• awesomeness in long beach: bars, bowls & bands!

    December 23rd, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, zephyr cafe

    long beach is only about 25 miles away from us here in los angeles, and still, i just don’t go there enough.

    a recent visit to the LBC turned into a marathon session of fun that included vegan food, good beer, and awesome music. i need to get out of LA more often.

    our first stop was congregation ale house, a relatively new craft beer bar with church-themed decor and a killer tap list.

    let’s just say, long beach should consider congregation a godsend (no pun intended). the owner, eli, really knows his stuff and has worked hard to make this bar a destination for craft beer lovers from all over so-cal. when he saw that we were beer enthusiasts, he brought taster after taster to our table for us to try out. we drank tons of stuff during our multiple hour stay…the highlights being dogfish head 90 minute IPA, craftsman triple white sage, stone chipotle smoked porter, bootleggers old world hefe, and drake’s denogginizer DIPA.

    this is seriously the kind of bar where i could spend an entire day. in fact, i may look at train options from LA to LBC and give that a try.

    inside, the congregation ale house is lovely. there’s a long bar area with plenty of seating, large tables that are perfect for groups, and a more secluded area back by the kitchen where old church pews act as seats.

    there’s also a pretty big food menu, complete with a vegan sausage option. i didn’t feel like giving them the third degree when we were there, you know, grilling them about whether or not the bun is vegan and if the sausage is cooked along with real meat. it would be great if they do offer a truly vegan dish, though. we will have to find out more about that later…

    after our epic drinking sesh we decided to take the 5 minute walk over to the LBC’s most popular vegetarian restaurant, zephyr cafe, and fill up on some healthy food. we started with the artichoke heart salad…

    artichoke heart salad: baby greens, romaine, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, croutons and tomato. $5.25

    and also split the grilled tofu sandwich…

    grilled tofu sandwich: seasoned grilled tofu, grilled onions and mushrooms on toasted bread with vegan mayo. $5.50

    and the steamed vegetable bowl…

    steamed vegetable bowl: steamed seasoned vegetables, bean sprouts, and brown rice. served with a zesty lemon vinaigrette. $6

    i have had some “meh” food and service from zephyr before, but i gotta say, on this night everything was awesome. the chick working the counter was vegan and super friendly, the food was all fresh and delicious, and the portions were huge with nothing costing more than 6 bucks. maybe it was all that beer i’d just consumed, but everything seemed perfect.

    after dinner, it was time for the highlight of the night: live music at alex’s bar. i dunno if you are familiar with the show true blood…but alex’s bar is the location they use as FANGTASIA, the gothic nightclub where all the hot vampires hang out. how neat is that?


    as if the venue alone wasn’t cool enough, we were there to see sweet and tender hooligans, the ultimate tribute to morrissey and the smiths. if you live in so-cal and love the smiths, you GOTTA catch these guys. i’ve seen them loads of times, including back in may 2009 for morrissey’s 50th birthday, and they always put on a great show. jose maldonado, the lead singer, absolutely kills it MOZ-style every time. (sweet and tender hooligans are actually performing next week at the new year’s eve oc block party, and i HIGHLY suggest you go.)

    jose maldonado sweet and tender hooligans alex's bar

    after spending hours screaming along to our favorite smiths songs with our buddies, it was time to end our day in long beach (about 12 hours after we’d started it), and head back to los angeles.

    the lesson of this post is, long beach kicks ass. get down there and check out congregation, zephyr, and alex’s whenever you have the chance.

    Tags: , ,

8 responses to “awesomeness in long beach: bars, bowls & bands!” RSS icon

  • JOSE ROCKS!!!! So does Congregation. OMG, what a combination… and Zephyr too… my head is going to explode. Beer, vegan food, and the best Smiths/Morrissey tribute act on earth, all in one town…. WOWOWOWOW.

  • I’m already going to that OC NYE party to see a Beatles Tribute! Wish the Seabirds truck was going to be there.            

  • I live right next to Congregation Ale House…I had no idea that they carried vegan sausage on their menu. I would never have thought to look at their menu… Thanks for the awesome tip!

  • Next time your in the LBC, you should check out Open Seseame on 2nd Street; they have an awesome authentic Lebanese falafel plate.

  • alex’s bar is the best! first friday of every month is secret affair – a night of only soul music and dancing. super fun.

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    Looks great!!!

  • really?! i was at the ’09 unhappy birthday show as well! they had a mariachi band. so much fun.

  • Fab entry. I have seen Sweet and Tender Hooligans twice and both times they were sensational. They need to get back over to the UK again.

Leave a reply