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Updated by Antonio Ruiz on Jan 16, 2018
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Antonio Ruiz Antonio Ruiz
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Top Favorite Latino Eating Joints in Long Beach

There's no magic to this list. I like them all. I would love to expand it. Give me yours suggestions at antonioruiz@palaciomagazine.com.

1

Exploring Cesar’s Bistro

Exploring Cesar’s Bistro

I've been there once and I wasn't impressed. However, I'm getting feedback to try them again. Not that it matters to me but they have 4 1/2 stars on Yelp. Here's how they describe themselves:

Located in the beautiful city of Long Beach, California, we are Cesar's Bistro, also known as "The New Latin American Cuisine." Our specialty is a new model, style, and concept of Latin cuisine. Here at Cesar's Bistro we select our ingredients from the best quality. We offer friendly and respectful attention toward our customers and partners; we provide great service in our family-friendly casual atmosphere.

I'm always willing to give a restaurant a second chance...unless it was the worst experience of my life. And this restaurant was not.

Cesar’s Bistro
6240 E. Pacific Coast Highway
Long Beach, CA. 90803
(562) 494-1000

2

Exploring Panxa Cocina

Exploring Panxa Cocina

It's been a while since I've been here. Actually, been only once. Here's what stuck out in my head: Loud, dark, dismissive service. Yet, I seem to vaguely remember the food was good. Not great. But good. Recent reviews and word of mouth is pushing me to go back and try again. Maybe I'll love their food as much as I love their story:

Panxa Cocina was born out of a lifetime of love for Latin cuisine and a desire to support locally sourced foods. Growing up in Cerritos, California, Chef Arthur Gonzalez helped his German mother and his Oaxacan grandmother prepare meals growing up. Chef Gonzalez wanted to be a firefighter and started as a paid call firefighter at age 26, but due to a back injury, he discovered his passion for cooking in the firehouse kitchen. He then went on to Seal Beach restaurant, Spaghettini, as a dishwasher. This humble beginning for Chef gave him the opportunity to train in the kitchen. Two years after starting at Spaghettini, Chef Gonzalez was the pastry/sous chef at local legend Mahé before moving to New Mexico. After working in several restaurants in New Mexico, Chef Gonzalez was introduced to James Beard award-winning Chef Eric Distefano of Coyote Café and Geronimo, who became his mentor. While working at Señor Lucky's in Santa Fé, Chef Gonzalez met Vanessa Auclair, his current business partner here in California. Vanessa and Chef came back to Southern California to work at McKenna’s On The Bay in Long Beach as Manager and Head Chef, respectively, with the goal of creating delicious, clean and simple food. Their success at McKenna’s led to the opening of seafood focused Roe on Second Street in Belmont Shore. Deciding to try something new, Vanessa and Chef opened Panxa, inspired by their Southwestern roots, together creating a menu authentic to New Mexico and influenced by his family's cooking throughout his childhood. At Panxa, pronounced pan-zah (the Catalan word for belly), Chef Gonzalez has created a place for flavorful unique dishes, craft cocktails, wine, and an extensive tequila menu. When you leave, your belly will be happy.

3937 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 433-7999
Panxa Cocina

3

Cañadas Grill

Cañadas Grill

This is from Jim Ruggirello, former site manager for Homeland Cultural Center in MacArthur Park. I haven't been here but the restaurant keeps coming up in posts and other lists. The owners of Cañadas Grill describe themselves as "...a family own Mexican restaurant with great service, authentic Mexican food and providing a fun family atmosphere."

You can check out there menu HERE. Yelp gives them a 4.5 rating

Cañadas Grill
3721 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804
(562) 494-4903
Their website HERE

4

Lola's Mexican Cuisine

Lola's Mexican Cuisine

I have my favorite dishes like their "Protein Platter" on their lunch special menu and Mole Poblano. But, it really is more than that. In both locations, I feel community. A large part of the credit goes to Chef Luis Navarro and his people.

  • 2030 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814, (562) 343-5506
  • 4140 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807, (562) 349-0100

From the Lola's Mexican Cuisine:

Established in 2007, our family has always had a love affair with Mexican food. Our grandmother passed down her recipes to Lola when she was just a little girl growing up in Guadalajara Mexico. Everything made from scratch and that is exactly what you can expect here at Lola’s. Chef Luis Navarro has dedicated his career to learning and traveling through all of Mexico’s enchanting regions, from Veracruz, Mexico City, Yucatan, Baja California, and Oaxaca studying the craft of the local cuisine, and indigenous ingredients. Our mission at Lola’s is for our guests to enjoy food the way we have come to know it and love it… right from Mom’s kitchen.

5

Aji Peruvian Cuisine

Aji Peruvian Cuisine

2308 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814, (562) 439-8545

Aji Peruvian Restaurant
Where do I start? Maybe, my favorite dishes may be a good place to start.

WARM CAESAR SALAD Grilled romaine hearts, Ají's anchovy dressing, croutons, shaved parmesan. CEVICHE MERCADO Sea bass, octopus, shrimp, fried calamari, fried yucca, leche de tigre, rocoto. CAUSA COCKTAIL Chilled potato mash topped with shrimp, salsa golf al Pisco, avocado and shrimp tempura. PESCADO A LO MACHO Grilled swordfish, shrimp, calamari, octopus, spicy sofrito and steamed rice.

6

Los Comprades Restaurant

Los Comprades Restaurant

Two locations in Long Beach:

  • 1144 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813, Phone number (562) 432-0061
  • 3229 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804, Phone number (562) 961-0061

Los Comprades Restaurant
Yes, I really do love their soups.

CALDO de Pollo. CALDOS de Mariscos

7

Playa Amor

Playa Amor

Located at the Marketplace Center in East Long Beach, you sometimes have to look for it even though it has a Pacific Coast Highway address. 6527 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Long Beach, CA 90803, Phone number (562) 430-2667

But, trust me, it's worth the hunt. Favorites include:

  • Ceviches
  • Charred Brussel Sprouts
  • Charred Octopus
  • Roasted Chicken

I can't wait to try their:

  • Sikil Pak “Mayan Hummus’’
  • Estilo Puerto Nuevo Lobster
  • Tres Mares Salmon Pan Roast

Playa Amor

Critically acclaimed chef Thomas Ortega offers a sophisticated, playa-inspired menu of contemporary pocho and modern-Mexican cuisine to Long Beach, CA.

8

El Taco Loco No 3

El Taco Loco No 3

Now, this is a joint! Yes, it doesn't look like much from outside or inside and it does have a edgy feeling to it. But, I've been there countless times and love their Tacos.

1465 Magnolia Ave Long Beach, CA 90813

9

El Pollo Imperial

El Pollo Imperial

Hey, it's not fancy but it's good and the staff is cool. Better prices at lunchtime.

“Good chicken, Good fried rice, good rolls, good chicken soup, good green sauce, good salad, good mussels and very good service.”

5991 Atlantic Ave
Long Beach, CA 90805
Phone number (562) 612-3315

10

Taqueria La Mexicana on 4Th Street

Taqueria La Mexicana on 4Th Street

This also from Jim Ruggirello. Funny thing is, my son also loves this place. I've never eaten here also but the menu sure is interesting. My son's favorite is the Cali Burrito- Carne Asada, french fries, guacamole, cheese- Hot salsa. Wait, did he say french fries?

There's no website but you find them on Yelp HERE

Taqueria La Mexicana
3270 E 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90814
(562) 433-6389

11

Patricia’s Restaurant

Patricia’s Restaurant

This recommendation comes from writer/teacher Liz Gonzalez. She once lived by the restaurant on Atlantic Avenue. Their website describes their cooking this way, "Our Chefs have created a menu that incorporates the traditional way of cooking Mexican food recipes with a modern touch. Artfully presented, Patricia’s menu includes such dishes as Pollo en Mole, Lengua en Salsa Verde, Camarones a La Diabla, Tacos and Burritos."

You can find out more about Patricia's Restaurant HERE.

Patricia’s Restaurant
3626 Atlantic Ave
Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 426-7547

12

Rivera’s Tacos

Rivera’s Tacos

Also from Liz Gonzalez. No website but they're on Yelp also HERE. They received 4 stars with comments like this:

“The food is the bomb, authentic Mexican homemade.The service was pretty good.”
"Wet burritos are bomb and tasty. Seasoned fries on point. Overall very good food."

Rivera’s Tacos
5498 Atlantic Ave
Long Beach, CA 90805
(562) 428-4116

13

Exploring Padre

Exploring Padre

Again, been to this place only once and I have mixed feelings about it. They were less than a month old so I should cut them some slack. The food was okay and the service slow. But now, they're more established so they're not going to get any slack next time. Not that they need it. When I drive by, they seem to be packed with a lot of young people doing what young people on a Saturday and Friday do, drinking and eating. That is, however, always my concern. Is it a Bar with a Restaurant or a Restaurant with a Bar. There is a difference. There is also the issue of a place that calls itself "Latin Table" and then is all over the place on their menu. I'll keep an open mind and find out what's attracting the young crowds: the food or the drinks or both.

Check out their menu

Padre
525 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 612-4951

14

Exploring Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant

Exploring Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant

My friend, D.w. Gastélum , insists this place is the bomb and should be on this list. I can't believe I have been there in all these years since it's not far from us. This is what he had to say:

Enrique's is the best traditional Mexican cuisine. Which is different from what you get at taco stands or even a good place like Patricia's.
I guess we'll have to finally check it out.

Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant
6210 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 498-3622

15

Brian Addison's Great Long Beach Breakfast Burrito Crawl

Brian Addison's Great Long Beach Breakfast Burrito Crawl

Bacon Breakfast Burrito (Photo by Andrew P. from Yelp page Tito’s Bakery)
Brian Addison publishes, writes and edits a great website called Longbeachize. Last month, he posted a story called The Great Long Beach Breakfast Burrito Crawl on 4th Street. Here's how he introduced it:

4th Street is, unbeknownst to some, a breakfast burrito mecca of that spans from taqueria-in-a-wrapped-tortilla to American to vegan, from Ximeno all the way to Elm—and for any Long Beacher, this treasure of a morning meal is essential to daily living and therefore makes this list essential to know. While I am certainly not suggesting that crawl is possible—maybe if there are 10 of you and you all take a bite or two as you go along—there has to be more recognition that one of Long Beach’s greatest stretches of road is also home to a plethora of any self-respecting Southern Californian’s favorite breakfast food (including the city’s best breakfast burrito).

Addison went on to name ten food joints on 4th Street that, he claimed, served the best Breakfast Burritos. His fave was one served at Tito's Bakery, 1107 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90802, (562) 432-7272. In addition to Tito's Bakery, Addison's list an interesting range of joints including Berlin Bistro (420 E 4th St.), Golden Burger (2301 E 4th St.), and The Grain Cafe (4403 E 4th St.). You can see the entire list HERE.

The list got me thinking about other joints around the city and so I came up with ten other places where customers swear by their Breakfast Burritos. Here's the list in no special order of preference:

  1. Linda’s Mexican Delights
  2. El Torazo
  3. El Burrito Grill
  4. El Taco Loco No 3
  5. Chema’s Place
  6. Cañadas Grill (We've talked about this joint before)
  7. Don Chendos
  8. Casa Perez
  9. Holé Molé 421 Obispo Ave, Long Beach, CA 90814, (562) 439-2555
  10. And something very different Appu’s Cafe

Send more recommendations to antonioruiz@palaciomagazine.com