FROM THE ARCHIVE: The Crooked Duck

Originally published 12/21/11 | Have you seen that cute little corner restaurant on PCH and Clark? The one that seems impossible to turn into and even harder to park in? Yea, that one!

The Crooked Duck opened a few months ago, and being that I live pretty close, I would drive by all the time and the name interested me. I had a small hope that everything they served had duck (I was wrong, but they do have a chili). For my birthday, my friend Teresa who knew I had been dying to try the place suggested we go there for lunch. Success! All my chit-chatting about it worked!

Teresa and I went in the afternoon on a weekday and the patio was crowded! I thought that was a great sign. We asked for a table on the patio and we were seated right away. We looked over the extensive menu and also laughed about the origin of the name (a duck was hit while someone was water skiing and was left crooked; don't worry, the duck lives!). Some might say it's a little dark, but I am a fan. Our server was quick and attentive and everyone said hello.

When we saw that they offered a mango mimosa, we couldn't say no. Sure, it was a weekday lunch, but we were celebrating a birthday after all. Our server went over the specials with us and Teresa knew right away she had to order the tomato basil soup with a half grilled cheese sandwich. At first, I was unsure why anyone would order a grilled cheese sandwich anywhere other than in her own kitchen, but then I learned what was in it. This grilled cheese had three types of cheese: swiss, cheddar and jack. But that's not all: inside there is also tomato and basil. Sounded like she couldn't go wrong. She also decided to add a side salad to her meal.

Due to my garlic allergy, it was a little bit more difficult for me to decide what to have, but the server was very helpful (which is a nice change of pace compared to other places I have been lately). She checked with the cooks and let me know what I would be able to have and modify. I decided to order the Chicken Cobb Salad - they made the chicken for me in a separate pan and changed the seasoning so that no garlic would be included. They really went above and beyond for me.

Our food arrived and we were both very happy. Teresa's side salad looked delicious and had way more than most side salads I have seen: gorgonzola, candied walnuts, croutons, and mango de gallo topped with herb balsamic vinaigrette. Her tomato soup smelled fantastic, and she said that it was much creamier than others she has tried and that the basil in her grilled cheese really made it the perfect combination.

My cobb salad arrived and it was much larger than I had anticipated. I ate it all, it was delicious. The chicken was a bit overcooked, I think that probably was because of the special instructions for the chef, and it didn't make the salad any less tasty. The salad was a standard cobb but used gorgonzola instead of blue cheese. It also had a lot more avocado then the restaurant chains usually include. Overall, this was a cute little place that had very tasty food.

The prices did seem a little out of whack for the food they were offering ($12.95 for my cobb salad & $8.95 for a cup of soup and half sandwich), but I would return again and I hope to go in for breakfast (that menu looked amazing). I would even deal with soju instead of vodka in my Bloody Mary, and that's saying something!

The Crooked Duck - Menu

5096 E. Pacific Coast Highway
Long Beach, CA 90804
(562) 494 - 5118

Mon: Closed
T - Th: 8am to 9pmish
Fri-Sat: 8am to 10pmish
Sun: 8am to 9pmish
Brunch 'til 3pm on Weekends

Price: $$ Parking: Street, Lot Credit Cards: YES

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