Monday, April 22, 2024

Long Beach Food Scene Intel: Oaxacan food, bundt cakes, closures, more

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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.


Chicken University shutters Bixby Knolls location

Chicken University—the wildly popular fusion fried chicken joint based out of Fullerton—has permanently shuttered its first Long Beach location less than one year after it decided to jump from behind the Orange Curtain and try its luck here. Opening its doors in Bixby Knolls in July of 2023, the space joined the Korean fried chicken joints that have opened and shuttered, including the famed Mom’s Touch.

Here’s to hoping the best for Geeko Chicken in Signal Hill


Nothing Bundt Cakes officially opens

The popular bundt chain Nothing Bundt Cakes has officially opened its first Long Beach location, taking over the former Polly’s Pies space that closed at the corner of Los Coyotes Diagonal and Ximeno Avenue—and despite initial rumors, will not be becoming a “small-format grocer.” Founded by friends and then-neighbors Dena Tripp and Debbie Shwetz founded the business in 1997 out of their Las Vegas kitchens and its popularity has catapulted them to over 500 locations. But in all honesty, with Bundts on Melrose and Creative Cakery, Long Beach already has some stellar options.


Wicked Wolf launches ‘Fernet about Brunch’ menu for Long Beach Last Call

The Wicked Wolf, Wrigley’s much-loved fairytale-themed cocktail lounge, joins the 10-day celebration that is Long Beach Last Call with a special menu called Fernet About Brunch—or “fab” for those who love to shorten things. Designed as an ode to the workers in the hospitality industry, the FAB offerings range from classic Fernet Branca cocktails like the Hanky Panky, in which Fernet makes a mere appearance, to Stranger Danger, a Fernet-forward cocktail concocted by Isaak Lusic, the Wolf’s Beverage Director, to reminisce an herbaceous menthol cherry cola.  

The menu will be served through Mar. 10. And the Wolf is also hosting a FREE special event for Last Call, “To Spirit or Not to Spirit?” which will explore different levels of sobriety practice for those in the industry.


Speak Cheezy partners with Selva for special pizza

Chef Jason Winters continues his array of pizza collaborations—from Gemma to Heritage as of late—and his latest iteration of those partnerships will be with Chef Carlos Jurado of Selva. The pizza will be available Wednesday, Mar. 13, from 4PM to 7PM (or sell-out).


Gong Cha opens at Marina Pacifica

The massive Taiwanese boba and tea chain Gong Cha—which has over 1,800 locations across 20 different countries worldwide—opened its first Long Beach location in the Marina Pacifica complex near 2nd Street and Pacific Coast Highway. It also boasts impressive hours, being open until midnight daily.


La Condesa first restaurant in over a decade to focus on comida Oaxaqueña

Not since Oaxaca Mio closed over 15 years ago when they were happily planted at the northwest corner of 10th Street and Orange Avenue has Long Beach seen a space formally dedicated to Oaxacan food—until La Condesa de Oaxaca opened at the southeast corner of 10th Street and Pacific. The newly minted space offers up some massive tlyudas, along with multiple moles, including negro, amarillo, and verde.


Beach Hut Deli to open later this month; hiring process happening now

Since opening near Folsom Lake in 1981, Beach Hut Deli has expanded to over 40 locations across California (and now Arizona and Nevada)—and, as it was announced in July of 2023, is set to open its first Long Beach location at the 180 E. Ocean building, currently home to Ruth’s Chris—and they expect to open “the second or third week of March,” according to representative David DeRose. For those interested in applying for positions there, message their Instagram account.


Le Macaron in Belmont Shore hosted formal grand opening

Assuring that the Belmont Shore community is well fed when it comes to sweets, Le Macaron officially hosted their grand opening after soft opening Feb. 6. Founders Rosalie Guillem, who was living in Florida and her daughter, Audrey Guillem-Saba, living in France where the family is from, opened their first shop in 2009 in Florida. The shop has now expanded nationwide, being found in nearly every state with a continually growing presence here in California. 


ICYMI: Long Beach Last Call continues through Mar. 10

Long Beach Last Call, my 10-day celebration of the bar industry, officially flied through its first weekend with seven events: A kick-off party at The Bungalow which saw hundreds of attendees; a sold out, 150-person agave spirit tasting at Panxa; a 500-person disco dance party aboard the Queen Mary; a sold-out Irish Coffee class at The Auld Dubliner; a private, industry-only worker celebration party at Baby Gee; a four-bar Big Red Bus crawl with 100 people; and a Bar Bingo winners party at Roxanne’s. We still have six more days of events. Check ’em out!

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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