Monday, June 24, 2024

Long Beach Food Scene Intel: Mad Dumplings opens, Kevin Hart’s vegan chain to open in Lakewood, more

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Here’s your latest in the local food scene:

  • Mad Dumplings has officially opened its first Long Beach location, bringing in their first patrons on Sunday, Feb. 26. Founded in 2016 by budding entrepreneurs and college friends Fen Yi Chen and Edwin Lee as a food truck, their business blew up after Andrew Zimmern of Food Network named them the best food truck in SoCal in 2018. Following the success of that national blow-up, they opened their first brick-and-mortar in Irvine last year. It is tucked into the Bixby Village Plaza retail space near CSULB and the VA Hospital, right between Uncle Fung’s Borneo Eatery—an underrated gem if there ever was one—and Afters—an overrated-but-one-can-dig-it-if-they’re-high gem if there ever was one—will be Mad Dumplings, a befitting addition given the dumpling shop’s massive online presence and cult-like following. For more anticipated restaurant openings, click here.
  • Cassidy’s Corner will be opening at The Hangar inside eastside’s Long Beach Exchange retail complex. It will be taking the front-facing space previously occupied by Portola, who closed in November of 2022. This will mark the small chain’s second location—the other being in Bixby Knolls—and its sixth overall location in the Southland.
  • The space which formerly hosted KC Bakery on Anaheim at Alamitos will become a Pickle Banh Mi Co. space, the first location outside of Orange County for the small chain. With current locations in Fountain Valley and Garden Grove, visitors can expect a fast-casual Vietnamese menu with everything from the obvious (banh mi) to the not so obvious (like canh bun, a water spinach noodle soup, and súp sườn heo, a soup with spare ribs and noodles).
  • Thanks to Long Beach Food Scene member Ana St. Hilaire, we’ve learned that the former Souplantation on Candlewood St. will be demolished in April to make way for comedian and actor Kevin Hart’s plant-based Hart House restaurant. The tiny chain currently has two locations open, with another planned for Hollywood in addition to Long Beach.
  • Observing Lent? Look no further than Los Reyes del Taco Sabroso at the northwest corner of Anaheim Street and Junipero Avenue. Tortitas de papa. Tortitas de camarón with mole con nopales y papas. Chile rellenos en salsa. A taco gobernador. These are but a few of the wonders being shared for those wishing to have a meal respectful of Lent. To read the full feature on the menu, click here.
Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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