Show 224, May 20, 2017: Eric Samaniego, Executive Chef, Michael’s on Naples, Long Beach

Eric SamaniegoExecutive Chef Eric Samaniego (ex-Little Sparrow) is hosting an unusual 5-course collaboration dinner with Taco Maria’s (SoCo in Costa Mesa) acclaimed chef/proprietor Carlos Salgado on May 24th at Michael’s on Naples in Long Beach. This is part of Michael’s on Naples ongoing monthly “Guest Chef’ing” series.

Among the many accomplishments of Chef Salgado is being named one of Food & Wine’s Best Chefs of 2015. Taco Maria is known for Alta California cuisine, an intriguing fusion of Mexican and American flavors and cultures.

Chef Samaniego never reveals in advance what he and his guest chef will prepare simply because he’s not quite sure himself. The evening tends to be spontaneous, much like going to a friend’s home for dinner and leaving the menu up to the host. Both chefs will shop the local farmers’ markets and visit Farm Lot 59, the local urban farm, for ingredients just days before, which will drive the creativity of their five-course dinner.

“I really like collaborating with other chefs,” said Samaniego. “I love to try new techniques and experiment with new ideas in the kitchen. It’s even more fun when you’re cooking with someone you have tremendous respect for and consider a friend. I’m looking forward to having Chef Salgado join me on May 24.”

Chefs Samaniego joins us for an enticing preview.


Show 216, March 25, 2017: “Mayor” Rithy Hahn, Chef “T” Visoth Ouk, Long Beach’s Cambodia Town

Rithy Hahn, and Chef T Visoth OukLong Beach has its own officially designated Little Cambodia Town. It’s known as the Cambodian capital of the United States. Some 20,000 residents of Long Beach are of Cambodian descent. Long Beach is thought to have the second largest population of Cambodian immigrants outside of Southeast Asia.

The Cambodia Town Culture Festival with lots of food & fun for the whole Family is Sunday, April 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Cambodian Restaurants we visited (that the locals frequent) in Long Beach include Crystal, Monorom Cambodian Restaurant, Dara Restaurant and Sophy’s – Cambodia Town Food & Music. Some are located just outside of the “official” boundaries of Cambodia Town. All have on-site parking.

Standout dishes to look for range from deep fried whole catfish to salmon salad and lemongrass soup.

Where do you find “real deal” Cambodian food there?

Little Cambodia Town’s Honorary Mayor, Rithy Hahn, and Chef “T” Visoth Ouk of The Federal Bar are our knowledgeable guides.


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.


Show 215, March 18, 2017: Farm Lot 59 Benefit at Roe Seafood, Long Beach

Arthur GonzalezBelmont Shore, Long Beach restaurant Roe Seafood (Owner / Chef Art Gonzalez) will host an “Electric Fundraiser” to benefit Farm Lot 59 on Wednesday, March 22nd from 4 – 7p.m. The food and cocktail-centric event is open to the public and proceeds will fund Farm Lot 59’s efforts to bring much needed electricity to the property.

“With recent vandalism and safety and security concerns, our need for electricity is greater than ever,” Farm Lot 59 founder and farmer Sasha Kanno said. “We’re excited to partner with Roe to help raise the funds needed to install power to the property so the farm can continue its mission to service the community and provide our youth with an ‘edible education’.”

100% of proceeds from Farm Lot 59 signature cocktails and appetizers will go to the farm, as well as 10% of the proceeds from Roe Seafood’s regular menu that evening. Guests are encouraged to call the restaurant in advance at (562) 546-7110 to reserve a table for dinner service.

Sasha KannoFounded by Sasha Kanno in 2010, Farm Lot 59/Long Beach Local is an agriculture-based official 501(c)(3) non-profit, organic and biodynamic farm that promotes the direct connection between farmer and consumer and serves as an educational resource for children through its Living Classroom program.

Farm Lot 59 grows vegetables, fruit and flowers without pesticides, herbicides or chemicals. Farm Lot 59 also creates local green jobs and grows healthy fresh food on a historically significant site, with an overall goal to make a difference in the local and global community by combining resources with the city, local partners, and friends.

Farmer Sasha and Chef Art Gonzalez are our guests,



Show 211, February 18, 2017: Dan Tapia, Proprietor, 4th and Olive Restaurant, Long Beach

Dan Tapia and barman John Putman of 4th an d Olive in Long BeachThe newly opened 4th and Olive in the East Village of Long Beach is a traditional Franco-German restaurant and beer garden serving Alsatian style food. Under the culinary direction of Chef Alex McGroarty, the restaurant features housemade dishes such as sausages, braised meats, pretzels, sauerkraut and other comfort foods of the region, plus unique European beers and wines.

Unique to the restaurant industry, disabled veterans were actively recruited to staff 4th and Olive, resulting in a 50 per cent make up of current employees. Tapia, a proud Navy veteran and recovering quadriplegic himself who was injured during a stint in the Navy and currently uses a cane, is committed to creating jobs for other disabled vets that are having difficulty finding employment because of their physical challenges. The layout of the restaurant and kitchen were designed with these challenges in mind.

Smoked Salmon Toast for Brunch at 4th and Olive“The 4th and Olive team is excited to serve authentic Alsatian style food to food lovers in Long Beach,” Tapia said. “Along with our great menu and friendly service, my personal goal is to bring attention to the challenges other disabled vets face when they are willing and capable of doing just as good a job as an able-bodied person.”

Weekend Brunch (think German Pancake) is served Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 3pm. The restaurant is open for dinner 4:30 – 10pm Monday through Thursday and 4:30 – 11pm Friday and Saturday.

Proprietor Dan Tapia is our guest.


Show 202, December 17, 2016: Brandon Sugano, Proprietor, Sura Korean Tofu House & Pub, Long Beach

Brandon SuganoAll Korean restaurants are not created equal and this is a cuisine you want to appreciate. A new discovery of ours in Long Beach is the welcoming and value-priced Sura Korean Tofu House & Pub.

“Sura Korean BBQ Tofu House Restaurant & Pub is Long Beach’s home for authentic Korean cuisine. We serve Chef Kyle Isago’s delicious Korean & fusion favorites like Galbi Beef (beef ribs), Bulgogui, Soon Doo Boo (soft tofu soup), Bibimbap, Korean BBQ tacos, and more Mexican fusion favorites. We are vegetarian and vegan friendly. Now serving Korean Soju Wine and hand-selected craft beers.”

Chef Kyle is part of the inaugural 2017 Long Beach Kitchen Ink Calendar. He’s the featured Chef for May.

We’ll get the story from proprietor Brandon Sugano.


Show 193, October 15, 2016: Chef Philip Pretty, Restauration, Long Beach, “Chefs to the Rescue” Benefit

Philip PrettyFood Finders, a local food rescue non-profit is organizing “Chefs to the Rescue”, a fall fundraising event on Tuesday, October 18th from 6 – 9pm at the Expo Arts Center in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach. Our own Chef Andrew Gruel will be there with Slapfish.

For this very unusual event, Food Finders is challenging prominent local chefs to create tasting samples and small plates made from perfectly edible and safe rescued, recovered or repurposed food that otherwise would end up being tossed away.

“With 40% of perfectly edible food ending up in our local landfills, and yet one in four of our neighbors considered “food insecure”, we felt this was an opportunity to host a fun event that calls attention to those disturbing statistics and celebrate local chefs’ creativity at the same time,” said Patti Larson, executive director of Food Finders. “We chose this theme for our annual fall fundraiser because it’s not only timely, but aligns perfectly with our mission of reducing not only hunger but food waste.”

Participating chefs include:

Tickets are $45 per guest or $80 per couple and are available for advance purchase through the Food Finders website.

Joining us with all the details is one of the featured chefs, Chef Philip Pretty of Restauration, and the event’s Producer, Terri Henry.


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.


Show 192, October 9, 2016: Chef Art Gonzalez, Roe Seafood Xpress & Roe Restaurant, Long Beach

Arthur GonzalezWe know Chef Art Gonzalez from the popular Panxa Cocina in Long Beach. Chef Art has recently revived his fondly-remembered Belmont Shore casual spot, Roe Restaurant & Fish Market. It’s now morphed (after a substantial remodel) into Roe Seafood Xpress and the just opened, dinner only, Roe Restaurant. We’ve reeled in Chef Art to explain all the details.

“roe offers inspired, handcrafted, mouthwatering seafood dishes that blend both seasonal and local ingredients with bold flavors and exciting tastes.”

“roe is a lifelong dream-come-true to create a neighborhood restaurant for seafood connoisseurs – a comfy place neat the sea where people who love ocean-friendly seafood and have adventurous appetites are always rewarded with exceptionally fresh fish, inspired artisan cooking, and local flavors.”


Show 191, October 1, 2016: Terri Henry, Founder, Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week

Long Beach Kitchen Ink CalendarOrganizers of Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week recently announced the upcoming sale of the Dine LBC Long Beach Kitchen Ink 2017 Calendar featuring stunning photos of 13 Long Beach chefs and one local urban farm owner for each of twelve months plus front and back covers. Calendar sales benefit Dine LBC Originals Marketing Fund that provides marketing and public relations support to participating independently owned restaurants year-round.

Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week founder Terri Henry conceived the idea after seeing “Kitchen Ink” editorial feature in OC Weekly several years ago. She was looking to bring the concept to Long Beach but wanted to put a unique spin on it, hence the calendar idea was born.

“We wanted to produce a unique promotional piece that showcases the individual personalities of the culinary talent here, which in so many cases include body ink,” said Henry. “The calendar is our way of paying homage to those behind the scenes of our delicious dining experiences in Long Beach.”

More than just a one-time editorial feature, the calendar is a high quality promotional piece and expected to warrant a keepsake status beyond its 12 months. Based on the enthusiasm from the initial featured chefs, Henry expects it become an annual project.

Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week founder, Terri Henry, is our guest.