Restauration – Long Beach, CA

A Little Gem In Long Beach

IMG_4289Restauration – Long Beach, CA

Visited: July 2016

Restaurant Type: New American Cuisine

While attempting to find a casual dining spot in Long Beach, Tracy recalled a recent article in Westways Magazine about an establishment called Restauration.  Perusing the menu online it reminded me of many spots we’ve dined at in the last few years with funky menus that have turned out to be great restaurants.  We decided to give Restauration a whirl, and once again we were more than pleasantly surprised by our decision.

Tracy and I made the 45-minute drive to Long Beach to have dinner with friends, Rich, Liz, Rob, Susan and Melinda (aka the Magnificent Seven).

20160710_185958In another of those “don’t judge a book by its cover” moments…

IMG_5440…we stepped inside this unassuming building, walked past the bar on one side (it’s not often I walk past a bar, but we were hungry)…

IMG_5448…and a small dining room on the other.

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Passing the kitchen…

IMG_4297…we made our way to a cool, covered patio area.

IMG_5456Although not on the ocean, there was a nice ocean breeze, and the smell of the pizza from the outdoor oven wafted past our table.
The space was very welcoming as was our server who gave us a little primer on many of the dishes Restauration offers.  After hearing her descriptions, now my biggest quandary was what to order.

IMG_4296Our server told us that every dish is made from local, sustainable and organic ingredients. They even have a cute, little garden area on the patio where they grow herbs. The menu focuses on the seasons.

IMG_5459Our corgis will be happy to know that the patio is dog friendly, although no pooches were dining on this evening.  They even have their own entrance.

IMG_4299Many of the ingredients here, including the sausage, ricotta, bread and desserts, are made in-house.

The menu is cleverly divided into four categories; For The Table, In The Hand, On The Fork and Market Sides.

The table ordered (well, it was actually one of us, since tables can’t talk) a Market Side of a dish I had never seen on any menu…Parmesan Churros; 10 churros sprinkled with fried sage ($7).

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From For The Table, we ordered the Cauliflower Steak; a slab of grilled cauliflower with cauliflower puree on a bed of couscous with raisins, plantains and toasted hazelnuts ($12).  Besides being unique, both of these dishes were incredibly tasty (the cauliflower dish was nothing less than spectacular).

IMG_4280For dinner, Tracy opted to start with Squash Blossoms; tempura squash blossoms stuffed with house ricotta and lemon aioli; shaved squash salad with pumpkin seeds and herb vin on the side ($12)

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…and seared Diver Scallops; 3 scallops on a bed of pearl couscous, heirloom carrots, peas, beech mushrooms, sprouts and dashi ($24). Tracy thoroughly enjoyed both dishes, so much so I was only offered one little bite of those squash blossoms.

IMG_4282A grilled cheese sandwich may not sound like a delectable menu item, but Restauration throws in a completely different wrinkle to this dish. Melinda and Susan ordered the Short Rib Grilled Cheese Sandwich; pickled Fresno peppers, onion jam and Tillamook cheddar on freshly baked Country white bread ($14).  Melinda had a side of the house cut fries ($7), although I stole numerous of those delicious fries from her plate. Sorry Melinda!

IMG_4288Rich decided on the Sausage Pizza, made in the wood burning pizza oven on the patio…

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with pork sausage, whipped mascarpone, pecorino, grilled fennel and scallions ($14).

IMG_4284Liz, Rob and I went hog wild and ordered the Spice Rubbed Natural Pork Loin; served over Rancho Gordo beans, polenta, bacon broth, grilled scallions and tomato confit ($19).  The pork was cooked perfectly and was so tender it virtually seemed to melt in my mouth.  It was one of the best pork dishes I have ever had.  Kudos to the chefs!

IMG_4289Rob and I also shared a plate of the grilled bread ($4).

IMG_4292While no one at our table ordered a hamburger, we did see them coming out of the kitchen and they looked delicious; grilled red onion, tomato, Little Gem lettuce, house pickle, Tillamook cheddar and Russian dressing ($15).

Sadly we were all so full we passed on dessert, but the selection certainly looked good; Peach Upside Down Cake; Semifreddo; Sweet Corn Rice Pudding, Broken Banana Cream Pie (all $9) and Ice Cream ($5).

Another huge plus for Restauration is its reasonable $10 corkage policy, plus they have a nice selection of wine and beer.

IMG_4801Although it was a little bit of a schlep for us to drive to Long Beach, Restauration is definitely on our list to return to in the near future. Perhaps we’ll take Frankie and Remi for a weekend brunch on the patio after one of our morning hikes.

Everything from the dinner to the service to the ambiance to the price (average for our table was $37.50 per person including tip) at Restauration could not have been better.  It has definitely thrown its name into the running for MaiTaiTom’s Restaurant Of The Year!

Maitaitom rating…4.75 maitais (out of 5)

Restauration
2708 E. 4th Street
Long Beach, CA
Phone: 562-439-8892
Reservations On Open Table
Brunch/Lunch: Monday – Friday from 10 am – 3 pm
Weekend Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 8 am – 3 pm
Dinner: Nightly starting at 4 pm
Happy Hour: Monday – Friday 3 pm – 6:30 pm
Parking: Free Street Parking
restaurationlb.com

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