Rock Bottom Brewery

On a recent lunchtime date I decided to visit Rock Bottom on Pine in downtown Long Beach. The area of downtown has been revived and is an awesome place to eat and hangout. Rock Bottom is located right on bustling Ocean Boulevard and Pine. The front of the restaurant is very clean and well kept. For lunch we were seated very quickly and as the looks of it there were a lot of lunchtime customers for noon on a Monday.

We were seated quickly and our server was top notch. I ordered a wedge salad for lunch and we received our meals very quickly. My wedge salad was delicious with blue cheese dressing and tasty little bacon bits. It was a good portion as well unlike the miniature side salads you get at other restaurants. I washed my salad down with a pint of beer and we were on our way. The one drawback to the location of Rock Bottom is the parking. Unless you have coins for the meters the parking is very difficult and you must park in the surrounding parking garages. Overall, Rock Bottom is a great restaurant for lunch or dinner!

Togo's Sandwiches

Togo’s has been a favorite sandwich spot of mine for years due to its great tasting sandwiches and cool atmosphere. I decided to visit the Togo’s in Signal Hill off Willow Street. It is in a strip mall with less than ample parking. It shares a parking lot with Del Taco so it makes maneuvering around the parking lot somewhat of a challenge. Right when I stepped into this Togo’s location I noticed there was a small line but the tables were almost all taken.

I ordered my Turkey and Cheese regular sized sandwich with a side of avocado. My sandwich was prepared very efficiently and properly. I was rung up in record time and was seated eating my sandwich within about five minutes. The parmesan bread I ordered was soft with a little bit of crunch, just the way I like it. The turkey and cheese were perfect and the avocado made the sandwich, extraordinary. Overall the sandwich was $6.94 with tax so it wasn’t extremely cheap but a small size filled me up right. Overall, I highly recommend Togo’s as a go-to lunch spot in Signal Hill.

Food pictured below: Turkey and Cheese Sandwich

Nino's Italian Restaurant

Personally, Italian food is my favorite type of food and I am a harsh critic when it comes to Italian restaurants. I recently visited Nino’s Italian restaurant when a craving of spaghetti and meatballs came over me. When I walked in I was greeted and sat in a very quick manner and enjoyed the décor within the restaurant. I ordered a salad and the Penne Bolognese as opposed to my usual spaghetti and meatballs. My salad came out and was delicious with a really creamy caesar dressing.

My penne Bolognese was also very good and hit the spot. The meat sauce was full of flavor and very hearty with the right amount of spice. The pasta was also cooked al dente and exact to my liking. The prices might have been a tad high but for how good the meal was I had no complaints. I have noticed this place has had good and bad publicity but personally I enjoyed myself and my meal. If you are looking for a solid Italian meal in Bixby Knolls head on down to Nino’s!

Food pictured below: Caesar Salad and Enzo’s Pizza

The Mirage Cafe

On a lazy Sunday night I decided I wanted to try something unique and different than the monotony of sandwich, burger, and pizza joints littered throughout the city. I drove down Atlantic Avenue and the first place I stopped at was the Mirage Café. It is a Mediterranean restaurant with a cool vibe. We were seated quickly and the waitress was very friendly as well. The owner Mike even came over and told us his recommendations and even brought us some potatoes which were on the house. Our drinks were brought out quickly and were top notch.

I ordered the Chicken Tawook which was seasoned very nicely and was moist and flavorful. My wife ordered the Beef Shwarma which was cooked perfectly and loved the Mediterranean spices and flavors it boasted. Each meal came with rice, salad, pickle slices, hummus, and bread. This was a healthy, delicious, and filling meal that hit the spot. Go to the Mirage Café for a delicious Mediterranean meal any day of the week!

Food pictured below: Chicken Tawook & Beef Sharma

A's Restaurant

A’s Restaurant was the location of our company dinner party this year. I missed the memo that our party was to take place in the private room at the back of the parking lot so I came in and grabbed a seat at the main bar at about 5pm. The lounge and bar area get pretty busy quickly so I was lucking to even grab a seat. After I had a few glasses of wine I decided to go ahead and order a blue cheese wedge salad. By now it was about 5$5 pm and I was wondering why nobody from my company was showing up yet so I started asking around and that is when I found out about the room in the back.

The private rooms was awesome. We had a few different types of wine and it was perfect for 15 or so people to lightly booze it up and socialize and eventually sit down and eat dinner. It was pretty cold out this particular night and even though that room has been around, it sure was nice and toasty in there. We had some yummy horderves and I had a fillet mignon with mash potatoes which was nice and yummy. A’s Restaurant is a pretty cool red place right on the corner of PCH and the bridge to go over the peninsula. There is a little market there and this place used to be called the Arches. It has always been a great place for the locals to enjoy happy hour.

Carl's Jr.

Carl’s Jr. is a powerhouse in the fast food industry with many locations throughout Long Beach and southern California. I recently visited the location on Bellflower Boulevard for some breakfast. When I arrived the location was clean and the service was good but that was about it. When I received my breakfast burrito and sandwich it didn’t look anything like how it did on the big picture on the menu.

The burrito looked like it was sweating and fresh from the microwave. The sandwich was not good and just gave me a stomach ache after eating. I am not sure what the deal was there but I suppose you win some and you loose some and in this case I ended up feeling a little sick. I did not contact Carl’s Jr. about this because in all fairness I did eat other food that day but sometimes you just know.

Cheesecake Factory

When recently visiting the Grove in Los Angeles I decided to get a bite to eat at a favorite of mine, The Cheesecake factory. It is a very popular restaurant, it was packed and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. When you walk around, there is actually some pretty awesome décor throughout the restaurant. Our server was very professional and was attentive to all of our needs.

I started out with a Caesar salad which was great and the presentation on the white porcelain plates was very nice. My entrée the shepherd’s pie was through and through absolutely delicious. I did not try any of the cheesecake but next time I come, I will definitely try what they are famous for. The cheesecake factory is a tad pricey but you get what you pay for. The Cheesecake factory at the Grove is a top notch restaurant to check out for lunch, dinner, or even just for a slice of their world famous cheesecake.

Local Harvest Farmers Market

The local Harvest farmers market located at the Marine Stadium parking lot is truly one of a kind in a very good way. The farmers market is on Wednesdays from 3 to 7pm and has ample street parking on the adjacent streets. You honestly can’t miss it due to the crazy amount of traffic it causes on Eliot Street due to the high popularity of the market. I recently went there and decided to try the Hawaiian barbecue and the shaved ice vendor. The Hawaiian barbecue was amazing; the teriyaki bowl with white rice hit the spot. The teriyaki chicken was sweet and very saucy.

The white rice made the bowl a complete meal and for four bucks you can’t beat it. The shave ice was amazing as well, for $2.50 you get a legit sized shaved ice with three flavors. I choose mango, passion fruit, and peach. It was exactly what I needed on a blisteringly hot day. This farmers market is my favorite in Long Beach due to the close proximity to my house and the smaller size makes the place manageable to get what you want it in a very short amount of time. It also has great samples from almost all the vendors as well, so you can try before you buy!

Magic Johnson's TGI Fridays

TGI Friday’s has been known to the world as a classic chain restaurant that consistently puts out a decent meal at somewhat low prices. I recently was on La Tijera Street in Los Angeles and decided to stop at Magic Johnson’s TGI Fridays. Being a Laker fan I was more than happy to eat at a restaurant named after a local legend of Lakers history.

The restaurant is littered with a ton of Magic Johnson memorabilia and really makes this TGI Fridays stand out. I had a burger which was decent and the service was pretty good too. Overall, this may not be the place to go if you want a filet mignon but if you are trying to watch the game in a restaurant that has the feel of a sports bar, Magic Johnson’s TGI Fridays is the place to be.

I decided to grab something light for lunch this time around and that ended up being a Blue Cheese Wedge Salad. I know they are not hard to make but I also know that some places make them better than others. This was one of the cases of a really tasty wedge salad.

Food pictured below: Blue Cheese Wedge Salad