Getting Real at Restauration

The longer I live on the LA/OC border, the more I appreciate the immediate area around me. My discovery of Restauration is a great example of this. They opened on 4th street in Long Beach this past July and are serving the community with their farm-to-table California cuisine. I had heard raves about their brunch, but photos from their dinner menu looked amazing. My family and I had planned a movie night to see St. Vincent’s and we needed a place to eat close by, Restauration immediately came to mind. I’m glad it did.
Upon walking in, you are greeted by a friendly staff and a small bar, but once you walk through to the patio you feel as if you are walking in to your best friend’s backyard. The patio is beautiful and homey, not extravagant, but quaint and beautiful! There are succulents lining the right wall, a back bench with bright colors, a wood-fired oven, local iced coffee on tap, and it’s dog-friendly! I am glad we are having a drier Fall/Winter, so I can enjoy this patio more often.
First, we started with lightly fried onion rings served with a ketchup and chipotle aioli that I could spread on anything and it would make it more delicious.
I have a sweet spot for Brussels Sprouts. I love them. LOVE them! More often than not, they are served quite simply with butter, garlic, and another herb of some sort. However, this place made the brussels sprouts only one component of the dish. They added basil, tarragon, roasted corn and peppers, and micro greens. It was like a brussels sprouts salad and it was absolutely DELICIOUS!
My mom ordered the Clams+Chorizo. I didn’t know what to expect from this one, but it ended up being my favorite. It was pulled pork braised in chorizo spices with manila clams, roasted bell peppers, fingerlings, and smoked paprika. Do yourself a favor and ask for extra bread. You will thank me when you have eaten all of the clams and you discover how delicious the juice is by itself. You will want to pick up the bowl and start sipping. Trust me.
I saw someone’s Instagram photo of the Braised Short Rib and Ricotta Gnocchi and knew I had to order it. Served with kale, herbs, and parmigiano reggiano, this dish was divine. The kale was cooked just right with a slight crisp in each bite and the gnocchi pieces were melt-in-your-mouth smooth. And the short rib, oh the short rib. They packed in a hell of a lot of flavor into that piece of meat. This dish was definitely a favorite.

I can’t wait to visit for brunch and to introduce my friends to this neighborhood gem. For more information on Restauration, visit their website:

*pictures taken from Restauration.

Food Truck Friday: Rolls and Buns

Since the Kogi BBQ Taco Truck paved the way for the gourmet food truck, there has been an influx in the industry. With a new food truck popping up every other week, it can be hard to keep up. When you’re confronted with a whole lot of them, it can be hard to choose just one, let alone the right one. Oh yes, there is a right and a wrong choice when it comes to food trucks. Some charge too much for their portion, some are inconsistent, and honestly, some just don’t have good food. This is where I come in. I have been eating at food trucks, Kogi specifically, since the beginning, and I haven’t stopped. I will highlight some of my favorites in my Food Truck Friday posts, so keep a look out. For today, I am going to talk about two food trucks that I’m obsessed with right now.

If you love lobster, The Lobsta Truck is for you. Years ago, the founders took a trip to Maine and went on a lobster roll trek. After enjoying countless New England Lobster rolls they knew that they couldn’t come back to California without sharing their experience. They compared the lobster roll stands in Maine to the taco stands here in Los Angeles. They knew if they could nail the flavor, Angelenos would eat it up. They get their bread and lobster fresh from New England, which is an amazing fact. They truly brought the Maine lobster experience to California. Pricey, but not pricier than competing restaurant offerings, they stuff the roll with lobster meat. Stuff to the brim. You can choose between butter or mayonnaise, but I always stick with butter. In addition to the lobster rolls, the truck also serves Crab Rolls and New England Clam Chowder. I have had it all, but the Lobster Roll is the best. Out of towners might look at you funny when you tell them your favorite lobster roll comes from a truck, but it’s their loss if they don’t believe you.
For more information on the truck or their LA and SF schedules, see

Last week was the first time I saw the Steamed Bun Munchies truck. They rolled out earlier this year and will soon be expanding their menu, but for now their offerings speak for themselves. When you get to the truck, there are a couple of different combination options. I chose the 3 bun and 1 drink combo. I opted to try one of each bun, instead of doubling up. I had the Fried Chicken Bun, the Short Rib Bun, and the Pork Belly Bun. The Fried Chicken Bun is topped with carrots, cilantro, slaw, and a togarashi vinaigrette. The Short Rib Bun is topped with caramelized onions, cilantro, gocujang vinaigrette, and roasted peppers. The Pork Belly Bun is topped with cilantro, cucumbers, salt and vinegar. My favorite was the Short Rib Bun. The caramelized onions with the roasted peppers provided a nice bite and complimented the short rib. I didn’t know what to expect from the fried chicken because I’m pretty picky when it comes to the common comfort food, but it held up and was the perfect size and crunch for the small bun. A close second to my favorite, the Pork Belly Bun was delicious! The pork belly was cooked perfectly and the cucumber provided a nice crunch and crisp flavor to the bun. I’m excited to see what this food truck has up its sleeve in the future.
For more information on the truck or their menu, see