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CA-Long Beach | Ryan's Blog

Archive for the ‘ CA-Long Beach ’ Category

Fresh Foods Cafe – Long Beach, CA

My friend told me about this place in Long Beach that has an amazingly fresh and progressive menu.   While it is a bit hard to find, it is well worth the hunt!  It is located right in the Catalina Landing Building (where the Catalina Express departs).  They even have 90 minute free parking if you can find it (use the coordinates below).  

I’ve been to Fresh Foods Cafe several times now, and I still haven’t tried everything I wanted to try on the menu.  They have great daily specials to spice things up.   Every time I get the soup – it is always amazing.   If you like fresh salads, you can watch them make it in front of you. 

Prices are very reasonable – every time I went I never paid more than $12.   My favorites would be the turkey sandwich, and rotisserie chicken.  Both are extremely moist.  The bread is extremely fresh and must be made daily.   Their motto is “Everything Fresh, Every Day.  We do not buy it, we make it.”  I go back so often I signed up for their “I like it Fresh” club which gets you free food after so many dines.

Official Website:
http://freshfoodscafe.com/

Contact Info:
340 Golden Shore
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 980.9200

Cafe:
 33°45’48.22″N
118°12’1.63″W

 

Fresh Foods Cafe on Urbanspoon

Number Nine Noodles + Beer – Long Beach, CA

I talked my friend into having dinner (even though we were trying to be good and eat at home). We’ve wanted to go back to this new Vietnamese restaurant called Number Nine Noodles & Beer, located in the recently revitalized 4th street Art Theater area.

The narrow setup of Number Nine is very New York esque. It is very clean, to the point and efficient.

For an appetizer we decided to start with the vegetarian spring rolls. The waitress made up our minds when she told us the spring rolls weren’t deep fried like the egg rolls (still trying to be good). Don’t be shy with the tasty peanut sauce.

During our last visit, we had the Soda Chan Vietnamese Lemonade. It was VERY delicious. This time I thought I would try something new and had the lychee infused jasmine iced tea. It was okay, but I definitely prefer the lemonade.

Since it was a bit chilly outside, I decided to have the chicken rice noodle soup (pho). It comes with tender chicken, fresh herbs, sprouts, mushrooms, scallions, and an amazing broth. There were also two sauces that came with it for you to add at your discretion – one spicy and one that had a smoky BBQ flavor.

We’ll definitely be back, however we both decided it was too much food for two and instituted a 3 person minimum for appetizers.

Official Website:
http://www.numberninenoodles.com/

Location:
2118 East 4th Street
Long Beach, CA  90814
(562) 434-2009

Restaurant :
33°46’17.92″N
118° 9’57.77″W

 

Number Nine Noodles + Beer

Number Nine Noodles -  Chicken Soup

Number Nine Noodles - Spring Rolls

Number Nine on Urbanspoon

Bai-Plu Thai Food and Aki Sushi Bar – Long Beach, CA

Tonight I recommended that our Thursday night dinner group try Aki Sushi & Bai-Plu Thai restaurant.  While you won’t find a Ferrari in the neighborhood, its not as bad as some reviews make it out to be.   I really like the fact that they have a decent sized parking lot on site so it is easier to find parking.  Don’t park in the back unless you want to enlist the help of a fellow restaurant patron to get you out.

When it came time to order, the waiter asked how spicy I’d like my steak salad.   “Medium?”, he suggested…  Being the only male in the group tonight, it must have been my primal machismo speaking when I nonchalantly agreed with him.  Not to fret, though.   The waiters have a sixth sense that tells them exactly when you are about to run out of water, and are back promptly to refill your glass.

The Spicy Beef Salad is marinated in a lime sauce that gives it an incredible flavor.    Another favorite is the Spicy Chicken Soup (Tom Yum Kai) which has chicken, lemon grass, mushrooms, lime juice and chili.  The ladies also tried a caterpillar roll which they said was very good.  We’ll definitely be going back.

Official Website:
http://www.akibaiplu.net/

Contact Info:
1626 East 7th Street
Long Beach, CA 90813
(562) 436-3123

Restaurant:
33°46’30.91″N
118°10’16.55″W

Aki Sushi Bar

Steak Salad

Spicy Chicken Soup (Tom Yum Kai)

Caterpillar Roll

Aki's Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

La Muse Cafe – Long Beach, CA

It was a perfect day out, so I decided to go to one of my favorite outdoor lunch destinations, La Muse Cafe.    Ideally located on Ocean Ave, it is close to the downtown office high rises, while still allowing you to enjoy the fresh ocean breeze on their outdoor patio.

I had the “Melpomene the Songstress” crepe, consisting of chicken, cheese, spinach, and caramelized mushrooms.  The mushrooms definitely made the crepe.  Now I have a new favorite item on the menu!  Also recommended is the San Pellegrino Limonata (lemonade).   Even though it is Italian, it goes very well with the food.

Official Website:
http://www.lamusecafe.com/

Contact Info:
455 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, CA  90802
(562) 432-1965
LaMuseCafe@verizon.net

Restaurant:
33°46’0.15″N
118°11’12.25″W

La Muse Cafe

La Muse Cafe - Crepe

La Muse East Village Cafe on Urbanspoon

455 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, California
90802

Laugh Factory – Long Beach, CA

A friend of mine  invited me to join them at the Laugh Factory last Saturday night to see Jamie Kennedy.  She was adamant about getting there early so we could get good seats.   We ended up all being seated in the front row!   What she didn’t tell us was that we were all going to be part of the act in one way or another.

Harry Basil came on before Jamie and did some pretty amazing things with props (including using our friend!).  Jamie Kennedy was outrageously funny.  I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard.

We paid the extra $5 for the VIP tickets (well worth it).   The difference is that there are two lines – one that wraps around the building, and another that was only about 25 people deep.   Also, the $6 valet was a deal (opposed to walking a 1/4 mile to the parking structure where you would still be paying at least $6).

There are a lot of big names on the upcoming list, and we’ll definitely be back again soon!

Official Website:
http://www.laughfactory.com/content/Longbeach.html

Contact Info:
151 S. Pine Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 495-2844

Club:
33°45’49.93″N
118°11’33.09″W

Laugh Factory

Laugh Factory - Brady Bunch

Lola’s Mexican Cuisine – Long Beach, CA

Our Thursday night dinner group decided to try a new Mexican restaurant called Lola’s (next door to the Art theater on 4th Street). The entire area has gone through a recent revival. Gone are the closed run down shops, and in their place are wine bars, boutique clothing, and trendy restaurants.

They did a great job on the decor. I really enjoyed the “Dia de los Muerto’s” theme with all of the happy skulls. The color scheme felt very warm and inviting. There is also a great back patio area if you feel like dining outside on a nice day.

We all started out with the nachos, guacamole, and salsa. The green salsa was by far the favorite. It had a good kick to it, but wasn’t unbearably hot.

For dinner I had the chicken fajitas. All of the ingredients were very fresh and the chicken was moist and tender. The mushrooms were a nice touch.

We’ll definitely be back. I should also mention that there is a new 3hr parking lot on the corner of 4th and Cherry which takes the hastle out of trying to find parking!

Official Website
www.lolasmexicancuisine.com

Contact Info
2030 East Fourth Street
Long Beach, CA 90814
(562) 343-5506

Restaurant
33°46’17.93″N
118°10’0.93″W

Lolas

Lolas -  Chicken Fajitas

Lola's Mexican Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Fuego at the Maya – Long Beach, CA

A couple of my friends were on a jog and noticed that the Coast Hotel had been completely remodeled and re-branded the Maya. Near the lobby was a new restaurant named FUEGO. We decided to stop by on a Friday night for happy hour.

The views were absolutely amazing – Long Beach, the Queen Mary, and Port of Long Beach. To top it off, that night there was a nearly full moon, allowing a spectacular lighting effect in the sky which illuminated the clouds in an magical enchanting way.

We only sampled the Guacamole Trio, however it was amazing. Three different versions of guacamole; one with a mango salsa, another with lobster, and third with classic pico de gayo. They also have a great selection of premium tequila. The bar tenders were a lot of fun!

During football season, they have an outdoor viewing on Monday night football on their patio. According to their website they also have other special showings.

I look forward to coming back for a full dinner sometime (Mexican/Latin American themed).

Official Website:
http://fuegolongbeach.com/

Contact Info:
700 Queensway Drive
Long Beach, CA 90802
Tel: (562) 481-3910
Fax: (562) 481-3909
Email: fuego@jdvrestaurants.com

Restaurant:
33°45’25.30″N
118°11’54.14″W

Fuego - Moonlight View of Queen Mary

Fuego

Fuego- Nachos

Fuego at the Hotel Maya on Urbanspoon

George’s Greek Cafe – Long Beach, CA (Pine Ave)

George’s Greek Cafe is by far my favorite “everyday” restaurant in Long Beach.  If you go for dinner, you are likely greeted by George himself at the flagship downtown Pine location.   They have opened several other restaurants in the past few years as well in Belmont Shore and soon to be Lakewood. 

The food is fun, fresh and tasty.  The fact that my good friend who is Greek approves of the food speaks volumes.  The downtown Pine location also boasts plentiful outdoor seating, nightly live Greek music, and Belly Dancers.  It truly is more of an experience that just going out for food.

You must get the flaming cheese (in Brandy) as an appetizer.   The Lamb Chops are one of their signature items – marinated in Greek spices and so tender they melt in your mouth.   Only available on Friday nights, the Kleftico is also highly recommended.  If you’re looking to have a taste of just about everything on the menu, try the Family Style option (however you will need at least 6 people in the group).  My lunch favorite is the chicken Souvlaki (kabos).  All meals come with a fresh Greek salad. 

For the quality of the food, it is one of the best values in Long Beach.

Official Website:
http://georgesgreekcafe.com/

Pine Avenue Location Contact Info:
135 Pine Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 437-1184

Restaurant:
33°46’7.37″N
118°11’32.88″W

 

George's Greek Cafe

Georges Greek Cafe -  Lamb Chops

Georges Greek Cafe - Saganaki

George's Greek Cafe on Urbanspoon

At Last Cafe – Long Beach, CA

We’ve been trying to go to this place for awhile, however it has been difficult to get everyone to agree upon a set time for dinner.  You DEFINITELY need reservations (at least 24 hrs prior) as there aren’t many tables.   The hassle is well worth it.  

There’s been a lot of hype about this restaurant in the neighborhood, and I can see why.   While it is not located in the most ideal place, (parking is a bit hard to find; don’t expect a Tiffany’s next door) the food is absolutely heavenly.   If you are in the mood for hearty comfort food, this place has all the fixings.  

For dinner I ordered the pot roast.  Very delicious, moist, and tender.  It could have used a bit more pepper, but that is why you have it on the table.   For dessert we shared the Crème brûlée and the Apple Crisp; both to die for.  I also tried my friend’s Mac and Cheese which had such an amazing crunchy texture.     

There isn’t any alcohol on the menu; however there is no corkage fee. 

We’re definitely going back.  It is an amazing value for the quality of food!  Prices are relatively inexpensive (~$10/entre). 

Official Website:
http://jmchefcatering.com/

Contact Info:
204 Orange Ave
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 437-4837

Restaurant:
33°46’4.77″N
118°10’36.68″W

At Last Cafe Pot Roast

 At Last Cafe Apple Crumble

At Last Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kavikas Grill & Bar – Long Beach, CA

Tonight my friends and I didn’t feel much like cooking, so we though we’d try this new place at the Pike called Kavikas.  It’s located right above the V2O dance club in Rainbow Harbor.   Self dubbed as “Fresh Fusion & California Cuisine”, I’d say it had a distinct Asian/Hawaiian flare.

They really did a great job on the design of the place – modern and very solid.   Inside there is a huge two-way fireplace separating the dining area from the bar.  This would be a great place to stop by for happy hour as there are multiple large monitors and plenty of bar seating. 

We started with the Nachos.  AMAZING.  They almost resembled the wrapping egg rolls come in.   For dinner it was a tough decision, but I ended up with the Wood Fired Grilled Prawns per our waiter’s recommendation.  The sauce was excellent and was just the right level of spicy.   We’d heard the fries were great, so I decided to get those as the side for everyone to share.  No complaints! 

Overall, my friends and I were very happy with the food and will definitely be back.   

Official Website:
http://www.kavikas.com/

Contact Info:
95 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 432-8700

Restaurant:
33°45’48.25″N
118°11’43.37″W

 

Kavikas

Kavikas Grilled Shrimp & Fries

Kavikas Firewall

KAVIKAS Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon