We heard that September is Better Breakfast Month (or some variation of it), so what better excuse to check out a new brunch place? We wandered out of our Orange bubble to Long Beach Exchange and dined at a new spot within earshot of Hangar food hall. The 908 is in reference to the first three numbers of Long Beach’s primary zip codes, as they are a local restaurant that caters to the community. Brunch service began a few weeks ago.
Round One: Chicken and . . .Pancakes?
Since chicken and waffles are considered a pairing, we were curious to find out if 908’s kitchen was on to something with this riff on the brunch classic. For all intensive purposes, we admittedly prefer savory over sweet, so the fact that it even sparked our curiosity was enough reason to order. Despite being a bird that wasn’t served on the bone, it was quite moist and flavorful. A perfect fried coating meant every bite was a solid one. And the pancakes? Sweet notes of cinnamon and nutmeg gave our buttermilk flapjacks that extra oomph to keep us wanting another bite. We brought home enough to make a fried chicken flapjack “taco” for brekkie the next day.
Round Two: Omelette Time!
Trying to select an egg dish was not an easy task. For a short list of a dozen entrees, there was a little bit of everything offered. We ultimately chose a 908 Omelette, made with bacon, cilantro, avocado and Gruyere. Served with home fries, this hodgepodge of ingredients proved that Gruyere was a capable cheese for melting. Plus, those taters were made with care. Crispy, golden bits throughout gave our plate some texture.
Extra: More Bacon!
How we managed to swing brunch on National Bacon Day and National Patio Day (we think?) is beyond us. To celebrate, we ordered a side of pecan bacon. At first, we expected something sweet or perhaps candied. What we received was pleasantly smoky and meaty; Read: not fatty. It also went well inside our omelette.
Final course: Chilaquiles
Debating between breakfast tacos and chilaquiles, we were informed that this recipe came from the family of one of the cooks, making our decision easy. Chilaquiles from other restaurants was normally served on the saucy side. This was a much drier, less messy version. All the flavor was cooked right into the chips. Don’t let the red intimidate you, as it’s more spicy in complexity than spicy heat. The same could be said for a requested side of salsa, which you must order. A fried egg allowed us some tasty yolk porn before being shared. We silently wished for more sour cream and/or queso fresco to help with the generous portion, but were otherwise satisfied.
Between the warm service, chill people-watching and future herb garden being installed, we were pleased with the overall vibe of The 908. Brunch-wise, their selection proves quality over quantity. Plus, a full bar meant we ordered a New York Sour, because we could. Go and check them out.
The 908 is located at 9850 Worsham, (562) 420-5331; www.the908restaurant.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.