Long Beach Lunch: The Local Spot
I have a theory that breakfast is a replacement for religion in Long Beach, which is really just my attempt to explain the hour-and-a-half waits outside of every egg-serving place in town on Sunday mornings.
With so many devotees of the city's open-'til-2, breakfast-and-lunch cafés, then, it was surprising to discover that The Local Spot--a sister restaurant of Long Beach's well-loved Eggs Etc.--has been sitting relatively undiscovered in a Cal State-adjacent strip mall for nearly a year.
Originally a lunch-only concept from the Eggs Etc. owner (who had her and her best friend's son serving burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches from an outdoor BBQ), The Local Spot eventually built a full-size kitchen inside and transplanted Etc.'s breakfast menu. Still, the word is only part way out about the city's latest house of worship and so it has become my new go-to for crowd-free eggy lunches.
Last time, a friend and I arrived at The Local Spot late, within an hour of its 3 p.m. closing time. "No problem," said the waitress. "No rush at all." "Good," I said, "because I can never decide what to get."
In addition to the classic lumberjack meals--bacon and eggs, corned beef hash and eggs, steak and eggs--the menu lists three types of scramblers, four different benedicts and five pancake flavors. There are also 16 omelettes, some with interesting combination like the JSM (jack cheese, sausage and mushrooms), the Aloha (Portugese sausage, spinach, onion, Swiss cheese) and the Rancho (steak, mushrooms, cheddar and Ranchero sauce).
And this is all without flipping the menu onto the back. Lunch is full of homemade burgers, hot sandwiches, entrée-sized salads and cold wraps, which I won't even allow myself to order until I am done trying more of the breakfast options inside.
We decided on a Baja Omelette with soyrizo and a California Benedict with a side of California Spuds. Feeling feisty, we traded out the omelette's toast for a buttermilk pancake. Despite the obvious number of calories in the massive meal we ordered, everything was so freshly prepared that it did not feel as much when plates finally came to the table.
Baja Omelette with soyrizo and California Spuds
Everything but the pancake came topped with fresh avocado and the bennie's hollandaise sauce was whipped so frothy it might have only been made with egg whites. The home fries were cut thin then partially smashed and grilled in light oil along with some chopped green onions, resulting in crispy-on-the-outside-perfect-on-the-inside potatoes--no ketchup needed.
Our waitress even offered some house-made salsas (the spicy salsa roja was best), which coupled with the soyrizo and sour cream on the omelette made for a great gabacha breakfast.
I know I'm probably shooting myself in the foot by ousting my favorite unknown breakfast spot, but if long Sunday wait times are the worst consequence of having this hidden gem be known, I will gladly share some loaded granola pancakes with the rest of Long Beach's faithful.
The Local Spot, 6200 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, (562) 498-0400.
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