Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sunset Gondola

Our friends own Sunset Gondola in Sunset Beach - Give them a try!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Buster's Beach House - Long Beach - Review

I purposely waited until our second visit to Buster’s Beach House before I wrote this post because I wanted to give it a fair shake. I’m pleased to say that this visit was nearly as enjoyable as our first. Only the service suffered this time, but I’ll get into that later.

Buster’s is located in what was once called Seaport Village in Long Beach, California. It’s off the beaten path, in a picturesque little village on the Seal Beach border. The restaurant is in the building previously occupied by the Jolly Roger restaurant. Long-time locals will remember that the Jolly Roger was there for decades, and, in fact, Busters is owned by the same parent company, Aloha Restaurants. Somehow it’s comforting for me to know that the Jolly Roger of my youth didn’t go out of business, but was simply ‘swapped out’ for a new model. But I digress.

Come for the food. . . Busters offers a good variety of dishes that span the spectrum from pizza (served on a scaled-down surfboard) to prime rib, to fresh seafood, salads, and even a Thai lettuce wrap. To be honest, we’ve only tried the pizza, chicken sandwich, cheeseburger combo, tortilla soup, and clam chowder, but all were very good. Even something as seemingly easy to pour out of a can as tortilla soup tasted particularly good as if Buster’s actually put thought into the ingredients instead of making it taste like every other tortilla soup in town. Portions are generous as well, so bring your appetite or plan on taking some home. For desert, try the Fruit Fantasia, a large, pizza-sized fruit pastry served on a surfboard . . . tasty and somewhat healthy – can’t beat that!

Stay for the view. . . We were fortunate to sit in the same part of the dining room during both visits, and I recommend asking the hostess for a table with a view. Buster’s is situated at the head of a jetty overlooking Alamitos Bay, and offers one of the most picturesque vistas in Long Beach.

Service is adequate, although, on our last visit, our waitress visited our table about half as much as we needed – considering we were dining with our three children. This can’t be blamed on how busy she was because I could see her just standing in an area near the kitchen, apparently waiting for someone to snap their fingers. By contrast, service during our fist visit was very good. So much for consistency. This averages out to an ‘adequate’ rating in my book.

The combination of great good, big portions, and a fantastic view make Buster’s one of Long Beach’s more unique family dining experiences. Let’s hope that its location doesn’t work against it as it has to so many other failed restaurants in the same little village. Spread the word!

You can find Buster's Beach House at:

168 N Marina Dr
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 598-9431
Get directions