El Torito

This El Torito location is located just off the 405 freeway just off of Atlantic Avenue. It is pretty easy to get in and out of and there is plenty of parking behind the restaurant so that won’t be a problem. On this day I came in for Sunday Brunch. I came with a friend of mine and we arrived nice and early so the restaurant was not very busy and the lines to get tacos, and custom made omelettes where nice and short which was a bonus.

It is kind a of ironic that I ended up here because I am watching what I eat a lot closer now and I might go so far to say that I am on a diet of sorts. So anyway I started off small with a salad that consisted of carne asada, tomatoes and topped off with some parmesan cheese. I didn’t go to big on the salad so I mowed through that and then I couldn’t take it anymore and I had to go back for more. On trip two I didn’t do so well and I caved in and grabbed a few chicken tacos that where topped with cheese and I grabbed a Juevos Ranchero as well. It was actually just the right amount of food and I normally would have eaten twice that much.

The food selection was nice. Like I said earlier they had somebody making omelets and another person making tacos that came in either Pork, Steak or Chicken. The fruit selection was yummy looking as well as the normal mexican food stuff like that yummy sweet corn stuff they have as well as enchilada’s, burritos and the normal stuff that you will find at El Torito. My only complaint was that I thought $16 was a bit spendy for the meal but then again I didn’t take full advantage and power through 5 plates of food and drink a bunch of champagne which was included like I normally do.

Yardhouse

The Yardhouse is a very popular high end chain restaurant that is known for its good food and extensive supply of beer on tap among other things. The Long Beach Yardhouse is located in Shoreline Village right on the harbor and has a great view and a huge patio. Actually they whole place is huge and is usually packed. This is a fun place to party and it is pretty loud so not the greatest place to go on a first date unless you are on a drinking mission and if that is the case then the yard house is perfect for you.

This is a very busy bar and on the weekends you are going to wait. They have a good Happy hour and they have a lot of tvs. Don’t come here hoping to get right in and be served like you are in a fast food restaurant because it is not going to happen. Make sure you head up to the bar and grab a drink and chill out.

On this night I was drinking wine and I was hanging out with a friend and the very back end of the bar and we were watching a game on the television. One thing I love about the Yardhouse is that it is freezing inside so it is a perfect place to go to really “chill out”.

After I had a few glasses of wine I went ahead and ordered the Macaroni and Cheese. It is so good here! They actually call it Mac + Cheese 2 and this is what comes in it. Chicken breast, applewood bacon, wild mushrooms, cheddar, parmesan, campanelle pasta and truffle oil. If you are a fan of mac and cheese then I recommend trying a bowl of this stuff for sure its the bomb!

Taco Beach

I like coming down to Taco Beach. It is a really fun restaurant to visit and it is smack dab in the middle of downtown Long Beach on Pine Avenue so it is always happening down there. There are plenty of Tv’s around and if watching sports is your thing this is a good place to go and have a few cocktails and watch a game.

On this day I came during happy hour and I went ahead and ordered a few glasses of wine and a few Baja Tacos. The tacos come with cabbage, cilantro and baja sauce and are very good. I think i ate about 6 of them and I probably had about 5 glasses of wine so I took full advantage of happy hour and got some good grub and some good food for a great price.

It starts to get a bit blurry after this bar but I do know that I headed back down to the Metro Blue Line Transit Mall which is just a block or two down and hopped on the Blue Line and headed back up to Wardlow Station and went home. It is so convenient to be able to spend $3.00 and get from Wardlow to Downtown Long Beach and be able to booze it up and come back. Its a cheap way to travel and you don’t have to worry about paying the high prices for parking.

Ports O'Call Restaurant

I took some friends down to the Ports O’Call Restaurant last night and they were totally blown away by how awesome it is to eat on an inlet such as the Port of Los Angeles. We actually caught a big container ship on its way out which made it even more exciting. It was kind of funny because it was dusk and we saw the ship making its way under the Vincent Thomas Bridge and my friend grabbed his camera in kind of a hurry so he didn’t miss the shot. I told him to relax because it would take at least another 10 minutes to even get to the location that we were sitting.

Anyway I have been coming to happy hour here for about 5 years and on fridays they bring out tacos, vegetables and cheese that is served buffet style and they totally let you do the all you can eat thing so that is fun.

On this night I ordered The Crab & Shrimp Louie Royal salad and it was very tasty. It had Garden Greens, Asparagus, Crab Stuffed Deviled Egg, Black Caviar, Cucumber, Avocado, Tomato, Croutons and they had a special Louie Dressing that they put on it. It was perfect! I have been trying to eat a bit healthier so this salad filled me up just right.

Written by Louie Baur.

The Rocks

The Rocks is located on the corner of Long Beach Blvd and Wardlow just behind the Am Pm Gas Station. It does not look like a very big bar if you are walking by it down Long Beach Blvd but it is actually a pretty big place. It is very dark inside and the bar takes up half the place.

Its a cool bar to go watch a game and they have good specials and I have never been messed with in there. I have gone in there on the weekends and a DJ has been playing sometimes so that mixes it up a little bit.

The best part about the Rocks for me is that I can get hammered and stumble home and I have done that on more than once occasion. This is an awesome dive bar and is drama free which I really like.


Written by Louie Baur

Phil Trani's

I have been to Phil Trani’s a few times over the past 5 or so years and Phil was there each time and he has always been really cool to me and is generous with the free shots. They have an awesome cocktail lounge with live music playing on thursday and friday nights. I am in walking distance from Phil Trani’s so that is an added bonus.

I usually just go to Phil’s to be a lounge lizard and I have never had any complaints with the service or the people in there. Amber and Ashley are always very nice and make sure that my glass is full whey I am sitting at the bar. The crowd here is typically a bit older which is great because you dont deal with that hipster bullshit that happens at a lot of the other bars. Just cool people and good fun!

Chilli's

Chili’s opened as a fun Dallas burger joint with a loyalty to happy hour and blue jeans. We prided ourselves on our humble beginnings, following a devotion to great food, warm hospitality and community spirit. Today, with restaurants all over the world, we continue to cook up the best in casual fare, offering the same genuine service we did way back when. And, just as in 1975, we’re committed to giving back to the communities that have helped us grow.

Panorama Grill & Lounge

The Panorama Grill & Lounge is located at the top of the Holiday Inn of Long Beach. I came in here the other day to check it out because I have driven past it on the freeway hundreds of times and never stopped in. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a bar and restaurant on the penthouse level so up I went. One side of the Panorama is the bar section and the other side is the dining section. Both provide different views and depending on what time of the day it is etc you can see some pretty cool spots in both Signal Hill and Long Beach.

Today I went up and had breakfast at about 8am and there was nobody there so it was nice and peaceful which is exactly what I was looking for. I ordered the All American Skillet with Sourdough toast and I was served by Eric who is a totally cool guy. I had a great breakfast, an awesome conversation with Eric and got to enjoy the sun rising in the middle of Long Beach which was a first for me. What a great experience I am gonna bring the wife back for dinner next time. They also have a pretty decent happy hour here so come by and grab a half priced drink over looking the middle of Long Beach.

Hennessey's Tavern

I have to admit I did not get a chance to fully take advantage of all that Hennessey’s Tavern has to offer. Instead I went ahead and ordered a low carb burger and a diet coke. Hennessey’s Tavern is really known as an Irish pub and has excellent happy hour drinks and menu items. They also have live music on some days of the week. I am guessing it is probably on the weekends because that is the only time that I have been there.

Hennessey’s Tavern is situated in a great area of Redondo Beach called the Hollywood Riviera or The Riviera Village depending on where you are from. It is a really awesome spot that is close to the beach and there are a variety of really cool shops and restaurants in the area. Next time you are in the neighborhood stop by and check out Hennessey’s.