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BUSINESS BEAT: Parklet Adds New Flavor To Broadway

Broadway Parklet

Work is underway on Long Beach’s freshest parklet.

Taste Wine-Beer-Kitchen and Olives Gourmet Grocer on Broadway are building a shared outdoor dining area with a parklet — parking spaces converted into a raised deck — set to open within the next month. The curbside feature will offer 21 seats and overhead sail shades, modeled after similar parklets on Fourth Street and in the East Village.

"We are so excited to give our customers a new, outdoor option that allows them to meet up with friends or just people watch,” said entrepreneurs Laurie Semon and Erin O'Hagan, who together own both Taste and Olives.

Taste has been open since 2015, and Olives has been around since 2004.

The parklet was approved this year by the Long Beach City Council on July 8 and is being designed and built by JR van Dijs Inc. Salvage Division of Long Beach.

Taste is located at 3506 E. Broadway.

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Owners of Olives Gourmet Grocer Open New Concept Right Next Door: Taste wine-beer-kitchen

Wine tasting. It can be a perilous journey. The first minute, you might be laughing with friends, sipping and conversing with clarity, amidst an ambient room full of other wine connoisseurs, or those who think of themselves as such.

The next minute, the sommelier’s face may seem a just a little bit blurred and the words of your once-coherent comrades sound more like hiccups and sound bites than fully-formed sentences.

What do you need right now? You need food.

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Taste WBK to Host Five Course Beachwood Beer Dinner with Farm-to-Table Fare

The owners of Taste wine-beer-kitchen (Taste WBK), who are always looking for great ways to satisfy Long Beach’s discerning palate, recently announced that an evening of plates and pints alongside Beachwood Brewing is on the docket as their Meet the Brewmaster dinner, set to take place on Tuesday, September 13 at 6:30PM.

“We’re excited to partner with another Long Beach purveyor,” said Erin O’Hagan, co-owner of Taste WBK. “Our beer and wine dinners are an exceptional value, and our collaboration with Beachwood Brewing promises to be a great evening of food and craft beer.”

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This baker’s fermentation fascination is feeding Long Beach one loaf at a time

It’s a Thursday night in Belmont Shore, a kitchen door cracked slightly to let out the sweltering air. Kristin Colazas Delfs works swiftly, shaping one formless heap of dough after another into spherical mounds. With graceful sweeping motions—a choreographed dance perfected over five-plus years baking professionally—she coaxes the dough into shape with a bench scraper.

Three hours later and running on little sleep, Delfs heads home for a nap, but will soon make her way back to the kitchen to finish baking. At the close of a busy production day, she’ll have made about 40 loaves of bread and 100 to 150 pastries to be sold at farmers markets and various coffee shops throughout Long Beach.

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Anyone who still doubts that Southern California has seasons should visit one of Long Beach’s growing number of market-driven restaurants at the beginning of spring. Right about now, the shift from hearty cold-weather dishes (root vegetables!) to the light and bright ones that herald the year’s first new growth is at its starkest. And with a dozen or so local kitchens now relying on the bounty of Farm Lot 59, Wiser Farms, Mary’s Chicken and more, it’s also a chance to compare what the various chefs using the California bounty as their palate are capable of doing with it.

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Executive chef Eric Samaniego serves an elegant, three-course, $50 prix fixe dinner only available during Dine Out Long Beach. Highlights include mafaldine con gamberi arrabbiati (homemade pasta, San Marzano tomatoes, Calabrian peperoncino and shrimp trifolati), Stinco di Maiale (braised Beeler’s pork shank, potato purée, peperonata) and baba al rum (rum-soaked brioche with vanilla creme anglaise). 5620 E. Second St., Long Beach, (562) 430-7080; michaelsonnaples.com.
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I admit it: since it began in 2014, I avoided Long Beach’s version of a restaurant week, Eat LBC. Not because it wasn’t a well-intentioned effort on behalf of a few local publicists to promote the local food scene (because it totally was!), but because whenever I looked up the list of participating restaurants, I always saw the usual suspects. And by that, I mean the places I’ve already been to hawking the same food I’ve already eaten, albeit with a value-oriented prix fixe deal. As a perpetual food explorer in this city, the chance to enjoy a three-course dinner at L’Opera or Open Sesame or Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ — regardless of the price point — just never was enough of a draw.

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FAVORITE WINE BAR: Taste Wine Beer Kitchen

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Beer, wine, eats — your taste buds are in for a treat at Taste in Long Beach

Sitting in the explicitly named Taste Wine Beer Kitchen on East Broadway in Long Beach, it’s hard not to get the feeling that you’ve been lucky enough to get into one of the grooviest places in town — maybe the grooviest.

The place is small, casual, filled with tables large and not so large of folks with taste who are at Taste for a fine glass of Dragonette Cellars Rose from Santa Barbara or a cold sip of Acquagiusta Vermentino from Tuscany.

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Long Beach's Female Chefs Join Together For WomenShelter

On March 4, a group of talented women will work together to support women in need. Six female chefs working in Long Beach are joining forces in “Chefs for Change,” a six-course dinner to benefit WomenShelter Long Beach (WSLB).

The event will be held at taste wine-beer-kitchen, 3506 E. Broadway. Taste owners Laurie Semon and Erin O’Hagan said they host events like this because they value the Long Beach community and want to give back in ways that matter. Semon, O’Hagan, and head chef Brad Neumann decided to focus this year’s outreach on women and children.

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10 Best Restaurants in Long Beach

As a culinary formula, nothing about Taste is groundbreaking: seasonal, farm-to-table provisions, sized from small to share, with flatbreads out of a wood-fired oven. You've seen it all before. But the wow factor here comes from expert execution. The "snacks" are all winners, start to finish. From the belly-cut "pork and beans" with pickled Fresnos, to bison sliders with blue cheese aioli, you're unlikely to regret a single choice. But the true champion here is a seared duck breast, drenched in ginger pan sauce, with vanilla-scented sweet potato mash and roasted quince.

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