Tucked away in a non-descript plaza, Cesar’s Bistro is easily missed if you’re not mindfully looking for it. The restaurant, though small, is a sit-down, but offers walk-in and phone-in take-out for those on the go.
The Latin-American menu boasts many familiar items, and several unbeknownst to me. We begin with a grilled gluten-free corn cake filled with mozzarella.
Filled Arepa with Cheese ($4.99) is crispy on the outside, with the melted gooey cheese on the inside. They’re great to have on your own, or to share with someone.
Sweet Caribbean Plantains ($3.49) is exactly as it sounds. These soft, caramelized plantains are served with a drizzle of sour cream, and a dusting of cinnamon sugar. Although an appetizer, I would be happy eating this as dessert.
I’m always up for a good soup and therefore, a cup of Lentil Soup ($2.99) is in order. There are lentils, celery, potato, carrot, cumin, and parsley in a vegetarian-based offering everyone will love.
Our server offers us a Creamy Lentil Soup which is served with entrée choices. Creamy and stronger in flavor due to the addition of bacon, this puree-style soup also possesses more cumin than its vegetarian counterpart and absolutely delicious!
Spicy Ground Beef & Potato Empanada ($2.99) is one of the best empanadas I’ve had in quite some time.
This pastry is not at all greasy, and perfectly flaky on the outside. The filling of ground beef, herbs and potatoes is flavorful and pairs well with the beautiful exterior.
We choose Lomo Saltado ($15.99) a dish we are well familiar with. Strips of beef are sautéed with fried rustic potatoes, red onions, tomatoes, and parsley. The accompanying steamed white rice is soft and fluffy.
However, it is the Gaucho Chicken ($13.49) that blows us away. The boneless chicken thighs are first marinated in chimichurri, then coated with sesame seeds and grilled. I loved eating it with the rice from the lomo – this was served with a house salad and fried rustic potatoes – so if you prefer rice over potatoes, let them know.
Arroz con Leche ($4.49) is a little different to the ones we’ve had. The rice pudding is served warm dotted with coconut shreds and drizzled with strawberry sauce and dulce de leche. The pudding itself is delicious, however, next time, I will ask for it without the strawberry sauce. The dessert was not the least bit sweet or cloying! Just the way I like it.
Next time you’re in Long Beach hankering for Latin American fare, stop into Cesar’s Bistro! The food is hearty, tasty and created from the heart.
6240 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Long Beach, CA 90803