Show 215, March 18, 2017: Rick Reich, Proprietor, W.I.N.O, Brix at The Shore, Long Beach

Rick ReichWhen it comes to personable characters with their own sense of style on the Long Beach dining scene, Rick Reich of Brix at The Shore in Belmont Shore wears the befitting crown. It’s a taste of the Big Apple with its iconic, piled-high pastrami sandwiches, intimate wine bar ambiance and a standout rotating selection of craft beer. It’s all of 65-seats.

Brix at The Shore offers something the area is lacking: a place that caters to Generation X and Baby Boomers where these forty to sixtysomethings can make their own hangout with music from their era, everything from ‘80s alternative to Sinatra; a rotating wine list with an impressive and thoughtful selection of vintages; a collection of taps that pour craft beer; and an intimate environment that provokes casual conversation among its guests.

“I call Brix at The Shore an adult amusement park,” says owner Rick Reich, who also doubles as the restaurant’s sommelier. “Belmont Shore has plenty of places that appeal to college kids, but what the area was lacking was a hangout for a more established crowd who needed a place to unwind after work, enjoy a good glass of wine or beer, grab a bite to eat, and occasionally break out into song – trust me, it’s happens. We’ve had the entire restaurant singing to Dean Martin on a Saturday night. And that’s what makes Brix so appealing.”

The menu features an array of shareable plates, flatbread sandwiches, salads, deli sandwiches, artisan pizza, burgers and entrees.

We pull W.I.N.O Rick out of the kitchen (and from behind the well-stocked bar) to tell us all about it.

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Show 193, October 15, 2016: Frank Buono, CEO, Buono’s Authentic Pizzeria, Long Beach and San Pedro

Frank BuonoOver 50 years ago Nicolaniello Buono opened a modest Italian Grocery and Deli in San Pedro. In 1973 that transitioned into Buono’s Italian Pizzeria. There are now two locations in Long Beach and the original in San Pedro. The Flagship is at 250 W. Ocean Blvd. in the heart of Downtown Long Beach. Two generations of the Buono Family are still actively involved.

“From the pizza fashioned from hand-kneaded dough made fresh daily, to the homemade sauces and sausages, to the fresh mozzarella, and the gas-fired brick ovens, eating at Buono’s is like dining at a pizzeria in the Old Country. When you order any of their Italian specialties, such as lasagna, spaghetti, eggplant parmigiana, or linguini e vongole, you are tasting a bit of Italy near the shores of the Pacific.

All of the Italian sandwich rolls used on the menu at Buono’s are baked in-house, daily.

A sign of a successful restaurant is the longevity of their staff. Many of the co-workers at Buono’s (both in the front and back-of-the-house) have been there for years.

Family CEO, Frank, hand-kneads the dough for us.

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