Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Where to eat in Long Beach, CA.

Exploring Long Beach from its neighborhoods to its beaches and water sports works up a powerful appetite. Fortunately, delicious relief is always close at hand.

Here are a few of the spots I tried and recommend.

An omelet from the Omelette Inn will set you up for the day.
If breakfast is your most important meal of the day, amble over to Omelette Inn downtown and snag a table from the locals who flock here. The decor is nautical, portions are huge, service is friendly and the combinations are creative. No steps, Levelers.

Sample of sushi from McKenna's.
The only thing that might beat lunch at McKenna's on the Bay is dinner there. The only thing that beats the view of Los Alamitos Bay and ambiance is the food. A legend in his and everyone else's mind, restaurateur and transplanted Brit John Morris presides with bonhomie over the marina-based eatery.  Tail-flippingly fresh seafood and creative presentation will win you over. No stairs.

MOLAA, home of Viva Cafe.
Lunch at Viva Cafe at the Museum of Latin American Art is its own work of art and the flavors take your taste buds to Latin America. Prices are surprisingly reasonable for the fine fare. No stairs.

The scallops at Sir Winston's.
For that special dinner, you can't do much better than Sir Winston's on the Queen Mary. Setting and service are impeccable and the food is worthy of the attention. It's not cheap but you won't be disappointed, especially if you end with a Gran Marnier souffle. There are stairs here, Levelers, so ask to use the elevator.

Crabcake at Queensview Steakhouse.
Queensview Steakhouse at Parker's Lighthouse is a locals' and tourists' favorite. Large, bustling, crowded, it fits comfortably into the marina setting. Steak is in the name but seafood also rates high for its devotees. My crab cake was overdone but the quality was there. Others at the table were pleased with their choices.You'll find stairs here, Levelers.

Long Beach is known for its ethnic diversity and you can get a taste of it in the restaurants along Pine Avenue.

SIP is a lively spot to start your evening.
My group had a moveable feast there beginning with cocktails at SIP in the Renaissance Hotel. Craft beers, an excellent wine by the glass list and fun appetizers whipped up by Chef Michael Poompan makes it worth a stop whether inside at the sleek lobby-side lounge or outside around the fire pit. No stairs.

Everyone's Greek at George's.
You'll feel like part of the family at George's Greek Cafe where Papa George welcomes you with a hug, offers the Greek version of Sex on the Beach (think ouzo) and keeps the food coming. You won't leave hungry. No stairs here either.

The decor at Alegria adds to the lively atmosphere.
Alegria Cocina Latina is narrow in shape but wide in appeal. You'll be happy, which is what allegria means in Spanish, if you start with a pitcher of the 600 gallons of sangria they go through a week. Chef Walter Cotta serves Spanish food with flair (I loved the humitas chillenas) and the flamenco show ensures a lively evening.  Watch that sangria, though. It's lethal. No stairs, though.

L'Opera Ristorante takes Italian cuisine to an elegant level.

L'Opera Ristorante, another of Chef Cotta's creations, is an elegant setting where talented performers sing for your supper. It's Italian, if you haven't guessed, and we ate every morsel of the dessert samplings even though we were already stuffed. Next time I want to start there. Do save room for the panna cotta. Another stair-free restaurant.

Ole! Flamenco.


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