So I went to Avenue Café (20 West Park Avenue ) this past Saturday night. It opened the previous weekend, but I like to wait a week before I try a new place. You need to let the dust wash off the pans. The previous-joint Monterey, which I reviewed a few times (one & two) was just a disaster & the Monterey-Hell’s Kitchen make-over didn’t make it any better. While I appreciated the organic menu, it lacked identity and taste – and all with a high price. So when I heard that Monterey closed, I wasn’t surprised. Now we have Avenue Café. How was it? Well, to sum it all up, it’s basically a glorified diner and I am perfectly fine with that.
When I go to a diner, I’m automatically in the mood for breakfast, no matter what time it is. So I ordered a Spanish Omelet which came with a spicy tomato sauce. It was delicious. A little pricey, but delicious. Not greasy and they used real eggs. I’ve been to some diners that don’t (sad, but true). The coffee, which is one of the most important aspects of a diner, was great too. I drink my coffee black with no sugar, so I am a coffee snob; good coffee is very important to me. My wife ordered minestrone soup and a chicken & veggie dish – all delicious.
The decor seems to be the same as the previous joint-Monterey and it should – they spent a fortune on it. It would of been a total waste of $ on a full-makeover. Some of the colors might be different, but I can’t really tell when they’re washed out. Nothing bold, just safe and typical. The place was crowded. We got there around 7:15pm and had to wait around 30 minutes before we were seated.
I, for one, welcome our new glorified diner to Long Beach. I will gladly pay the dollar or two more for a better meal than what is offered at other similar places. Just don’t go there expecting a fancy meal. We have enough places in Long Beach for that. This place is more affordable than Monterey and feels more fitted for our community. The sign outside says 24/7 which is freakin’ awesome. This town needs a place to go to at 3am when you are drunk and in the mood for cheezy fries and gravy. Not sure how long the 24/7 will last, but the location is perfect, the food is great and it steps up the game as far as diners go in a town already crowded with diners.
- FOOD: Great
- DECOR: A diner in Monterey-clothing
- SERVICE: Typical Diner service: Old men wearing black pants, white shirts and black ties. Diner-professional.
- PRICE: A few bucks more than your normal diner, but I think it’s worth it.
Side note: The owners of Avenue Cafe are actually the same people that owned Ocean Park Diner– which I am hearing will be converted into a bakery / ice cream shop. Not sure when and if that will happen. Can somebody place confirm that for me?