Photos by Asia Morris.
Eat LBC kicked off Long Beach Restaurant Week, to start March 22, with a packed house of hungry foodies and Long Beach enthusiasts at the “Eats of March” Launch Party at Hyatt The Pike on Sunday. Restaurants from Downtown, Belmont Shore, Naples, Retro Row and more gave attendees a taste of the greatness to come.
Alicia and Brittany, who attended last year’s Eat LBC, liked the sizable portions of the samples and commended Long Beach for taking the promotion of its own restaurants into its own hands, despite being underrepresented at other food-centric events.
Alicia, who couldn’t get enough of L’Opera’s Sacchetto Di Cioccolata, said, “It’s good, too, for Long Beach to have something. Everything’s about LA, so it’s like, when we do dine L.A. there’s very few Long Beach restaurants represented, so you have to go outside to go enjoy most of the places, but with this it’s like you can be in your local area, which is great.”
The Auld Dubliner opened the minds of many who previously associated the Irish Pub with nothing other than its ability to serve them a heavy Guinness. Their refreshing Shrimp Cocktail with Marie Rose Sauce was absolutely delectable, enticing guests to return, two, three, four more times to snap up several samples.
Kihon Sushi served their exotic Smoked Octopus Carpaccio, composed of thinly sliced octopus dressed lightly with lemon oil and decorated with yuzu pepper and other spices. The down-sized dish was chewy, but not too chewy, citrusy and revitalized those sleepy attendees who had filled up on Buono’s Pizzeria’s popular Eggplant Rolls.
It was a true Long Beach event, a loud shindig, with KJAZZ’s one and only Gary Wagner broadcasting “Nothin’ but the Blues” live from the party, while overheard guests spoke highly of Honduras Kitchen’s Pastelito, a honduran meat pie, while juggling full glasses of wine and loaded down plates of pizza, Gladstone’s Lobster Mac n’ Cheese and
Kerry Gerot, always the Long Beach enthusiast, lauded Eat LBC’s co-founders Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry for really caring about the City and bringing its growing restaurant scene to light.
“And it dovetails with everything else that’s going on in the City,” she continued excitedly, “with economic development and The Pike, with Restoration Hardware as the flagship, with H&M, with Nike, with Forever 21 and the development that’s going on there. I think a lot of the other development that’s taking place, and the new economic and property development department at the City, so this is all really, really positive for Long Beach.”
Peter Johnson, who has lived on the Promenade since 2008 and currently sits on the board of the Promenade Area Residents Association, said that Eat LBC is a vehicle for bridging the City’s myriad communities.
With a drink and plate in hand he said proudly, “It’s great to see the growth. And it’s often said that, and I really believe it’s very true, that Long Beach is a city of neighborhoods. And the restaurants and the people who live in the neighborhoods often kinda get stuck in their own neighborhood. Last year, I and my friends made the decision to get out of our neighborhood and to eat in restaurants outside of our neighborhood. I’m definitely going to do the same thing this year.”
“When I look at this crowd I see very few of the faces I typically see in the downtown so it’s great to see how an organized event, a vehicle, whatever you wanna call it, like this can get us out of our own neighborhood to see what else is going on across the scene,” he concluded.
Partial proceeds from the $35 tickets went to benefit Eat LBC’s local non-profit partner, Food Finders. Eat LBC, Long Beach Restaurant is a non-ticketed event where participating restaurants offer three-course meals, an appetizer, entrée and dessert, for $20, $30 or $40 depending on the restaurant. Fine dining options will feature a Chef’s Tasting menu for $50 with optional wine pairings. For more information about Eat LBC and the over 75 participating restaurants, click here.