Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Long Beach California, June 2011

Just spent the weekend in Long Beach and was surprised at how mediocre it was.

The port, with the Queen Mary permanently docked as a hotel, welcomes cruise ships as a departure port. Long Beach is fine for a single night before you board your ship but not worthy of a second night. The best restaurants are near the port. Kings Fish house has a nice menu featuring fish from all over North America. Shrimp from Newfoundland, salmon and oysters from British Columbia and lobsters from Maine caught my attention when I was researching menus. This is a chain restaurant and they do a lot of things well. It's not outstanding but it is good and the only restaurant I'd return to in Long Beach. We also tried the Yard House on the port and although they have a nice patio and a very good selection of beer on tap, the food is mediocre. It's not crazy expensive and I liked the better than average selection of vegeratian options.

For breakfast we tried the Portofino Coffee Shop and Eggs Etc, both are a good walk or short cab ride off the port itself. Portofino offered the best coffee in Long Beach and some very good baking to go with. Eggs Etc had great scrambles and a hash potato side dish with cheese, avocado, salsa and sour cream that could be addictive, the pancakes looked great and were offered with some inspiring additions of fruit and granola.

We drove up to Los Angeles and had breakfast at the Urth Cafe downtown. Like the Urth on Melrose in Hollywood it was excellent. Great food and greater coffee, the people watching was also top notch. Never miss a chance for breakfast at Urth. This location has a lot more tables than Melrose, it may present a service problem if your a late riser.

We also drove down to Las Brisas in Laguna Beach for dinner. A nice choice for good Mexican food. It is very large with a good patio. Exceptional guacamole. Go early and you can get parking and shop in some of the lovely stores in the area.