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The 11 Best Restaurants In East Long Beach

Thai pizza, Cambodian-Cajun seafood, carne en su jugo, and Lao sausage. The diversity of these restaurants speaks volumes as a reflection of the vibrant, diverse community that surrounds it.

12:37 PM PDT on August 15, 2023

    These are the best restaurants in East Long Beach, which may feel more like a local’s-only beach community than its nearby neighbors given its distance from the freeway.

    But it's one that warmly welcomes non-local visitors, who travel a bit further south on the 405 to experience this different taste of LBC, full as it is with family-owned restaurants-cum-bonafide community gems.

    The spots on this list don’t need much hype because they have a base of loyal customers supporting them every day. The diversity of these restaurants not only speaks for itself, but speaks volumes as a reflection of the vibrant, diverse community that surrounds it.

    Welcome to East Long Beach!

    Mushroom croquettes with prosciutto at Selva

    Selva

    There aren’t many Colombian restaurants in Los Angeles, and none come to mind that reinterpret the South American nation's rich cuisine the way Colombian American chef Carlos Jurado does at his flagship saloon, Selva. Peruvian scallop crudo with salsa aji and fermented aji amarillo, seared scallops on tender arepas with sauteed mushrooms, and perhaps the best Bandeja Paisa (Colombia’s national dish, this one has your choice of chorizo or morcilla, plus eggs, chicharron, arepas, plantains, avocado, and beans) found in California, thanks to Jurado’s commitment to transparent sourcing when it comes to his juicy meats. To wash that all down, their Batida cocktail, with funky cachaça and fresh-made coconut cream, tastes like a vacation upon every sip. 

    4137 E. Anaheim St. Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 41, 45, and 46 - "Anaheim/Roswell" or Long Beach Transit Lines 111 and 112 - "Ximeno/Anaheim."

    A & J Seafood Shack

    Cambodian food is one of the most unique cuisines found abundantly in Long Beach, even outside of the borders of Cambodia Town proper. Case in point, you can get a Cambo fix at the humble but mighty A & J Seafood Shack. This location is literally a shack that slings–you guessed it–seafood. They specialize in the Chinese-Cambodian “salt and pepper” treatment of seafood that often involves battering, deep-frying, and wok tossing the seafood, such as crab, shrimp, and lobster, in a myriad of spices. The end result is some of the most intensely spiced shellfish you'll find, packing a salty, spicy, and umami punch a surfeit of fresh jalapeños and the MSG-laced dust. 

    3201 E. Anaheim St. Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 41, 45, 46, and 131 - "Anaheim/Redondo."

    Phở Hông Phát 

    If you ask any Long Beach-er who has “seen some things” and has opinions on the best pho spot in town, a majority would name drop this 90s legend, Pho Hong Phat. The Cambodian-owned Vietnamese pho spot is a soup noodle haven, slinging almost twenty variations of classic beef pho with thinly-sliced rare steak, brisket, tripe, and more over many decades. For the uninitiated, their “not pho” menu also hits the spot, offering items like Phnom Penh noodles (the Cambodian cousin to pho), Hainan chicken, and banh sung. The latter, in particular, makes the perfect foil to the warm, brothy pho experience–cold rice vermicelli noodles, lettuce, beansprouts, various herbs, grilled pork, and crispy egg rolls in a bowl served with a side of coconut milk, sweet fish sauce, and crushed peanuts–a surprisingly light and summery dish. 

    3243 E Anaheim St. Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 41, 45, 46, and 131 - "Anaheim/Redondo."

    Thai Curry Pizza 

    If you are reading this and thinking that Thai flavors couldn't possibly work in the context of pizza, then you wouldn’t be alone in your assumptions. But if you are a pizza fan and into trying new things, you owe it to yourself to visit this strip mall-based, cultural pizza phenomenon. With the first bite of either the yellow Thai curry or tom yum paste pizza, you are instantly confronted with the same intense and bold flavors you love when you order Thai take-out. Only these flavors are all superbly baked into the crust, instead of in a bed of noodles. Those in the know will often ask for an extra side of Panang curry or red curry dipping sauce to sluice their slices through for maximum flavor, sold for about $1 extra per cup. Some of us may even prefer it to marinara sauce, when it comes to dipping your leftover “pizza bones.” If you really seek to ball out, make sure to also order a papaya salad to throw on top of your pizza. Again, just trust us on this one.

     929 Redondo Ave. Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Line 131 - "Redondo/10th" or Long Beach Transit Lines 91, 92, 93, and 94 - "7th/Redondo."

    Chiang Rai 

    With over twenty different establishments in the city serving genuinely tasty Thai food, it’s very hard for any particular spot to stand out. Michelin-mentioned Chiang Rai rises above the crowd for its focus on Northern Thai and Issan cuisine, with khao soi being their star. It encompasses both soft and crunchy egg noodles, wading in a pool of thin massaman-like curry and topped with your choice of Issan sausage, rare wagyu beef, shrimp tempura, or soft shell crab. The Issan sausage is especially delightful, its origins in Lao cuisine. The sausage presents a savory and herbaceous bite to the whole adventure. Other notable items to try are the "Midnight Chicken" with yellow curry roti, Thai-style steak tartare, and gaeng hung lay (soy sauce and ginger braised pork belly with cashews). 

    3832 E. Anaheim St. Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 41, 45, and 46 - "Anaheim/Mira Mar" or Long Beach Transit Line 131 - "Redondo/Anaheim."

    Oho Sushi Studio

    Oho Sushi Studio is Southern California's quintessential neighborhood sushi bar. It’s a spot where the sushi chefs not only greet you as soon as you walk in, but they’ll take a photo (on film) of you and hang it on their wall if you go there enough times. That's easy enough to do, because the sushi is still very affordable here. Maybe not the most premium grade of fish and rice at play here, but neither does it embrace the cheapest. Still, mid-grade sushi is incredibly easy to develop a habit of eating, making us frequent fans of this menu, which is printed to resemble a newspaper with an anime fetish. The establishment is Thai-owned and shares a parking lot with a motel, which adds to its allure with random characters rolling through. Stick with the simple cut avocado-tuna rolls or spicy hamachi handrolls, or go crazy with their more mish-mashy stuff; you’re always guaranteed to have a good time and leave full at Oho Sushi Studio. 

    4917 Pacific Coast Hwy. Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines: Long Beach Transit Lines 121, 171, and 175 - "Pacific Coast Highway/Clark" or Long Beach Transit Lines 41, 45, and 46 - "Anaheim/Pacific Coast Highway."

    The Fiery Meatball at Vida Juice

    Vida Juice

    While Latinos have been drinking fresh-pressed juices long before the trendy cold-pressed chains of L.A. were charged exorbitant rents for the same privilege, the first cold-press juicer was supposedly invented right here in Long Beach. These two factoids dovetail at Vida Juice, one of those very old-school Latino-owned businesses specializing in juice. It’s the kind of low-key spot where you can make a quick pit-stop on a busy day when you forget to eat fruits or vegetables; one of their nutritious and unfiltered juices will quickly remedy that. Owned by a father-and-son team, it’s also the kind of place where you can pick up vegetarian empanadas and pre-made deli salads if you feel like chewing your vegetables instead. You’ll get bonus good human points if you bring your own mason jar for the juices. 

    3026 E. Anaheim St. Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 41, 45, and 46 - "Anaheim/Orizaba" or Long Beach Transit Line 131 - "Redondo/Anaheim."

    Thai tea-brined fried chicken sandwich at Bamboo Club

    Bamboo Club

    Tiki aficionados travel the world over to seek out different locales for getting mashed on a Mai Tai or zonked on a Zombie. Bamboo Club is one such glorious destination, with a stream of both locals and tourists arriving on a regular basis. Though they have an impressive repertoire of both tiki and original craft concoctions, they also have a very amenable roster of Southeast Asian and Polynesian-inspired bites. The imaginative menu consists of Thai tea-brined fried chicken sandwiches and spaghetti squash pad thai. The most critical things to order here, however, are their wings, which embrace a range of regional flavors. These include Laka wings, which are tossed in citrusy nuoc cham sauce; Ku wings, which add heat to the former; Lono wings, lacquered in a pineapple teriyaki sauce, and Pele wings, emanating intense heat from a wealth of bird's eye chilies.  

    3522 E. Anaheim St. Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 41, 45, and 46 - "Anaheim/Loma" or Long Beach Transit Line 131 - "Redondo/Anaheim."

    Torta ahogada at Canada's Grill

    Cañada’s Grill  

    Carne en su jugo, Guadalajara’s hearty stew of shaved beef simmered in a bright tomatillo broth and topped with bacon, can all too often seem like a rarity around L.A. County. Cañada’s Grill is doing its part to minimize that deficiency. Here, the dish is hyper-savory, rib-sticking, and tastes as close to homemade as you can get anywhere in L.A. If you want something lighter, their bright green aguachile hits the spot on a sweltering day. For breakfast, their chilaquiles rojos are served with rice and beans, with the power to keep you going all day.

    3721 E Anaheim St. Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 41, 45, and 46 - "Anaheim/Mira Mar" or Long Beach Transit Line 131 - "Redondo/Anaheim."

    photo: Brian Addison

    Bar Envie

    This New Orleans-inspired eatery is relatively new to the scene, serving comforting morsels that add a splash of chef-driven flair to NOLA classics such as gumbo, po’boys, frog legs, and fried bologna sandwiches. Another brainchild of Selva chef Carlos Jurado, Bar Envie straddles the line between casual and not-so-casual, allowing less of an auteur's approach to food than his other place. Yes, it’s pretty, but you still leave your meal feeling stuffed. The shrimp and grits are especially decadent, with the crustaceans coming sautéed among the holy trinity of onions, bell peppers, and celery. That gets set atop a bed of creamy cornmeal porridge and finished with housemade chili oil and a bacon crumble. Wash that down with a root beer float and your friends will be green with envie

    4000 E. Anaheim St. A1 Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 41, 45, and 46 - "Anaheim/Termino" or Long Beach Transit Lines 111 and 112 - "Ximeno/Anaheim."

    Heritage photo: Sterling Reed

    Heritage

    Long Beach has a real blue collar, no-frills type of vibe, so you’re generally hard pressed to find this sort of fine dining concept, centered on a no-waste, farm-to-table kitchen. Heritage bucked all of the local trends, landing it both the first Michelin Star and Michelin Green Star in the city. Owners and siblings Phillip and Lauren Pretty curated a seasonal, no-modifications-allowed, pre-fixe menu with ingredients sourced from local farmer’s markets and their own Long Beach farm located. The current menu's offerings include grilled diver scallops with Dungeness crab and corn, and a natural Prime ribeye with short rib jam and black garlic pomme puree. If you’re looking to impress, this meal is not only meticulously presented, but demonstrates a very thorough exploration of flavor and ingredients.

    2030 E. 7th St. Long Beach, CA 90804. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 21, 22, 23, 91, 92, 93, and 94 - "7th/Cherry."

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