Ecco’s Pizza provides hordes of beach-roaming mozzarella apostles with a menu full of fresh ingredients, inventive recipes, and wedge-shaped slices of edible Italia. Pies come in four sizes and brave Ionian Sea currents with choices such as Ecco’s greek pizza ($10.25 for 10”/ $18.89 for 16”) with sun-dried tomatoes, imported olives, and feta cheese. Populate your mouth’s hull with The Ark, a pizza weighed down by sausage, ground beef, pepperoni, canadian bacon, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, black olives, and every other animal Noah trapped on his seaplane. Dinners include spaghetti marinara ($7.95) and the herbivore-friendly eggplant parmigiana ($9.50), as well as deli sandwiches and fresh salads.
For more than a millennium, Cafe Sevilla has stood as one of Spain's great historic cities. In 1987, Spanish-born entrepreneurs Rogelio and Janet Huidobro opened the Cafe Sevilla tapas bar as a tribute to the longstanding cultural and culinary traditions of their homeland. Since then, the authentic Spanish eatery has expanded to three locations, each with a nightclub where live musicians take the stage every night in a celebration of Latin, Arabic, and gypsy music.
Cafe Sevilla's executive chef constantly experiments with his cooking, devising adventurous new dishes while highlighting cuisine from the varied regions of Spain. His menus encompass more than 40 tapas plates hailing from regions throughout Spain, such as skewers, ceviche, imported Iberian ham, and paella valenciana, a saffron-infused bomba-rice dish loaded with shellfish, Spanish sausage, and vegetables. Despite the ingenuity that suffuses the menu, one thing has remained constant: the sangria recipe, which is exactly the same as it was 25 years ago. On Saturday nights, there's an extra garnish for the cuisine: a three-course dinner is underscored by performances of flamenco, an Andalusian dance form that expresses love, pain, and passion through elaborate movement. Engaging the audience in a full sensory experience, the dancers—many of whom were trained in Spain and now run their own dance studios—are dressed in colorful, traditional garb and are chased off the stage by stampeding bulls at the end of each set.
Mike O'Toole and David Black had already started their own Gondola cruise business together before Mike's first visit to Venice brought him into contact with the real thing. Fascinated by the sleek lines and ability to move under the power of a single oar, he stayed to investigate, toiling in boatyards and working stints as a gondolier as he learned to design and maneuver the classic boats. When he returned to the US, he brought with him a determination to make his gondola business a truly authentic experience. Together, he and David devised a gondola that exuded the traditions of Venice but that was specifically suited to the waters of Naples Island.
At The Gondola Getaway, Mike, David, and their team of gondoliers conduct one-hour tours with the unique watercraft, which range from authentic two-seaters imported from Venezia to boats that seat up to 14, crafted with the co-owners' unique designs. These are built from oak frames and mahogany plywood with a five-ounce fiberglass overlay, painted jet-black, and constructed to be a bit shorter than their European counterparts. Once on the water, tour guides explore Naples Island's ancient canals and waterways, and even serve European snacks such as cheese, salami, and bread.
Selections from more than 3,000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures are rotated in changing exhibits at the Long Beach Museum of Art, capturing in one swoop approximately 300 years of artistic history. Ceramics from the 1700s, early 20th-century European art, and modern visions from local artists are permanent fixtures in the museum. These pieces are joined by an array of temporary exhibits, such as Catherine Opie's photographs and a tribute to the late artist Karl Benjamin, known for his vibrant geometric paintings and ability to draw perfect equilateral triangles.
As a community-driven organization, Long Beach Museum of Art survives on donations. In turn, it provides the public with educational and cultural programs, such as free monthly workshops and tours for local school groups. After a trip to the museum, visitors can enjoy a meal at Claire’s, an oceanside restaurant that houses Claire Falkenstein’s water sculpture, Structure and Flow.
When he was a kid, Joseph Rooney heard a story from his uncle about a duck that was struck by a waterskier near their family's summer home in Illinois. That duck, however, didn't die or even file a lawsuit—it just waddled away with a crooked neck. As the story spread and more neighbors shared their own crooked duck sightings, the legend grew, following Joseph all the way to Long Beach where he named his restaurant after that resilient bird.
Hailed as an "obsessively friendly restaurant that every neighborhood should have" by the Long Beach Press-Telegram, The Crooked Duck welcomes visitors into a casual, oftentimes quirky atmosphere with timeless dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the mornings, the kitchen turns out flapjacks and omelets. The rest of the day, the restaurant's menu overflows with unique dishes such as meatloaf with caramelized onions, gorgonzola bacon burgers, and decadent sweets such as naked carrot cake.
Beer and whiskey don't just complement meals at Shenanigans Irish Pub & Grille – they're essential ingredients. Cooks baste grilled shrimp kebabs in Bushmills whiskey marinade, fry white fish in housemade beer batter, and pair Irish soda bread with slow-simmering Guinness stews. But booze isn't the only thing that makes Shenanigans' pub dishes so flavorful. Garlic hot sauce, for instance, coats succulent chicken wings, while ground beef, onions, and kidney beans comprise the pub's award-winning chili recipe.
An extensive selection of Guinness brews and specialty cocktails pair perfectly with feasts, which unfold amid 11 TVs showing the day's biggest games and live music on weekends. Some of those TVs are even part of Shenanigans' two outdoor patios, where diners can glance at the score when they're not watching boats sail by on the neighboring waterfront. The view is available year-round, since both patios are heated and covered to protect guests from wintery chills or raindrops desperate to become part of their tap water.