If there is one thing that is markedly different about Downtown Long Beach from, say, a decade ago, it’s the food scene.
Staples that had long dominated the scene—think the mediocre attempt at fine dining with Mums, the shoulder-shrug attempt at sports-casual fare known as Smooth’s, or the hopeful-but-always-disappointing attempt at French fine dining known as The Madison—are now BO-beau’s and The Federal Bar, contemporary joints attached to restaurant group powerhouses.
Table 301, which officially opened its doors this weekend on the north side of Third Street where the Promenade runs into it, attempts to join this list of growing food strongholds, but with a bit more local flavor.
While BO-beau’s hails from San Diego’s massive Cohn Restaurant Group and The Federal Bar is part of L.A.’s Knitting Factory group, Table 301 marks local restauranteur Dave Solzman’s move from Signal Hill, where he operated Delius, to the hubbub of Downtown.
The move marks one of the more distinct new tenants of the four-year, three-phase, multi-million dollar overhaul of the space formerly known as City Place and now dubbed The Streets. Designed by Long Beach firm Studio One Eleven, one of the development’s first tenants along Third, the revamp marks a distinct shift in the way that Downtown is viewed in terms of shopping and dining.
Table 301’s opening is part of that shift: integrated intimately with the also newly-revamped Harvey Milk Park, Table 301 is the development’s first non-super casual dining space. (It’s not Poke Cat nor is it offering shakes is what I mean.)
“In designing Table 301, Innovation and Design in Architecture was approached to design the restaurant and bring contemporary flare to a relaxing, lounge like setting focusing on fine food, craft cocktails and inspiring conversation,” said Josh Cool, President and Kellen Spafford, Senior Designer. “Combining an elevated dining experience with a more casual atmosphere, the design for Table 301 drew inspiration from the bistro dining style, with comfortable seating, small-shareable plates, and a unique aesthetic. The overall design is simple and contemporary in its execution, using authentic materials such as steel, wood and brick, mixed with more decorative elements and color used in a contemporary manner to soften the over palette. The large low bar allows for a more dining-like experience, inviting guests to relax, while the smaller exterior bar takes advantage of the unique Promenade location and adjacent park to bring a space like no other to downtown Long Beach.”
The menu? Somewhat all over the place, offering a range of fusion food that seems to be the trend.
- Tiger corn dogs: shrimp skewers dipped in corn dog batter Carnival-style, fried, and offered with a wasabi cocktail sauce for dipping
- Chichareetos: Mexican-style fried pork skins tossed in a mixture of cheddar and Tajín
- Beef brisket: English-style braised brisket with peas, carrots, and onions
- Lamb ribs: Greek-style rack of lamb, cut, with preserved lemon and herbs, paired with tzatziki sauce
- Po’boy Sandwich: Southern-style classic eschews shrimp in favor of fried oysters with a roumelade
On top of the eclectic menu, Table 301 plans to offer direct competition with its neighbor, Michael’s, by offering wood-fired pizzas that span “white pizzas”—pizzas that lack a traditional tomato sauce, such as their pizza that has prosciutto, figs, Fontina and chèvre, and a white balsamic drizzle—and “red pizzas.”
Table 301 is located at 301 The Promenade N.
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