Now that I have officially escaped bed-ridden life after my first bout with COVID-19, I am back up and running. Here’s what’s going on in the Long Beach food scene:
- Belmont Shore staple La Creperie, which opened in 2000 and moved to its current location on 2nd Street in 2004, has officially closed its door. While owners have not directly returned comment yet, a sign on their door read, “We are grateful for the support and loyalty of our customers over the years and we will always look back on this journey with fond memories.” They will be opening an express version of La Creperie in Huntington Beach later this year while keeping their La Verne location open as well. The space was hugely popular in the 2000s, opening a DTLB location in 2009 as well as a Vegas location, both of which permanently shuttered not too long after their openings.
- Alder & Sage, the new Retro Row concept from former Portfolio Coffeehouse and Berlin Bistro owner Kerstin Kansteiner at 366 Cherry Ave., has officially begun daytime service before they move onto dinner service. While you can await my full feature on Alder & Sage’s dinner for Eater LA in the coming weeks, I highly suggest the avocado tartine, the ahi tuna salad, and, in particular, the chicken lettuce wraps from the daytime menu. The latter comes with a fermented mushroom dip so delicious that it deserves its own option as a side.
- Baby Gee Bar has officially opened and while my full feature for Eater LA is coming out in the coming days, I want to encourage folks to visit this place that has taken over the former Red Room space on 4th Street. Charming, quality but not stuffy, the bar is a welcomed replacement to the Red Room (whose name was originally sought by owners Gianna Johns and Daniel Flores but, given the amount of ABC violations committed by the Red Room before its closure in early 2022, the ABC would not grant a new alcohol license under that same name, hence “Baby Gee,” a moniker given to Gianna by loved ones). Go, go, go.
- Déjà Brew, the coffeeshop which replaced the much-missed Makai in 2016 at the northwest corner of Broadway and Temple Avenue, is now closed and becoming JugBand Coffee & Tea. The crew has moved in swiftly, adding new signage to windows and beginning to paint over the unappealing mural on the building’s easterly-facing façade.
- Viaje, the high-end Mexican concept from the former owner of Baja Fish Tacos in Belmont Shore, has officially opened. While it was personally one of my most disappointing dining experiences in a long while—the space is unwelcoming and loud and the food was middling and overpriced at best—many members of my food group have sung praises for the space. It is located at 5224 E. 2nd St.