Top 10: Where Bill Gates (and TED) Should Eat in Long Beach

Long Beach unfurled its TED banners along Ocean Boulevard last week to once again welcome the TED Conference to Los Angeles County's second city. TED 2010, which kicked off on Tuesday, February 9th, boasts an impressive list of speakers and panelists: Bill Gates is in attendance, along with an eclectic mix of artists, inventors, musicians and cooks, too--Dan Barber and Jamie Oliver are in town--who have taken over the hotels and convention halls of downtown Long Beach this week. Even if the immediate experience for Long Beach residents is limited, due to TED's hugely expensive tickets and lack of public events, the city has plenty to offer the conference in the way of food. We're sure Dan Barber could offer some solid recs for Los Angeles dining, but Squid Ink thought we'd offer a more local list of great eats that TED goers could enjoy, encouraging them to reach beyond the corporate-leaning restaurants concentrated around the downtown area. Be it tacos, traditional Cambodian food or pickled eggs, Long Beach is waiting to share a meal with you, TED.

Dan Barber on ethically raised foie gras, from TED 2008

10) Bouchees Bistro

Located in the midst of Pine Avenue's restaurant ghetto and around the corner from the hotels where many of the TED luminaries are likely staying, Bouchees is the restaurant on this list with the highest chance of hosting Bill Gates this week. And he'd have a solid meal here, their menu of creative burger riffs and haute sports bar snacks supplying plenty of salty excuses for another beer.

Bouchees Bistro: 144 Pine Ave, Long Beach; (562) 437-7700

Bouchees' mini burgers
Bouchees' mini burgers
shalawesome /

Angelo's Italian Deli: 190 La Verne Ave., Long Beach; (562) 434-1977

7) The Pike Bar and Fish Grill

The oft imagined soundtrack to life in the LBC is dominated by a short list of artists--Snoop, Sublime, maybe some Cold War Kids?--but at this Retro Row dive bar-cum-seafood restaurant, another nearly local punk act is well represented: Social Distortion. Owned by drummer Chris Reece, the walls are covered in vintage Social D posters, fisherman kitsch and various Long Beach memorabilia. The bartenders are steely eyed and heavily inked and the kitchen is open late, serving up super-crispy steak fries, a McDonald's inspired (in a good way) fried fish sandwich and a corn tortilla-wrapped take on a New England seafood stand classic, lobster tacos. Bring some quarters to feed into the exceptional jukebox, which runs the gamut from classic punk to rockabilly and 1950s rock n' roll.

The Pike Bar and Fish Grill: 1836 E 4th St., Long Beach; (562) 437-4453

6) Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles

Driving down Broadway through Long Beach on a weekend morning, there is nearly always a crowd amassed on the sidewalk near the corner of Alamitos, breakfast and brunch goers drawn in by the smell of grease, breading and bronzed chicken skin which hangs heavy in the air. Order a wing, a breast, livers or a quarter, half or whole chicken, but don't skip out on the waffles. The two dishes may seem world's apart to many, but somewhere in the plastic Dixie cups of syrup--a necessary condiment for both protein and starch (and the protein's starch)--the twain shall meet and make perfectly salty-sweet sense, much to your cardiologists dismay.

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles: 730 E. Broadway, Long Beach; (562) 437-8355

Roscoe's Holy Trinity: chicken, waffles, syrup
Roscoe's Holy Trinity: chicken, waffles, syrup
fboyd /


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