It’s Restaurant week over here in Long Beach and I was able to check out four different places and their twenty dollar meals. Please note: I am not a food reviewer; these are more opinions than reviews.Sugo @ 62 West Park Avenue / website
I originally went to this place about a year ago and thought it was ok, but with great potential. I liked the different, not-so-typical Italian menu as well as the atmosphere, but I wanted the food to be better. This week it’s restaurant week, so I figured why not try them again. Well, I loved it. Everything from the bean dip appetizer to the fancy dessert to the nice and excellent waitress who memorized and recited an extremely long list of complicated specials. My wife and I actually clapped when she was over. I can’t even recall what I ate – I think it was ravioli, but Sugo is now in my top rotation of “hey, lets’ go out to eat.” The food was that good. My only complaint: too many gimmicks. Sure, I’m a big fan of gimmicks, but when I’m enjoying a quiet dinner with my wife and a magician comes over to show us his tricks, it can get pretty annoying. Anyways, I loved everything else about this place. If you tried it a year ago and thought it was ok, give them another try. It’s worth it.Duke Falcon’s Global Grill @ 36 West Park Avenue
I never ate at this place before, mainly because it’s expensive, plus thought the name was weird. A $20 meal at a place with a really expensive menu? Sure, why not. The Verdict: I was so-so impressed. I am not sure if it’s worth paying the full price once the prix fixe is over. I ordered the Penne Rustica which was pretty good. I’ve had better. Salad was good. All of that was washed out the window once the desserts came out – they were amazing and huge! Their prix fixe menu on the Chamber of Commerce site doesn’t show you all the desserts offered. I got some crazy coconut ice cream thing and my wife also got ice cream with apple pie and it was freakin’ amazing. If you want a so-so meal with an excellent dessert, give this place a try. I’ll probably try them again one of these days. Maybe the next restaurant week.Lola’s Kitchen and Wine Bar @ 180 West Park Avenue
I read plenty of reviews where people said, “oh, I wish I could like this place.” Well, I felt the same way. I really really wanted to like it. The waitress was very nice, the decor is excellent, the menu selection great, but it stops right there. My wife ordered a meal with shrimp, only it didn’t come with any shrimp. They had to bring the shrimp out on a separate plate. Ok, kitchen mistake – no big deal. I can handle that sort of thing. Only, my wife didn’t think the shrimp was any good. Meaning, she thought it was bad. My meal was ok. Note: I don’t eat seafood – so I am stuck with either meats or Italian food. I ordered some pasta dish. Italian food has a lot of competition around here, so it could of been better. For dessert we ordered these fruit tarts which weren’t really fruit tarts – they were more like these tiny pies with a fruit gelatin. The coffee was very good. Maybe the best coffee out of the bunch. Again, I really want to like this place. It has a wonderful, fun atmosphere and I felt happy being there. Definitely one of the better restaurant environments in town. For that, I will give it a try again. Maybe not the prix fixe, but from the regular menu so I can pick something more to my liking.Sutton Place – Great American Bar & Grille @ 124 West Park Avenue / website
Sutton. Oh, how I want to like you, but you lost me. I love the decor- the fact that it’s built within the old Long Beach library is pretty neat. The problem is that they sit you in the back room – when the main room with the atmosphere is empty. Bad idea from the start. I can never understand why some restaurants have no idea where to sit their customers when atmosphere plays a big part for most people.
So this place calls itself the ‘Great American Bar & Grille’ which basically means they are primarily a hamburger joint. Ok, fine. I ate a hamburger there about a year ago and i liked it. I noticed other patrons eating hamburgers. Why not tailor your prix fixe menu to something that is Sutton’s strong point? Hamburgers. The prix fixe menu at Sutton Place is a mess. They apparently have more than one prix fixe menu which made the whole ordering experience confusing. We were handed two menus by mistake – one looked like the good menu, the other seemed like stuff they are just trying to get rid of from their ice box – nothing on that menu complimented each other.
The waiter didn’t know what soup they had – the menu said one thing, but then we were served the leftover chicken noodle soup from the day before. The Waldorf salad was nothing to write home about. For the main course I ordered some linguine with pesto and a bunch of vegetables. It was really a mess. Extremely greasy, too many sun dried tomatoes and it just didn’t seem fresh. Sorry Sutton, but you have to do better if you want to serve more than grill food. Or maybe you shouldn’t even bother. You are the Great American Bar & Grille. I really think you should just stick with burgers, fries and beer.
So there is my prix fixe meal review/opinion. I really want to thank the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce for putting restaurant week all together. These past two weeks I went to four restaurants that probably would of taken me months to go to. Restaurant week continues until this Sunday, October 25th. If anybody has a review that they would like to submit, please contact me.