One of my favorite spots in the greater Los Angeles County is Downtown Long Beach. I work on the corner of Ocean Blvd and Long Beach Blvd and within 5 blocks, there are almost 50 restaurants. It is insane (in a good way, if you are a foodie like me).
During any given lunch hour, you can see everyone in their suits and Monday best, shuffling around town to the nearest restaurant. From seafood, to Chinese, from French to Italian, downtown Long Beach is a great place for people from all walks of life.
On one of these lunch breaks, I was one of these people. I found a nice, mid-priced restaurant with a high price feel, L’Opera. Although there is a little bit of construction outside of the venue, this creates a really nice experience without traffic if you are walking, and the inside of this venue is spectacular! I was very impressed with the $50 plate feel (and taste!) for only half the price. This is a great lunch, dinner, anytime kind of place.
I was able to try the lasagna al ragu: spinach pasta layered with beef ragu, mozzarella, ricotta and parmigiano. It is baked in a bechamel sauce, and served over garlic tomato basil sauce, this isn’t off of chef Boyardee’s recipe book.The whole experience of trying this lasagna al ragu was pleasantly surprising. When I read the name of it, like that joke I just made implies, I thought it would be a simple, decent dish. With closer inspection, you can see how it is expertly crafted. When it was brought out to me, it was presented beautifully, it looked like a full portion, but one thing was off. I noticed the green hue in the sauce. Upon further inspection, I realized this is from the spinach pasta. Layered in between the delicious beef and cheese strata was the beautifully colored green spinach pasta. Each bite was delicious and filling. This was a heavy meal, but it was not greasy or oily.
L’Opera is an amazing venue, and is not only a must try, but a new regular spot for me. At first glance, there are a couple things that may make you worry, but rest assured, L’Opera is surprisingly good. From its elegant ambiance, to its delicious, filling meals,not only will you be surprised with the service, but at a reasonable price, your check too!