Showing posts with label long beach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label long beach. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lola's Mexican Cuisine (Long Beach, CA)

by @btsunoda

Two friends of mine both suggested that I try Lola’s Mexican Cuisine in Long Beach. Since I highly respect the opinions of both, I was happy when I was invited to this restaurant.
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Lola’s Mexican Cuisine is family owned and operated. They acquire organic local meats, sustainable seafood and local produce to prepare quality fresh food. “Modern Mexican Cuisine” is probably the best way to describe their cooking. The interior has a nice mix of different seating: booths, communal tables, and seating by the bar. Bold colors and eclectic Mexican folk art almost make it seem like you are inside of a restaurant in downtown Guadalajara.

Their Mexican Street Corn is an upscale version of elote.
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Fresh heirloom corn is removed from the cob, toasted and mixed with crumbled cotija cheese. Garlic aioli is drizzled on the top and chile powder is then applied. It is served in a small cast iron pan and was bubbling when it arrived at my table. Gone was the worry of biting into a corn on the cob only to see corn flying after you bite into it!

While I’ve had many variations of tacos, the “El Trio” taco combo sounded like something I would enjoy.
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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Global Day of Discovery at The Renaissance Long Beach

by guest blogger Bryan Tsunoda

On Thursday, June 16 from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., The Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach will play host to its 5th annual Global Day of Discovery, a signature event that all Renaissance Hotel locations participate in during the month of June. During Global Day of Discovery, guests and the local community are invited to come together to experience hot spots for food, beverages, nightlife and entertainment. I was recently invited to a pre-event tasting for the Long Beach location.

The event for their Global Day of Discovery is called Taps + Tastes, and The Renaissance Hotel has assembled an impressive collection of craft beers from 6 local breweries. Delicious food to pair with the craft beer will be prepared by Top Chef Janine Falvo. In addition a DJ will be on-site spinning tunes and self-parking that day will be free! Tickets are only $20 each and a portion of the event proceeds will be donated to Washington Middle School in Long Beach.

Before getting on with the beer tastings, we had one of signature drinks that SIP Bar and Lounge offers each night. For the tasting, we were served the Shandy: Sam Adams lager, fresh orange juice, Perrier sparkling water and bitters over ice.
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Crispy Pig Ears - These were delightfully crispy and if no one told me what they were, I would not have know that they were pig ears. They were delicious with or without the salsa verde dipping sauce.
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Lobster Jalapeno Poppers - Curry tempura was applied to the exterior to give these poppers a unique crunch. The top was drizzled with a cilantro mint chutney.
The Dudes’ Steamed Clams - The Surfrider Pale Ale from The Dudes’ Brewery is used to make these clams. Smoked pieces of garlic significantly enhanced the sauce.
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Street Corn - A small section of a corn on the cob is rolled in fresh cilantro and smashed Cool Ranch Doritos. Everyone universally agreed that this item was worth trying to make at home.

“R” Mac and Cheese - Falvo gives her mac & cheese some additional depth by adding diced tomatoes and bits of pecanwood smoked bacon.
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Two beer samplers were provided with each offering. Depending on your taste, you could either veer towards the lighter beer or the amber or IPA style. Beers included: Firestone Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Summerfest, Strand Brewing Atticus, Firestone 805, and Peach Berliner Weisse from The Dudes’ Brewery.

Duck Dog - I’ve never seen pretzel rolls this small and that was a great idea to pair with the housemade duck dog.
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Duck Confit Steamed Buns - Duck is combined with salt, fresh rosemary and duck fat sous vide style for approximately 8 hours. This results in a crisp duck with intense flavor.
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The Dudes’ Blood Orange Ice Cream Float - This arrived to the table steaming away as they had prepared it with liquid nitrogen. 
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Falvo likes using liquid nitrogen because the ice cream freezes faster and avoids any crunchiness. This reminded me of an adult creamsicle.

At only $20 this is an incredible value. Don’t hesitate because this event will sell out. You can purchase the ticket using this link.


Renaissance Hotel
Long Beach, CA
http://renaissance-hotels.marriott.com/events

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Modern Mexican Finally Hits Long Beach with Playa Amor

The newest hot spot for Mexican food in the LA area is in Long Beach, but Playa Amor doesn't just serve great, traditional Mexican dishes. What sets it apart for me is Chef Thomas Ortega's own modern take on it, like what you will find with his Mole tot poutine (tater tots, mole negro, queso, cress, cilantro, onion, $8.50)

Playa Amor
I've actually had a slightly different version of this a couple of years ago at Thomas Ortega's other restaurant, Amor Y Tacos in Cerritos. I feel that he's improved the dish even more since I like it even better now.

You may find the ubiquitous Charred brussel sprouts with a touch of Mexican flair with some cotija, lime juice, red wine vinegar, smoked jalapeno remoulade ($8.75)
Playa Amor

On the other hand, you'll also fine very well executed versions of more typical dishes like the Shrimp ceviche (Mexican shrimp, pico de gallo, citrus juice, jalapeno, garlic aioli, cabbage, cotija, corn tostada, $12).
Playa Amor

Monday, July 13, 2015

GIVEAWAY! Big Bite Bacon Fest on The Queen Mary

A bacon fest on a boat? Yep, Big Bite Bacon Fest is coming to The Queen Mary in Long Beach. Baconvaganza will take over the historic ship on August 1-2.

Among the vendors slated for the event are Bigmista's Barbecue, Slater's 50/50, The Currywurst Truck, Dog Haus, Polka, and Dia de Los Puercos. After all the bacon, get desserts from Lil' Miss Shortcake, Bundts on Melrose, Waffle-Oh Truck, The Cake Mamas and more.
Bacon cheese cupcake
The general admission tickets are $40 and includes all the food, but not the beers. You can buy a GA ticket plus beer sampling ($50 including general admission plus 10 samples) or purchase additional beer sampling tickets there for $15 (10 samples). Breweries pouring will include Ninkasi Brewing, Golden Road Brewing, Pizza Port, Allagash, Einstok and more. Oh, and Bakon Vodka will naturally be there.

Tickets can be purchased here.

They've also offered up a couple of tickets for me to giveaway for FREE! These tickets are for general admission for either day ($80 value).
To enter, follow the instructions below and don't forget to comment with the day you can attend, since you can only choose one of the days.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Brunch at Michael's Pizzeria (Long Beach, CA)

I've been meaning to try Michael's Pizzeria, but I haven't gone down to South Bay much lately.
I finally made the trek and visited the downtown Long Beach location for weekend brunch, and they had a musician playing guitar outside.

Michael's Pizza
Michael's doesn't just serve pizzas, but they also have a special brunch menu, where you'll find dishes like Cast-iron baked cinnamon rolls with rosemary syrup
Michael's Pizza
The cinnamon rolls are made to order, which means they are piping hot, fresh from the oven! They're mini-sized to make sharing easier and the green color for the rosemary syrup is actually from spinach (so it's healthy, right?). These are definitely great cinnamon rolls.

Cast-iron dishes are a special category at Michael's and include the Caprino e Carciofi (pesto, baby artichokes, potatoes, mozzarella, goat cheese)
Michael's Pizza
I like these baked cast-iron dishes as a fun twist on the typical brunch dishes.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chianina Steakhouse: A Rare Breed in Long Beach

Before, if you had asked me where to eat in Long Beach, I would have no answer. But now, Chianina Steakhouse has moved in and will soon be bringing the rare cattle breed to their menu. Chianina is an Italian breed that is the largest and one of the oldest breed of cattle in the world.

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Lobster Broth
Since they are raising and breeding the cattle, the Chianina steak won't be available at the restaurant until March or April, but lucky for me they had butchered one for a preview dinner so we could try it!

More on that later, as there are plenty of other things to eat here. Our dinner started with a cup of buttery lobster broth.

Next is a Beet and winter root vegetable salad with mâché, almonds, raisin ($14)
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I'm used to having my beets sweet and with creamy cheese like burrata or goat cheese instead of the slightly tart dressing here, but everything was fresh.

I loved the Dungeness crab with jicama, avocado, micro cilntro, Meyer lemon, Fresno chili
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The dungeness crab is hidden inside the rolled avocado. Sweet crab, creamy avocado, and a light heat from the chili.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ScotsFest at The Queen Mary, Feb 16-17

ScotsFest is returning to the Queen Mary in Long Beach this weekend, Saturday-Sunday February 16-17.

There will be a full day of Highland Games competition where you can watch strong men and women throw stones, hammers, cabers, and other ridiculously heavy things over long distances or high up in the air! The people throwing heavy things and the people in costumes will probably not be in the same group, though.


There's also competition for traditional Highland dancing like this Sword Dance from the 15th century, which I got to watch during the ScotsFest preview last week.

The whisky tasting ($15) will feature the lineup from the Edrington Group including The Black Grouse (the smokier version of Famous Grouse), The Macallan Fine Oak series, and Highland Park. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Simmzy's Takes Over Long Beach

Simmzy's had just opened in Long Beach and it was already as popular as their first location in Manhattan Beach. We came on a Saturday and their open dining room was packed, with a waiting list for tables.

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Lucky for us, we were being hosted by the restaurant, so we didn't have to wait for a table.

The place is also already popular enough for them to put up this sign!
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At Simmzy's, you gotta order from their 31 rotating beers on tap (they also have 10 wines on tap). We had a beer flight with Allagash Victoria, Lost Abbey's Lost and Found, Monkish Anomaly, Hangar 24 Essence
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This was the first time I tried a beer from Monkish, a new brewery down in Torrance, and it was pretty good. The Essence is a double IPA and too hoppy for me (I'm not big on hoppy beers), so I stuck with Lost Abbey, possibly my favorite Southern California brewery. We also tried Karl's Flan-diddly-anders, a Flanders red from Karl Strauss Brewing, which was lightly sour. 

The kitchen sent out a sampler of their appetizers:
Ahi tartar with spicy soy, avocado, scallions, fried wonton. Seared tuna, jalapeño, and shrimp in spicy sauce
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I quite liked the seared tuna, topped with a slice of jalapeno. I didn't see this on the regular menu, but the treat shows what the kitchen can do.

The appetizers at Simmzy's are big and meant to be shared. If you've never been to a Simmzy's before, this one is a must order:
Blue Cheese Haystack ($6) - shoestring fries tossed with homemade blue cheese dressing, garlic, and a touch of spicy sauce
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The crispy fries were the perfect vehicle for that blue cheese+spicy sauce mixture. A dangerous snack to have on the table.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Reviews: South Bay

**** EL SEGUNDO/MANHATTAN BEACH****
American Farmhouse Tavern - CLOSED
Cafe Pierre (Manhattan Beach)
Darren's Restaurant
Fishing with Dynamite 
Grimaldi's Pizzeria (El Segundo)
M. B. Post (Manhattan Beach)
Sashi: Sushi+Sake Lounge (Manhattan Beach)

**** GARDENA/TORRANCE/etc ****

Baleen Los Angeles (Redondo Beach)
Chianina Steakhouse (Long Beach)
Doma Kitchen Cafe (Redondo Beach)
El Rocoto Peruvian Restaurant (Gardena)
Gaja (Lomita)
Gonpachi (Torrance)
Hakata Ramen Shinsengumi (Gardena)
Hey 19 (Torrance)
Hironoya (Gardena)
Ichimiann Bamboo Garden (Torrance)
Lazy Dog Cafe (Torrance)
Michael's Pizzeria (Long Beach)
Mochi Cream (Torrance)
Patisserie Chantilly (Lomita)
Playa Amor (Long Beach)
Quality Seafood (Redondo Beach)
Siem Reap (Long Beach)
Simmzy's Belmont Shore (Long Beach)
Spoon House (Gardena)
Sushi Nozomi (Torrance)
Torihei (Torrance)

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