The Essential Long Beach Food’n’Drink Happy Hours: 2018 Edition
I segue into Panxa because it is the aforementioned Chef Gonzalez’s first full-fledged cuisine affair with Long Beach since he returned from Santa Fe (working at McKenna’s doesn’t count), where his love of the Hatch chile and southwestern grub—almost entirely devoid in the LA food scene—is so beautifully explored in the linked piece by my friend and comrade Sarah Bennett.
For those not yet ready to throw $20 down on albondigas “con spatzle”—a dish that plays with Gonzalez’s Mexican and German heritage—or $22 for a chicken mole plate, Panxa’s happy hour is an easy way to explore the world of southwestern cuisine and drinks without sweating the bill too much. (Plus, anything is better than the trying-to-be-fine-dining that was Christie’s, the restaurant Panxa replaced.)
My suggestion? Get the creamy poblano fries and the Frito pies—each Californian plays on Southwest food—but make sure to ask for a side of Gonzalez’s spectacular Hatch chile sauce, the most direct homage he pays to New Mexico. (And please, despite the price, order a cocktail—they’re some of the best in town.)
Michael Kirkpatrick