A Little Gem In Long Beach
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).
Passing the kitchen…
Although 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.
Our 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.
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).
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).
…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.
A 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!
…with pork sausage, whipped mascarpone, pecorino, grilled fennel and scallions ($14).
Liz, 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!
While 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.
Although 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)
2708 E. 4th Street
Long Beach, CA
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