Show 241, September 16, 2017: 4th Annual CANstruction Long Beach, Landmark Square Building Lobby

Canstruction Long BeachOne of the most visually stunning demonstrations of talent and creativity within the architectural and engineering communities will provide a much-needed source of food for Food Finders to help eliminate hunger in the Long Beach community. The fourth annual CANstruction® Long Beach competition benefiting Food Finders will be held in the Landmark Square Building lobby on September 21st starting at 8am. CANstruction® participants will design and build unique structures made entirely out of canned goods. This year’s theme is “Rock-CAN-Roll”, and participating teams may depict music in any way they want.

The completed structures will be on display to the public from September 21st through October 1st. Visitors are encouraged to bring canned goods to the Landmark Square Building lobby to be used as “votes” for their favorite structure by placing the cans in Food Finders supplied bins next to each structure resulting in a “People’s Choice” award. Additional awards including “Structural Ingenuity”, “Best Use of Labels”, “Most Cans”, “Best Meal” and “Juror’s Favorite”, will be chosen by a panel of local judges following the exhibition.

“Food Finders is excited to be the beneficiary of the fourth annual Long Beach CANstruction”, said Patti Larson, Executive Director of Food Finders. “Last year’s event generated a 28,000 pound donation of canned goods, and this unique event will continue to heighten awareness of food insecurity in our community and will play an important role in helping to feed those in need in our own backyard.”

“Our five talented teams have spent months designing their entries and are allowed only 12 hours to meticulously stack and color-coordinate their cans into ingenious feats of design”, added Terri Henry of terri henry marketing LLC, who organizes the event. “The ultimate donation of thousands of cans of food to feed the hungry in our community makes it all worthwhile to the teams.”

Chandra Johnston, representing 2nd time Long Beach CANstruction® participant Kamus + Keller Interiors / Architecture, provides the 411.

They had a spectacular winning entry last year with Wonder Woman.

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Show 239, September 2, 2017: Chef AC Boral, RICE & SHINE Brunch Series

AC BoralPresented by Long Beach Chef AC Boral, RICE & SHINE (an eight- course, family-style brunch experience) prides itself in being a completely unique brunch. Guests even leave with an edible care package. Sit at Chef AC’s long table for a great time blending food, family, culture, and, of course, mimosas. It’s Filipino family favorites with a contemporary twist.

Filipino hospitality means that guests eat well, always leaving the table busog (full) and with even MORE food to take home. Everyone is treated like family and becomes family.

“RICE & SHINE takes traditional Filipino dishes and blends them with American brunch. We want to share the culture and history of Filipino cuisine with those who are unfamiliar while offering something fresh for those who grew up eating it. “If ya don’t know, now ya know.”

At its core, Filipino cuisine is food for the soul. The spirit behind RICE & SHINE is to pay tribute to Filipino food tradition.

The next RICE & SHINE is set for Sunday, September 10th at 11:30 a.m. in a secret location in Downtown Long Beach.

We’ll meet Chef AC.

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Show 236, August 12, 2017: Anita Lau, diary of a Mad Hungry Woman Blogger. Travels in Hong Kong

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanOut regular contributor, Anita Lau, diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” blogger, is just back from a visit to the ever-evolving Hong Kong. She will share a pair of her memorable Hong Kong dining experiences, Haku and Ju Xing Home.

First we’re in Long Beach highlighting two recommendations (from her Top 10 List) for the last Weekend of DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week. Think Aji Peruvian and Sura Korean BBQ and Tofu House.

On to Hong Kong…

“Haku is a French concept using predominantly Japanese ingredients. The restaurant is a collaboration between Chef Hideaki Matsuo of Kashiwaya in Osaka, Japan, and Chef Agustin Balbi, who is Argentinian. Chef Balbi has spent many years in Japan and his menu is a reflection of the aesthetically stunning cuisine, but is also, well thought out and exquisitely executed.”

Ju Xing Home is where Michelin-starred chefs go when they’re off duty, and wanting a bite before heading home for the night. “Chef/Owner Mr. Ng is a humble man who takes immense pride in preparing dishes for his customers. He is in the kitchen, personally cooking every single dish which hits the table.”

Here’s a lagniappe from Anita’s Hong Kong adventures that we didn’t get a chance to chat about…”Bamboo Noodles (竹昇麵) is a dying art-form, so rare that even in Hong Kong, it is getting extremely difficult to find. Lau Sum Kee in Sham Shui Po is one of the last eateries which still makes these bamboo noodles, a skill passed down by current owner, Lau Fat-Cheong’s grandfather, who brought this tradition from Guangzhou.”

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Show 235, August 5, 2017: Chef / Proprietor Guy DuPlantier, Crazy Creole Café, Long Beach

Guy DuPlantierNew to the DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is Chef Guy’s Crazy Creole Café – “Straight From The Heart and Soul of New Orleans.”

“We offer authentic Creole and Cajun food, with most of our products being shipped in weekly from New Orleans like our crawfish, Lake Pontchartrain blue crab, fresh alligator meat, farm-raised catfish, wild caught gulf shrimp. Also, the Blue Plate Mayonnaise we use on our Po’ Boys and ya’ll know it’s not a Po’ Boy unless you use bread from home. We use the famous Leidenheimers French bread. Come and try our Boudin & Boudin Balls made in house along with my wife Chef Aliza’s Asian Cajun Boudin Egg Rolls. We only use the best ingredients. Created by the fusion of African, Native American and the European ancestry, Louisiana cuisine is at the heart and soul of our unique culture.”

“You are guaranteed to enjoy the great flavors of New Orleans and we will show you what Southern hospitality is all about. In New Orleans we have a saying, Laissez les bons temps rouler, which means Let the good times roll. That is what Crazy Creole Cafe is all about, good food, good music and good times. We’ll do our best to put a big smile on your face and make you stomp your feet. So what are you waiting for? Come on and laissez les bons temps rouler with the Crazy Creole Cafe.”

They have a really tempting 3-course Cajun/Creole menu for DINE LBC valued priced @ $25. It’s 3-courses with an entrée choice of either Red Beans & Rice, Jambalaya, Chicken Creole or Southern Fried Pork Chops (plus two sides.)

We’ll meet proprietor Chef Guy DuPlantier, a.k.a. “The Crazy Cajun.” It’s a real taste of The Crescent City right there on Long Beach Blvd.

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Show 234, July 29, 2017: Restaurateur / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Roe Seafood & Panxa Cocina. DINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week

Arthur GonzalezDINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices.

Encoring in DINE LBC are Chef Arthur Gonzalez’s Panxa Cocina (modern Latin Cuisine) and Roe Seafood (the home of seafood fanatics). We’ll meet the proprietor, Chef Arthur Gonzalez.

Panxa Cocina opened in December 2014 and is located on the corner of Broadway and Termino in the Belmont Heights neighborhood of Long Beach. Since opening, Chef Gonzalez has been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food.

Panxa’s interior reflects the hip sensibilities of the surrounding area while also paying tribute to its Latin and New Mexican roots. This ground-floor restaurant offers the choice to observe passers-by from many tables throughout the restaurant, or enjoy the full menu at the bar.

Roe Seafood is the new home for seafood fanatics in Belmont Shore. Roe offers inspired, handcrafted, mouth-watering seafood dishes that blend both seasonal and local ingredients with bold flavors and exciting tastes.

“All ingredients are fresh and in season. If you’d like to know where we source our fish, shellfish, vegetables, or breads, please ask.

Join us for lunch or dinner 7 days a week for the freshest and most delicious seafood you’ve ever tasted. You can always call us and order take-out, because everything on the menu at Roe is always ready to go.”

Roe Seafood just earned a 3-Star Review in the Long Beach Press-Telegram from veteran restaurant critic, Merrill Shindler.

 

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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.

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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.

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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 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,

 

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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.

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