I have been having a lot of fun exploring Long Beach. I’ve always said if I didn’t have to live in Irvine, I would most probably live in Long Beach. This is my second time at The Social List, a little neighborhood gastropub with a decent beer list that would make any aficionado happy. There has been a menu change since my last visit about six months ago, and it is one that reveals a certain sense of maturity in both presentation, and most of all, taste. The restaurant might have been a favorite among Long Beach residents, however, on this last visit, The Social List has moved forward into a class where it is ready to play with other top contenders in the area.
We start with Blue Crab Avocado Salad ($15), a lump blue crab mix with celery, red bell peppers, and red onions. A mixed baby greens salad accompanies, as well as California avocado. Although we enjoy the flavors, the crab mix itself is a tad too heavily laden with dressing, causing the concoction to be too wet. I almost want it on a sandwich, almost like a lobster roll of sorts, but a crab roll. Maybe something worth thinking about!
The New York and Mozzarella Flatbread ($15) is a well executed grilled flatbread topped with chargrilled New York strip steak, vibrant red pepper spread, zucchini, red onions, and fresh mozzarella. The steak is tender and nicely seasoned, possessing a nice flavor without one or the other ingredient overpowering another.
One of my favorites is Smoked Linguisa Venus Clams ($15), a full-bodied bowl of steamed Venus clams, dotted with smoked spicy linguisa, swimming in a white wine tomato sauce. The toasted bread is a lovely touch, creating the perfect vehicle to soak up the broth with. This dish would work perfectly well on a bed of pasta, or with a scoop of rice to soak up its beautiful piquancy.
If you’re looking for a burger, The Major Tom ($13) pays homage to David Bowie — although I am not sure which component(s) — with a house blend all-beef patty topped with wild mushroom spread, garlic aioli, California sliced avocado and a fried egg. The oozing yolk adds another dimension of unctuousness to the burger.
While Jambalaya ($18) is not authentic to its Creole roots, the blackened jumbo shrimp, chicken, and smoked spicy linguisa stew is robust and pleasantly balanced in flavor. The wile rice pilaf is a house blend of farro, brown jasmine rice and black sweet rice creating a delectable nuttiness you wouldn’t get with just one grain offering. It is tasty, but definitely not Louisiana Creole — if that is of importance to your decision.
My favorite entree is Blackened Chicken Pesto Pasta ($14) comprising egg pappardelle tossed with housemade pesto and served with blackened grilled chicken breast, chunks of marinated portabello mushrooms, and roasted tomatoes. The pasta is perfectly textured, and the various ingredients meld together very nicely.
Long Beach is home to several restaurants which definitely deserve acknowledgement and The Social List is quickly making its way there. This last visit shows it’s on the right track. I won’t be surprised to see it be on my list of top Long Beach restaurants very soon, after all, its moniker is already one of the cleverest around!
The Social List
2105 E 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90814