First Look: The Bungalow Kitchen In Long Beach

The Bungalow Kitchen patio (Michele Stueven)The Kitchen Bungalow dining room (Michele Stueven)Main dining room ( lounge (Michele Stueven)The game room (Michele Stueven)Custom tile in one of four bars (Michele Stueven)Main dining room (Susan Hanover Passaro)Tequila cocktails on the patio (Michele Stueven)Tuna and tomato poke in shoyu with lychee (Michele Stueven)Short Rib "Pop Tart" (Susan Hanover Passaro)Crispy duck wings (Michele Stueven)Apple-walnut tabbouleh with shredded green cabbage and pomegranate seeds (Michele Stueven)Dessert on the patio includes roasted strawberries (Michele Stueven) Meyer lemon crêpe cake (Susan Hanover Passaro)The Bungalow Kitchen patio (Michele Stueven)

The dream team of award-winning chef Michael Mina and hospitality legend Brent Bolthouse has scored another hit with the newly opened Bungalow Kitchen at 2nd and PCH in Long Beach.  

The dreamy home-away-from-home 10,000 square foot venue overlooking the harbor has four bars in a sprawling comfy space that was originally conceived as a lounge and later grew into a restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining. Designed by Venice, CA design firm Studio Collective, it is an eclectic mix of various size and style rooms, and artwork that reflects the soul of Long Beach and the ‘70s era.

For each of Bolthouse’s Bungalows (this is his third) there has been a muse.

In Santa Monica, the inspiration for his Bungalow at the Fairmont Miramar was a mythological old French lady who traveled the world over and fell in love with the West Coast and the Baja California spirit. In Huntington Beach, it was historic designer and modern bohemian, Ray Eames.  

“My muse for Long Beach was Patti Smith,” Bolthouse tells L.A. Weekly in the game room,  where the walls are covered with a mix of rock and roll nostalgia, rock-inspired artwork and display Bolthouse’s love of photography. “We asked ourselves – if Patti Smith moved to L.A., where would she settle? She’s not the Malibu type. She’d want something with a little edge, like Long Beach.”

Mina’s inspired menu is a welcome return to the southland. Highlights include the crispy duck wings glazed with Grand Marnier and black pepper garnished with orange zest and a cilantro dipping sauce made from an Ayesha Curry recipe. The short rib “Pop-Tart” topped with horseradish cream, crispy shallots, drizzled with sauce au poivre is a work of pop art in a flaky and tender crust. Pair that with the apple-walnut tabbouleh with shredded green cabbage, Meyer lemon and pomegranate seeds for a refreshing contrast. And for those still mourning the closure of Cal Mare, Mina has brought over the comforting Carbonara Pizza white pie with Guanciale and Yukon Gold potatoes.

If you can find room, top it off with roasted strawberries with pistachios and vanilla cream or the grandiose Meyer lemon crêpe cake – 12 layers of crepe and 11 layers of Valrhona white chocolate creme fraiche cream with lemon curd and raspberries.

For a tour, check out the slideshow.


LA Weekly