to need to make a reservation, as our arrival time in LA is still up in the air.

Just about any cuisine is fine, though I'd prefer Japanese, and hubby would prefer to have less spicy and heavy options, as we will be heading out to sea early the next am, and he is prone to mal de mer. I did see there is a Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles somewhere around there, but alas, fried chicken is one of the few foods hubby really dislikes (yeah, I know...).

Klyeoh had some nice postings not too long ago, but most were about places that are more upscale than we are looking for (Michael's, L'Opera)...I did see several mentions of Enrique's for carne en su jugo. Is that our best bet? Are there any other better options or options as good, perhaps a big closer to the convention center? And if we go to Enrique's, what other dishes to the hounds recommend (particularly that aren't too heavy)?

Thanks for any help!

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  1. I love Enrique's, but some of their best things like the pork shank can't exactly be considered "light" as far as food goes. How about http://www.opensesamegrill.com/ for some nice Middle Eastern/Mediterranean fare?

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Just in case this recommendation appeals to you and your husband there are actually two places very close together to choose from (and I like them both). The other one is: http://www.magiclampgrill.com/

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      Magic Lamp
      5020 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803

      1. re: Servorg

        ooh...great idea, thanks...although I suspect I'd love Enrique's also, I know hubby would much rather have Middle Eastern/Lebanese, and it is something we don't have here at home in Merced (not that our Mexican places are any great shakes either, but still...). Of the two I'd guess we'd prefer Open Sesame since they have beer and wine, (since Magic Lamp says they are halal, I am guessing they don't. In any event, if they are Muslim owned, operating hours might be an issue since it is Ramadan, though we won't be dining early anyway. Still, great to know about.)

        I take it we should be able to get in to either without reservations? Thanks; will let you know what I think.

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

        Magic Lamp
        5020 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803

        1. re: susancinsf

          I would make reservations, (if possible - can't recall if they are taken or not or if so for what size party) because the Belmont Shore area is pretty popular.

      2. Very close to the Aquarium, open until 9 p.m. on Saturday. Pasta, sandwiches, salads. Very casual. http://www.modicas.com/Home_Page.html

        1. At Last Cafe but make a reservation, small restaurant that gets packed. Good food, good prices.

          1. Enrique's has excellent sea bass as well as a salmon dishes (off menu but always available) that are on the lighter side. I also love their eggplant appetizer which is on the lighter side as well.

            1. I can't see Enrique's as "light" fare. If you're going to do fish etc why not stay downtown and go to Kings.

              If your hotel has a restaurant it may be worth investigating as well.

              8 Replies
                1. re: mlgb

                  Have you had either Enrique's sea bass or salmon dishes in order to make that statement? They surpass King's. For example, the sea bass is served on top of spinach in a ligtht broth.

                  1. re: JAB

                    that does sound good....what else do you like there?

                    1. re: JAB

                      I guess it's on the secret menu that isn't printed, so no ,I have not. How does one find out what else is "off menu" since the regular menu is well, just Mexican.

                      PS Enriques often has a lengthy wait. For a reason, of course.

                      1. re: mlgb

                        "PS Enriques often has a lengthy wait. For a reason, of course."

                        The reason being - They don't take reservations... ;-D>

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Well, that and the braised pork shank in tomatillo sauce

                           
                          1. re: Servorg

                            The carne en su jugo is good too. Never tried their fish here. Might have to get that next visit.

                        2. re: mlgb

                          This I agree is a problem as the wait staff doesn't always tell everyone what the "specials" are. I remember the 1st time that I went and looked for the pork shank and the sea bass and didn't see them on the menu and I didn't bother to ask and just ordered off of the regular menu. I was still very pleased however.