This Week in the LBC
This one is for all our Long Beach peeps who complain we don't cover their fair port enough despite the fact that Long Beach IS NOT Orange County.
The Spanish-styled brocheta vegetariana isn't like any bruschetta we're used to. The bread is replaced with corn tortillas and topped with skewers of grilled vegetables in a light sesame sauce on a pile of Peruvian corn, fresh-chopped tomatoes and tofu. That's right—tofu! 115PineAve.,(562)436-3388.$$
Babette's Feast is a boulangerie/patisseriepar excellence, laying out a spread of delectable, mouth-watering delights that makes you thank heaven above for the gift of taste buds and these ungodly desserts. 4621E.SecondSt.,(562)987-4536.$
This music venue's food emphasizes fresh salads and semihealthy fare. The Blue Café salad—featuring grilled chicken, mango chunks, pepitas, blue cheese crumbles and apple slices—makes a meal that is fresh, filling and packed with your recommended daily amount of something or other. 210N.Promenade,(562)983-7111.$$
Coco Reno's, adjacent to its tattooed hipster sister bar the Reno Room, serves what can only be described as delight on a platter. Better known as carnitas, they're even made to order for those who are carb-challenged. Cancel the rice and beans, smother the succulent pork in cheddar cheese, slop on the sour cream and guac, and cheat just a little with a toasty tortilla. 3400E.BroadwaySt.,(562)438-9381.$
Someone once said, "Simplicity is the spice of life." Snicker all you want, but they must have been referring to the Bolero crêpe at La Crêperie Café. This sorta-Provençal café offers perfection drenched in butter and sugar with a twist of lemon. C'estbon!5110E.SecondSt.,(562) 434-8499.$$
Established in 1952, this award-winning Italian restaurant received Best Pizza honors in the Entertainment Book for five straight years. It offers a huge menu selection, including American dishes; you'll want to try the enticing chicken piccata, fettuccine Alfredo, lasagna, shrimp and pastas. The chicken Parmesan melt sandwich and the calamari steak will create lasting memories in your stomach. Plus, they sell Fernet Branca, which will cure your cholera. 5205E.PacificCoastHwy.,(562)498-2461.$$
Egg Heaven would be Rockford's kind of place: plenty of wood paneling, a liquor store across the street, and a big picture of Elvis next to the kitchen. They have anything you can make out of an egg—including more styles of omelets than there are stars in the Andromeda Galaxy—except the chicken. Now that we think about it, they have chicken sandwiches and salads too. Truly isheaven here. 4358E.FourthSt.,(562)433-9277.$
The phrase "food coma" was invented for the visceral carnality that clogs your pores at Green Field Churrascaria, which specializes in the terrifying meat onslaught known as churrascaria, or Brazilian barbecue. Churrascaria is pricey, but here's what you get: all-you-can eat Brazilian sausage, tightly packed and burnt to nirvana like a nonsweet Chinese sausage; a chicken thigh, good but perhaps too dry; and beef loin, best ever, rare but hot clear through. And this is only the first offering—the folks at Green Field will not be satisfied until meat starts poking out of your ears. 5305E.PacificCoastHwy.,(562)597-0906.$$
With plastic flamingos and a stuffed catfish wall trophy the size of a walrus, the South lives on here. Delight in the Yankee Cheese Grits and fried green tomatoes, but don't forget to try the catfish. 4663LongBeachBlvd.,(562)423-7327.$
Ask the folks at M & M to comment on the peach-hued walls, lowered ceilings and general bunker-like atmosphere (livened up only by an animatronic James Brown doll and a display case full of dolphin-shaped oil burners for sale), and they'll decline. Wisely so. But the food—perfectly grilled short ribs, snappy okra with nary a touch of sliminess, nummy peach cobbler, amongst others—they'll praise with the intensity of a Sunday-morning gospel choir. 5400CherryAve.,(562)422-8395.$
The food here is some kind of gustatory incantation; the dishes awaken taste buds that have been asleep since birth. The babaghanoush alone will take command of your senses, overwhelming them with the deep, smoky flavor of eggplant marinated in pungent olive oil and garlic. 5215E.SecondSt.,(562)621-1698.$$
Put simply, everything is good. The waffles here are the ones God orders on those Sundays when he's just not up to creating anything, much less cooking. If you're one of those chicken-skin eaters, you'll figure you have died and gone to heaven. 730E.Broadway,(562)437-8355or(562)437-6285.$
Located in Long Beach's biggest sitting duck (otherwise known as the QueenMary),Sir Winston's is the LBC's locus for fancy food. Their lobster just reeks of garlic—delicious. But before that, order the boursin cheese salad. It's made with real boursin cheese—not the fake kind so many restaurants use—and has lots of tomatoes and cucumbers. 1126QueensHighwayDr.,(562)499-1657.$$$
Albert "Uncle Al" Fadonougbo has successfully drawn upon both sides of the Middle Passage in creating his restaurant's menu during the past 10 years. Though most of the entrées appear mundane on the menu, Fadonougbo's massive-but-delicate hands combine Cajun complexity with West African subtlety to inject some much-needed energy into Long Beach's soulless soul-food scene. Do chomp through Uncle Al's po'boy menu and marvel at his cross-continental fusion. 400 E. First St., (562) 436-2553, www.unclealseafood.com. $
View our complete dining guide at www.ocweekly.com/food.
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