Long Beach eats
I'll be in LB in two weeks. Which bars and restaurants should I check out?
Where will you be? How far are you willing to go for good food? Breakfast/lunch/dinner? Budget? Any cuisines you especially love/loathe? What kind of bar-- chill lounge, good happy hour, meet market, LGBT, dive, what?
The food scene in Long Beach isn't anything like LA or other big cities. Things are quite a bit humbler in this city. That said, there is good food to be had, Some for a pretty penny, some for mere pennies.
You'll hear about the same places over and over, I do warn you:
-- Michael's on Naples for grown-up Italian
-- Enrique's for cocina jalisqueña
-- Jongewaard's Bake 'n Broil for diner food and killer desserts (nothing earth-shattering, just comforting and familiar)
For cheaper Italian, there's a place called Café Piccolo that serves very tasty food in about as cozy and charming a room as you'll find around here. Lasher's serves very delicious American cuisine in a restored 1900's California bungalow; many here find the menu very 80s ("raspberry vinaigrette for salad? Let me get my acid-washed jeans and Members Only jacket!") and rather unironic, but I love their food. Bono's in Belmont Shore has a gorgeous room and good American food; the owner has sold to an Orange County interest and will be re-opening her eponymous room, Christy's, in November, Flying Spaghetti Monster willing, but she's still runnning the show at Bono's (yes, named for the Palm Springs eatery her father-- a guy named Sonny, you might have heard of him-- ran).
I really like Baja Sonora for fast-food Mexican that's gooey and saucy and spicy and just GOOD. Others like Super Mex, which I also enjoy (especially when very drunk).
George's Greek has solid, tasty Cypriot-Greek food. I also like Café Ambrosia, which has a purer Greek menu and a full bar.
Downtown, there's L'Opera for Italian and Café Sevilla for Spanish, as well as Alegría (Latin American). You'll find chain-resto Hell over at the Pike, although if you head to Shoreline Village you've got the Yardhouse, which is part of a southern CA chain of beer-centric pubs with lots and lots of beers on tap and pretty yummy bar food. You can do far worse over in that part of downtown (say, PF Chang or Gladstone's). Parker's Lighthouse is a maddeningly inconsistent seafood place, although the last time I ate there I was shocked at how good it was. Go figure. King's Fish House on Pine is more consistent-- always pretty darn good-- but it's better to take the drive to Los Alamitos (barely 20 minutes away) for the Original Fish Company. Yum.
Panvimarn and Tiny Thai are both close to Long Beach City College and Boeing-- and both serve delicious Thai food. Panvimarn has the better room and a bit more flair to the offerings, but the owner of Tiny Thai is very sweet and the food is cheaper, if pretty standard in the menu.
These are stream-of-consciousness recos. Others will have more thought-out things to say.
435 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach, CA 90802
101 Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802
King's Fish House
100 W Broadway Ste 1000, Long Beach, CA 90802
Tiny Thai Restaurant
4152 Norse Way, Long Beach, CA 90808
2940 Clark Ave, Long Beach, CA 90815
Bake 'n Broil
3697 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807
George's Greek Cafe
5316 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803
419 Shoreline Village Dr, Long Beach, CA 90802
re: MIss G
Broadway seems to be the heart of Long Beach's gay community, Ripples, being an exception, but there is Sweet Water, the Falcon, Pizza Place and Garden Cafe, The Mine Shaft, the Paradise Piano bar and more.
Paradise Piano Bar & Restaurant
1800 East Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802
1720 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802
re: MIss G
The Coffee Cup Cafe is a good choice for breakfast and is very LGBT friendly. The coffee is actually only okay, but the food is yummy. I like the veggie omelette.
If you go to Bake 'n Broil for breakfast, get the lemon blueberry pancakes if they are on the specials board.
Coffee Cup Cafe
3734 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814
Bake 'n Broil
3697 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807
Café Piccolo - last time we drove by this place (about 6-8 weeks ago) it had a banner over its sign with the name of a new restaurant. Haven't tried the new place yet and don't recall the new name. We did enjoy eating there before "curtain call" at the Long Beach Playhouse. You can park in the Playhouse lot, walk to the cafe, and walk back for the performance. Beats eating elsewhere and trying to get a spot in the lot just before 8 . . .
I'll add one more (Cambodian) - Monorom, on Anaheim east of Cherry. Under new mgt. Went the other day for lunch. Great value, fresh ingredients. Had Ch. broccoli w/ fried pork chunks, seafood noodles (meh) and the grilled steak skewers (awesome). More of a lunch place, but really clean and friendly.
but to be honest, LB is not that great in terms of food. If you have a car i strongly suggest driving up to LA one night for dinner. if you are okay with a late dinner, you can leave LB around 7pm and get to LA in about 30 minutes or so.
even easier drive may be up the 405 in Culver city. you can try Fathers Office and a few other gems in that area.
if you want to come to mid city LA, there are tons of places to try.
There's Beachwood BBQ (which I love for the beer selection) and Sophy's for Cambodian/Thai, there's 555 East for steaks and, yes, seconding Jongewaard's Bake-N-Broil.
(The Places link goes to the original Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, but there's another on Broadway in DTLB.)
131 1/2 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740
555 Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802
I went to college in Long Beach and discovered some good gems while living there...still going back to visit some of my fave places to catch up with friends...
George's Greek Cafe on 2nd street
Sushi Studio on PCH
Deli News on Bellflower for pizza
Angelos for sandwiches
El Burrito Jr in Seal Beach
Jans Health Bar in Huntington Beach
Nick's in Seal Beach for breakfast burritos
Schooner or Later...good for brunch/bloody marys
Bars...I like Murphy's on 2nd street for beers
My fave gay bar is Silver Fox on Redondo
The Irish bars in Seal are fun too!
Those who frequent the area know that Belmont Shore's 2nd Street needs another drinking establishment like Snooki needs a tan. Thankfully, the newish Tavern on 2 is unlike what is already there. Dubbed the LBC's "first, true gastropub," T2 features our new, favorite indulgence: Oxtail Poutine with Duck fat fries which is as decadent as it sounds. In subsequent visits, we ordered the Chorizo burger (lamb and pork) which was quite tasty but, surprisingly a tad dry and the Short Rib burger (very good). Shore Local pals think it's the greatest eating addition in some time, specifically talking up the Smoked Haddock Chowder (Friday only) as well as a scratch Beef Hash on weekend mornings. I'm aiming to try both real soon.