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amwosu Jul 31st, 2006 08:12 AM

Need Long Beach CA suggestions
DH and I will be there next Monday and Tuesday nights (staying on a boat docked near the Aquarium of the Pacific)and I'd like a couple of recs for dinner in the area.

Looking for good food and good service and don't really care about price range or types of food (although we will have already done sushi in Manhattan Beach).

We can walk or drive if needed. Pine Avenue?

rjw_lgb_ca Jul 31st, 2006 09:58 AM

Frankly, you won't find great sushi joints in Long Beach (which is fine with me as I can't stand the stuff), so don't worry about that. Mondays can be tough for fine dining-- a lot of eateries are closed-- but we'll list some possibilities. The better non-chain places are up and down Pine Ave (with a couple on Ocean)....

For tasty northern Italian in a beautiful room, there's always L'Opera on Pine Avenue. Up the street, Alegría is a small plates specialist (tapas from everywhere), and I've always liked the food there. The Madison is a gorgeous room, but the food's a bit hit-or-miss for the prices. King's Pine Avenue Fish House is a nice casual seafood joint, and the fin fare is fresh and very very very tasty.

555 Ocean is a steak joint on Ocean, and it's fantastic. Parker's Lighthouse in Shoreline Village is another seafood specialist with great views. It's fine, just not as good as the best seafood joints in the area (King's, The Original Fish Company in Los Alamitos, etc.). Of the chains in the area around the Aquarium, PF Chang is good, but I'd avoid the others like the plague.

If you can get in a car and head east to Belmont Heights, Christy's and Lasher's on Broadway are two of the best restaurants in Long Beach. Bono's in Belmont Shore is run by the Christy's crew (specifically Christy Bono, Sonny's oldest daughter), and it's great too. For tasty Greek in Belmont Shore (our strolling neighborhood), George's Greek Café rules. For small plates in a cool room, Bigg's in Belmont Shore. One of the best French eateries in the greater LA area is Frenchy's Bistro on Anaheim; storefront digs, transitional neighborhood (east LB/Los Altos), but the food and service are astounding. I highly recommend getting the chocolate soufflé for dessert (must be ordered with dinner).

For stellar fusion Vietnamese (itself a fusion cuisine) in the most unlikely of places, Benley in East Long Beach (Wardlow at Norwalk) is a foodie's dream: Awesome, inexpensive Viet-bistro food in a stylist room, in a minimall.

rjw_lgb_ca Jul 31st, 2006 10:29 AM

Mexican!!! How could I forget?

Margarita Grille, on Atlantic near First, is one of the few Mexican places in the greater LA area that has tasty sit-down food AND a full bar. Its menu is a mix of the Cal-Mex standards at the owners' Baja Sonora restaurant near LGB and some Cocina Nueva Latina ("New Latin Cuisine").

Enrique's is just out of Belmont Shore, at PCH and Loynes. Another great place in a minimall. Only beer and wine, but who cares? There's always a wait for a table, and for good reason: Their cochinita pibil is indescribably good (slow-roasted pork shank in green tomatillo salsa), and they have just about the best carnitas in southern California.

MBnancy Jul 31st, 2006 12:27 PM

Wow rjw, what a great list. I printed it out. We've been to half the places you suggested, but you gave us some new ones to try, as we don't always think of going south to Long Beach for dinner, so it will be fun to check them out.

amwosu Jul 31st, 2006 12:37 PM

I KNEW you would come through for me. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! I'm hoping this bed and breakfast thing on the boat goes well so I can come back and eat at some more of your suggestions on another trip.

MBNancy- can't wait to get to your little village on Wednesday. Headed to the International Surf Festival on the weekend. I'll be the one in the bikini!

amwosu Aug 16th, 2006 01:33 PM

We ended up eating at 555 (steak) and L'Opera (Northern Italian). Both meals were tasty and we enjoyed the atmosphere in both restaurants.

Our accomadations were the bomb. Check out "our boat" for a few days.

rjw- I saw that you are quoted in the 2006 Fodor's Florida book. Didja know?

amwosu Aug 16th, 2006 01:43 PM

We did make it down to Belmont Shores and I loved the area. Great houses on Ocean Blvd. between LB and BS. Also lots of cute little places around Second Av. in BS area.

I printed out your recs but forgot to put them in my purse when we went to BS so we ended up eating lunch at Papalucci's on the rec of a former resident. We loved the garlic rolls in a pool of serious garlic butter.

rjw_lgb_ca Aug 16th, 2006 03:07 PM

I love Papalucci's too. I don't get there as often as I used to when I lived in Belmont Shore, and now I have an even better "noodles & red sauce" Sicilian-American joint near my house in East Long Beach: Ferraro's (Palo Verde & Los Coyotes Diagonal). Glad you found it! And glad 555 East and L'Opera worked out too.

Those houses on Ocean in Bluff Park are wonderful, aren't they? There's an original Irving Gill among them (he was an important California architect in the early part of the 20th century), and it's still an amazing house (the Raymond House: 2749 E Ocean Blvd).

amwosu Aug 17th, 2006 01:12 PM

We went past a modern house on Ocean that my friends in Manhattan Beach would be crazy for. Do you know anything about it? I really don't know much about architecture but I'd say 1960s ultra modern...

rjw_lgb_ca Aug 17th, 2006 01:22 PM

All-glass front wall, right? It's very Palm Springs Moderne, a bit out of place in Bluff Park, but....

I know it to see it-- I've driven and walked by, but never had an opportunity to check it out further. I'm still trying to get to a couple of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses, as well as the house Charles & Ray Eames built up in Pacific Palisades (their daughter still lives there).

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