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Long Beach Food Scene Intel is a series from Brian Addison that will recap food news throughout the city, both news that needs just a quick mention or repeated news where you might have missed the full features.
La Traviata scores permanent parklet permit; opens new daytime concept
La Traviata has undergone some major changes as of late, including the permanent addition of its pandemic-birthed parklet after receiving its permit from the city. “We will soon be upgrading the furniture, making it a bit more intimate,” said La Traviata rep and head office honcho Jackie Batencourt. Additionally, the 20-year-old-plus space has slowly rolled out its Crooked Palms concept, a casual, to-go deli counter and cafe that operates in the daytime. Expect a full feature on that in the coming weeks…
Bebe’s Diner closes after one year of service
Bebe’s Diner, the casual old-school-style diner that took over the old Sizzler spot at 15 Del Amo Blvd. back in December of 2022, has officially closed.
“Thank you to our loyal customers, family, friends, amazing staff and the city of Long Beach for all of the support during our time here,” a social media post read on Dec. 18.
Royal Indian Curry House (dubbed ‘RICH’) will move into former Utopia space from former Natraj owners
Three months after it was announced that longtime East Village Arts District restaurant Utopia would permanently shutter, its new owners have already moved in and begun to alter the space—and that includes raising temporary signage.
Even better? It’s from the former owners of Natraj: In a story that is more cute than it is journalistic, one of my favorite workers at my local RiteAid—she goes by Bubbly—had mehndi on her hands, so I had presumed she had recently been to a wedding and she had. We talked about how much I loved the food my friends Pakistani-Cambodian wedding and that’s when I learned that her and husband Singh were the former owners before they sold. Formally known as Amarjit Singh and Babbljit Kaur, Bubbly told me they are trying to open a new space at 1st and Linden—and what do you know: It’s RICH.
Birrieria Canelo’s opens first Long Beach location
After opening their first brick-and-mortar on Atlantic Ave. in Maywood in 2019 following the success of their food truck running around Boyle Heights, Birreria Canelo’s has opened its first Long Beach restaurant. Serving Michoacàn-style birria—meaning expect traditional birria de chivo (goat, the meat traditional birria has always been made with), not the more common beef version found throughout SoCal.
ICYMI: Michelin-recognized Chef Imran Ali Mookhi to open Desi-focused Shor restaurant in Hawaiian Gardens (premium mocktail bar included)
In Fullerton, Chef Imran Ali Mookhi’s Khan Saab is not just a local staple that has helped North Orange County redefine its conception of Desi cuisine—the Southeast Asian food that is centrally wrapped around the flavors of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and more—but twice recognized by the Michelin guide to Southern California. And now, he will be opening his Shor restaurant in Hawaiian Gardens come 2024.
ICYMI: Long Beach popup Axiom BBQ temporarily closes amid concerns over numbers, search for brick-and-mortar
Is there something up with the state of barbecue in Long Beach? In a deep sense of irony, following Shady Grove’s frustration with their own brick-and-mortar that almost led to their closure and their return to the popup scene, barbecue popup Axiom BBQ announced this will be their last weekend serving “for a while.” “I know we’ll be back in some capacity but we need to figure stuff out, to regroup,” said Qiana Mafnas, half of the husband-and-wife team behind Axiom.