After facing a fire that all but burnt down the entire building, Restauration, the Fourth Street bistro and patio owned by Dana Tanner and chef Philip Pretty, is officially set to re-open by the beginning of October.
After a false alarm earlier this year—high hopes allowed Tanner to state that they would be reopening on Mother’s Day only to discover further setbacks—the news that the reopening is actually following through is refreshing given the fire happened nearly a year ago.
“There’s nothing the community can expect more than just a solid comeback,” Pretty said. “We’ll have the dishes and flavors they are used to seeing from us but I am also ready to challenge the neighborhood. I’ve always noticed that our kitchen excelled best when we challenged both ourselves and our patrons.”
The return of Restauration is sure to receive a warm Welcome Back from the neighborhood since it will add a sense of comfort to the small cluster of businesses near Fourth Street and Temple Avenue that has seen massive changes in its overall aura: Kafe Neo closed up shop to make way for a marijuana dispensary; Do Good Donuts closed after being open for less than a year but has made way for the success of the Hug Life ice cream parlor; and Mr. Makoto, the ramen shop from the folks behind the now-shuttered Seoulmate, was only open for a few months before closing its doors but is now making way for Chef AC Boral’s debut Filipino fusion joint.
Having opened in 2014, Restauration took over a building that had long been mired with unsuccessful restaurants. Since then, it has long held a reputation for upping the city’s food game (and was named by the Post as one of the city’s best restaurants), especially since Tanner took on Pretty as its head-of-kitchen.
The pair—Tanner made Pretty a full-time partner in the restaurant shortly after hiring him—made the restaurant boom with creativity, color, and coolness while its community involvement increased, partially because of the pair’s support of urban farming.
Restauration had its own plot at Organic Harvest Gardens in North Long Beach, where it procured over half of its produce. Pretty visited three times a week while the garden, in return, visited Restauration twice a week.
This harmonious relationship shows not only the power of keeping it local but allows Pretty to offer what were some spectacularly gorgeous plates like roasted with carrots with sorghum grain topped with watercress leaves and radishes. Or arguably one of the best appetizers he’s ever created: my favorite, beef carpaccio, made from raw flat iron steak and topped with a tad bit of dijon aioli and garlic scape chimichurri, while slathered in pickled fresno peppers and fried shallots that create a sweet-and-sour tinge to the wonderful umami-like flavor of the carpaccio.
“People can expect those flavors to return and then some,” Pretty said. “In all honesty, I am just happy to be cooking for my hometown again. I want good food here for the long-run; I want Long Beach’s longevity to stand out more than just random pop-ups here and there of quality. I’m invested—and I think the community is too.”