MVP's Grill & Patio, a cash-only burger joint in Long Beach, has cultivated an impressive following. Its two locations have inspired more than 600 Yelp reviews combined, many of them 4 stars or higher. Most of the praise goes to its burgers, which are named after George Foreman, including the Big "George Foreman," a burger with two 1/3-pound patties, four slices of cheese, and a bun that can take a punch. Other sandwiches on the menu receive a similar sports-themed treatment, such as the Harry Carey (a triple-decker BLT) and the Chick Hearn (grilled chicken with cajun mayonnaise). To complement the burgers and sandwiches, diners can pair them with fries and soda.
Many of the dishes served at Rick and Brian's Cafe have been taking up menu real estate since the diner opened 30 years ago. This comfort food puts customers at ease, as does some of their veteran staff who have been around since the diner's opening, offering a comforting continuity for guests stopping in for their daily coffee, chicken-fried steak, and slow-cooked pot roast. Like any good diner or restaurant without a clock, the cafe serves breakfast all day long alongside BLTs, burgers, meatloaf, and cobb salads. Staff members also bake up retro desserts such as pineapple upside down cake, orange liqueur cheesecake made with Grand Marnier, and bundt cakes with vodka and Kahlua baked inside.
Is it a trendy art gallery or a coffee shop? Your eyes might be bewildered, but your taste buds won’t be. Viento y Agua is a home for artists where they can pick up a fresh cup of joe. Viento y Agua decorates its walls with work from local artists that customers can purchase--you could spend hours gazing at the colorful array of artwork. When your eyes are tired, you can shut them and listen to the local bands playing great music on open mic night. You experience all this as you sip Viento y Agua’s delicious coffee and eat their tasty food. At Viento y Agua, you can take home the art you bought along with a cup of coffee.
Half a world separates Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, from Long Beach. But there is one thing that connects them: the expertly prepared food at each city's Sophy's Fine Thai & Cambodian Cuisine. The restaurant's owners?Cambodia natives themselves?have kept ties with their home country in very real ways by serving Cambodian and Thai cuisine in both locations over the last 14 years. They stir-fry noodles with tender bites of meat, craft spicy curries that awaken every taste bud, and serve slightly sweet desserts such as sticky rice with mango. One of their signature dishes is panang salmon, which they bathe in a red curry sauce studded with kaffir lime leaves, creating a dish that's more complex than string theory explained entirely in pig Latin.
Residents of Long Beach in search of down-home barbecue can head to Buffalo Spot Wings & Rib Co. for some wings, ribs, and homestyle sides. Patrons order up 5, 10, 15, or even 100 wings in a sauce that runs the gamut from mild to Atomic hot and pair them with mouth-cooling aids, including creamy blue cheese or ranch dressing, carrots, and smooth hip-hop rhymes. Ribs arrive tableside with sides such as mac and cheese and baked beans. One of the eatery's most popular offerings, buffalo fries, piles chopped chicken tenders and crispy fries onto a plate and douses them in any of the 10 sauces, plus the special sauce.
The Red Barrel serves wines from around the world, but takes special care in the presentation: red and white sangria are poured into frosted carafes, and flights of bright white and dusky red wines are served on wooden paddles. Glasses glint off of the low, romantic lighting from candelabra-like wall sconces, and the dark wood tables clustered together invite whispered conversation. On most nights, live music ranging from a Latin jazz trio to a spunky young black-metal band completes the scene.
Knowing that every wine needs a pairing, The Red Barrel's chefs prepare seafood-centric fare in the style of a classic French bistro. The daily menu often changes, but wine-marinated clams, rosemary-crusted lamb chops, and filet mignon with buttered lobster often fill the intimate space with their inviting aromas. At brunch, French classics such as croque madame?french bread with prosciutto and a sunny-side-up egg?pair with refreshing mimosas.