Show 534, July 15, 2023: Preview of Long Beach Burger Week with EJ’s Pub with General Manager Richard Avila

Richard Avila Ej's Pub

Long Beach residents and visitors alike are in for a treat as dozens of local restaurants and pop-ups will offer unique over-the-top Burgers and value-priced Burger Offers when the 3rd annual Long Beach Burger Week returns July 23-20, 2023. Organized by local non-profit Long Beach Food & Beverage, the organization felt that in addition to encouraging local and surrounding “foodies” to enjoy what the expanding Long Beach culinary community has to offer, events like Burger Week support the local economy. It’s summertime and who doesn’t love a good burger?

One of the participating restaurants in the 3rd Annual Long Beach Burger Week is EJ’s Pub located in Bixby Knolls. The former Irish Pub, EJ Malloy’s, morphed into EJ’s Pub in 2017. It’s an upbeat, neighborhood sports bar offering well-prepared American comfort food, draft micro beers and ample patio seating.

One Burger Week special is their Bixby Knolls Garlic Burger. It’s a half-pound Angus beef patty with Swiss cheese, Irish stout onion spread, crispy garlic fries and pepper rings served on grilled garlic toast.

General Manager Richard Avila is out guest to preview their burger week menu with spatula in hand.

Show 533, July 8, 2023: Long Beach Burger Week Preview with Chef Kat Vacharabul of Hangry Belly

Kat Vacharavbul of Hangry Belly

“Long Beach residents and visitors alike are in for a treat as dozens of local restaurants and pop-ups will offer unique over-the-top Burgers and value-priced Burger Offers when the 3rd annual Long Beach Burger Week returns July 23-20, 2023. Organized by local non-profit Long Beach Food & Beverage, the organization felt that in addition to encouraging local and surrounding “foodies” to enjoy what the expanding Long Beach culinary community has to offer, events like Burger Week support the local economy. It’s summertime and who doesn’t love a good burger?”

One of the participating restaurants in the 3rd Annual Long Beach Burger Week is Chef Kat’s fast-casual, Hangry Belly (established in 2020) located in SteelCraft in Bixby Knolls. It’s locally owned. “When you’re feeling hangry, Hangry Belly has got you covered.”

Offering a chef-inspired menu of over-the-top gourmet, creative burgers and generous portions of premium sides made with passion, there’s an option to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. From their sweet and savory We Be Jammin Burger (1/2 pound Beef Patty, Swiss, Onion Jam, Prosciutto, Arugula, Tomato, Garlic Aioli and served on a Potato Bun) to their spicy Fire Belly Burger.

Breakfast specialties centered around house-made biscuits are available Thursday through Sunday. Seek out their rotating selection of house-prepared decadent desserts including an Ube Brownie. (Their slogan is “No one leaves hangry…”) Hangry Belly will keep your bellies filled and wanting more!

Chef Kat Vacharabul joins us with spatula in hand.

Show 516, March 11, 2023: Long Beach Cambodian Restaurant Week Preview with Chad “The Cambodian Cowboy” Phuong, Battambong BBQ

Chad Phoung of Battamboung BBQ

The inaugural Long Beach Cambodian Restaurant Week launches March 19-26, 2023. “Long Beach Cambodian Restaurant Week will be a occasion to bring everyone to the table, from all walks of life, to showcase the city’s delicious Cambodian food scene.”

“Organized by United Cambodian Community of Long Beach (UCC) a California registered 501(c)3 non-profit, along with Chef “T” Visoth Ouk, a renowned Khmer chef and pillar of the local Cambodian community, Long Beach Cambodian Restaurant Week will be an eight day event devoted to celebrating Cambodian and Southeast Asian fare in and around Long Beach. The event also seeks to highlight Cambodian-owned food businesses as well as Cambodian chefs and bartenders.”

Chef & Pitmaster Chad Phuong, also known as the Cambodian Cowboy, of Long Beach’s Battambong BBQ is a participant in the upcoming Long Beach Cambodian Restaurant Week. It’s real deal Texas-style BBQ with an inspired kick. No gimmicks here… Chef Chad Phuong is our guest with tongs in hand.

This is a career change for Chef Phuong and, in a short time, he’s created a tremendous word-of-mouth following for his regular Long Beach BBQ pop-ups serviced by his rolling smoker. His acclaim is such that CBS’s Carter Evans featured Chef Chad in “The Dish” segment of “CBS Mornings” (National) in early November of last year.

Phuong learned all about the cuts of meat and pitmastering while working in a meat processing plant in Texas before returning to Long Beach. Chad survived the ravages of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and emigrated to the United States in 1980 with his Mother and siblings.

On Chef Chad’s regular menu are slow-smoked, 17-hour Brisket, Tri-Tip, Spare Ribs, Pulled Pork, Chicken, Cambodian Sausage, and Pork Belly. Also featured are Brisket Nom Pang and Tri-Tip Nom Pang sandwiches.

Battambong BBQ’s regular weekly schedule: Bixby Knolls Farmers Market (Thurs 3 p.m.-7 pm) Ten Mile Brewing (Fridays 12 p.m.-9 p.m.) Trademark Brewing (Sundays 12-7p.m.), Long Beach. (Check Three Weavers Brewing Company in Inglewood for possible Saturdays.)

Show 506, January 7, 2023: Long Beach Black Restaurant Week Preview with Restaurateur Sally Bevans of Sal’s Gumbo Shack

Sally Bevans of Sals Gumbo Shack

“The city-wide 2nd annual Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will take place January 22-29, 2023. Long Beach Black Restaurant Week will be an avenue to bring everyone to the table, from all walks of life, to showcase the city’s diverse Black food scene.”

“Organized by Long Beach Food & Beverage, a California registered 501(c)3 non-profit, Long Black Restaurant Week is an eight day, city-wide event devoted to celebrating African, African American, and Caribbean fare in and around Long Beach. The event also seeks to highlight Black-owned food businesses as well as Black chefs and bartenders.”

“Long Beach Black Restaurant Week is more than an eight-day event featuring dozens of restaurants and food businesses,” stated Terri Henry, co-organizer of the event and Executive Director of Long Beach Food & Beverage. “Since launching the non-profit in 2019, we’ve been committed to supporting all of Long Beach’s valued restaurants and will support the event once again with a comprehensive advertising, marketing and PR campaign designed to put ‘butts in seats’ during Long Beach Black Restaurant Week.”

One of the participating restaurants in Long Beach Black Restaurant Week is Sal’s Gumbo Shack (established in 2012) with locations in North Long Beach and Bixby Knolls serving a genuine taste of The Big Easy. Specialties (from cherished Family recipes) include Gumbo, Jambalaya, Crab & Shrimp Boils, Catfish Po’Boys and Peach Cobbler.

Proprietress Sally Bevans is a self-taught home cook now creating (in a happy career change) soulful Creole cuisine. We’ll meet her.

Show 418, March 27, 2021: Restaurateur Bjoern Risse, Wood & Salt, Long Beach

Bjoern Risse of Rasslebock Kitchen and Beer Garden

We met restaurateur Bjoern Risse previously with his Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden in Mar Vista and Long Beach. His latest venture is Long Beach’s Wood & Salt Tavern.

At Wood & Salt Tavern, under the culinary direction of Chef Brian Lavin, the focus is on pasta, made in house, by hand, everyday and fish, seafood & fine meats from their wood fired grill. Think Charred Corn Croquetas with pickled fresno chile, garlic aioli and ricotta salata, and Tagliatelle with beef, pork and veal ragu sprinkled with parmigiano.

“Things just fell into place, here…Chef Brian’s restaurant experience in Baltimore is an ideal fit for the menu concept we wanted to create for Wood & Salt Tavern. We’re happy to welcome him to the German Gastro Management family of restaurants,” said Bjoern Risse, co-owner of Wood & Salt Tavern, Wirtshaus, and the two Rasselbock locations.

“Wood & Salt Tavern’s beverage menus are more wine-centric than the restaurant’s beer-focused German siblings, with a world wine list to complement the food menus. Wines are offered by the glass and by the bottle, in three different price tiers. All craft, draft and bottled beers represent staff picks from both international and craft brewers, and all are similarly aligned with the food menus and restaurant concept.” A full liquor license is pending.

It’s a local neighborhood restaurant with elevated cuisine located in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach.) At present it’s dinner-only, 7 days.

Restaurateur Bjoern Risse joins us.

Show 284, August 4, 2018: Rasselbock, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach – Participant in DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week

Bjoern RisseEat your heart out Long Beach! DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week returns August 4 to 12, 2018. Experience cuisine that delights the palate and defines the art of dining in Long Beach. Held annually, Dine LBC features value-oriented two or three course menus from dozens of Long Beach’s best restaurants in twelve unique neighborhoods throughout the city.

The new contemporary German restaurant in Bixby Knolls, Rasselbock, is one of the participating restaurants in DINE LBC. We’ll meet proprietor Bjoern Risse, talk about his appealing DINE LBC menu and find out what a “Rasselbock” is. It is not on the menu.

“Rasselbock is a German restaurant and pub (launched in late 2016) specializing in German food with a modern twist and pouring freshly tapped German and Belgian beers from small producers. They feature over 35 German and Belgian beers, homemade sangrias and a great selection of German and Californian Wines.”

A must on the DINE LBC menu is Rasselbock’s Mini Potato Pancakes Appetizer. The potato pancakes are topped with house-made apple sauce and Mascarpone cheese. All menu items on the DINE LBC menu include a beer pairing suggestion. A dessert option worthy of major consideration is their house-prepared Apple Strudel. It’s adapted from Bjoern’s Grandmother’s treasured family recipe.

The patio of Rasselbock is dog-friendly. On Thursday “Dogs eat on the Haus.” It’s a special canine plate of all-natural Pork Bratwurst.

 

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.