Restaurants are starting to open their doors and while 25% seating inside is a small beginning, it is just that, a beginning. The perfect timing of this coincides with the 6th Annual Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant & Cocktail Week, taking place from April 1st through the 15th.
Long Beach seems to just continually grow as a culinary hot spot that seemingly has an endless list of great restaurants and you will have no problem finding any type of food, at any time of the day. If you live in Long Beach you already probably have some of your favorites, but Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant & Cocktail Week gives you the opportunity to venture out and add some new restaurants to your favorites list. If you aren’t from Long Beach, but are looking for a fun place to spend the day and eat your way through Long Beach, let me tell you, Long Beach won’t disappoint.
When it comes to breakfast, The Crooked Duck is that local hidden spot that seemingly everyone knows about and everyone loves. It all begins with owner Joseph Rooney who has created a unique menu that will leave you wanting to come back for more. The one thing that is a must and just a great starter to share is the iconic Banana Muffin. Freshly baked, it is light and full of flavors that is really taken to richness heights with a frangelico banana butter sauce and then topped with candied walnut and chocolate syrup. Joseph always has daily specials and you find something as amazing as a braised pork, chile verde omelet. In addition there are usually a fresh fish of the day. The Crooked Duck is open currently for breakfast and lunch, but hopefully dinner service will be returning soon. You can find The Crooked Duck at 5096 E. Pacific Coast Highway.
When Covid-19 struck, one of the most popular days of the year was cancelled, St. Patrick’s Day. When it comes Irish Pubs, EJ’s Pub in Long Beach is as Irish as it gets and not being able to have that massive celebration was a huge disappointment for everyone. EJ’s is opening their doors to their beautiful restaurant for 25% seating, but in addition they have an incredible setting in the back of the restaurant as well as fun spots in the front of the restaurant street side. For Dine Out Long Beach, EJ’s has put together some of their unique Irish to go along with their lunch ($15) and dinner ($30) options. Two of the incredible starters are smoked pork belly skewer and gorgonzola fries, criss cross fries just smothered in a rich cheese sauce. Another favorite are the Irish Egg Rolls, corned beef, swiss cheese and sauerkraut in a deep fried egg roll. The Long Beach Restaurant Week is great way to try a few things and if you are looking for a spot to catch any sporting event and enjoy the game with an Irish cocktail or an ice cold beer, EJ’s is a must.
If you are looking for a more healthy grab and go item to help you through the day, Salud does healthy the way you expect it to be done. Organic, raw, cold pressed, eco-friendly, that is just the beginning. They have a juice for everyone and some you probably never imagined and if like shots, well they pack a potent lineup, the “Spicy Ginger” lives up to the name and will get you going in the morning. They almost have smoothies, soups and bowls, which include an Acai bowl that puts all other acai bowls to shame with the size and goodness that it will overwhelm you with. Take your time and peruse the menu, as Salud has so many choices you are likely going to have to take a few things home with you.
When it comes to bringing everything together in a flawless dining experience, ReMix Kitchen Bar gives you a beautiful restaurant, with dishes to match and flavors are unique and will keep you coming back. A great way to enjoy as many dishes as you can is to get a number of the wonderful small plates and share them as a group. Chorizo potato croquettes pack richness and spice into each little bite and the same could be said of the bacon wrapped, which sounds a bit heavy and rich, but really is balanced with the harissa yogurt and manchego cheese. The dish you can’t pass on is the soft egg raviolo, large, soft and tender, once you cut into it you are left with almost a broth of ricotta, guanciale, parmesan and brown butter. It is almost as much of an experience with the presentation and wonderful flavors as it is an entrée. ReMix has a wide range of pasta dishes, as well as steak and seafood and to finish off your experience, the chocolate fondant that is centered around a Kikori Whiskey ice cream is simply all the goodness would ever want in a dessert.
The Pike is definitely the local Long Beach rock n’ roll bar and for good reason, it is owned by Chris Reece, the former drummer of Social Distortion. The Pike has a great patio in the back that was maybe for sunny Southern California days, but the experience will be amped up when the inside is open back up this is one of those classic and cool neighborhood bars that you can’t help but have a great time when you visit. The Pike has a great tap list as well as a very creative cocktail menu, that features drinks like “Ghosted”, a spicy combination of ghost pepper tequila, passion fruit and agave. There is plenty of great sharable items, the Pike hot wings and the buffalo cauliflower wings are both wonderful with sauces that are deep in flavor. There are also a number of seafood dishes as well as a long list of tacos, lobster and the very unique mushroom version. If you are looking for a fun spot and maybe a cool story or two from a rock n’ roll legend, The Pike is a must visit.
Beer, food and just a great place to hangout is what you get at The Hangar in Long Beach. As soon as you walk in the door you are greeted by the wonderous craft beer lineup that Bottlecraft is serving up. Bottlecraft Long Beach is a craft beer bar with 27 beers on draft, plus a large bottle list as well as wine, kombucha and cider. If you don’t want to hop from brewery to brewery, Bottlecraft has some of the best in their lineup. You can find, Bottle Logic, Docent Brewing, Modern Times, the list goes on and on, but they clearly do their homework to make sure that they have the best of the best. If you don’t know what to choose, the Bottlecraft team are experts at pointing you in the right direction.
That is just a little taste of what Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant & Cocktail Week has to offer. The cocktail part is amazing and this is a time to get back out in the world, enjoy some food and celebrate the restaurant industry. If you want a really fun all day experience London Boat Rentals is offering a special rate on a u-drive electric Duffy boat. Grab take-out at any Dine Out Long Beach restaurant, a bottle of wine (or cocktails to go) and cruise through the canals of Naples Island. In terms of some of other highlights, the food lineup is worldly with Haewah Dal (Korean), Vino e Cucina (Italian) and many more. There are plenty of dog friendly restaurants and beer and cocktail specialties galore.
(Photos by: Vendela Martin)