Here’s what’s going on in the Long Beach food scene:
- Portola’s sole location outside of Orange County, its shop at the popular LBX Hangar in East Long Beach, has closed indefinitely, according to co-owner and founder Christa Duggan. “We are not sure if we will be able to open back up again,” Christa said via email. This marks the second blow to the coffee brand in Long Beach after its plans to open a DTLB location were halted by the pandemic in 2020. It is a sad loss for the city’s vibrant coffee scene, where Portola shares some caffeinated turf with COPA, Sala Coffee, and Wolf’s Brew in the nearby neighborhoods. Opening in Costa Mesa’s OC Mix complex in 2011—the same developers that oversaw the building of Long Beach Exchange—wife and husband team Christa and Jeff Duggan created what is arguably the first third-wave coffee shop to really make an impact behind the Orange Curtain. “Third-wave coffee” marks the move away from traditional European shops—which focus on rich, dark roasts coffee served simply—and the second-wave of coffee, marked by Starbucks’ seemingly endless concoction of flavors and offerings. Third-wave coffee focuses on lighter roasts that put the bean itself forward and usually heavily limit options.
Photo by Robin Morris.
Speaking of third-wave coffee: Tierra Mia, the third-wave-meets-Mexican-Starbucks-but-better has expanded its Long Beach presence by taking over the space at Carson and Cherry. Formerly Angel Donut, this will mark the coffee company’s second drive thru in the city, after it took over a former Taco Bell—how appropriate—on Pacific Coast Highway in 2015.
Photo by Christy Berni-Ramos.
- Orange County breakfast staple Ham ‘N Scram will be opening a location at 4004 E. 7th St., at the southeast corner of 7th Street and Termino Avenue. Developing a loyal following thanks to their breakfast burritos, I am pretty damn sure the kids at Wilson will be happy to finally have an alternative to 7-Eleven.
- Speaking of Orange County, Signal Hill’s Ten Mile Brewing will be opening a second location in Ladera Ranch. The taproom (not a full brewery) is expected to open in Spring of 2023. “We’ve been asked about expanding into Orange County for years now and have already received an outpouring of love and excitement to see us down south,” said father-and-son team Dan and Jesse Sundstrom.
- Chef Carmen Samaniego (accompanied by her daughter) of Angeleno’s Pizza at Steelcraft in Bixby Knolls has had a bit of the limelight after winning Hulu’s Best in Dough competition. They have since been featured on NBC’s California Live and getting some much deserved recognition.