It’s been a minute since my last visit to Panxa Cocina — more than six years to be exact. The restaurant has since expanded with an outdoor patio, which is absolutely perfect for the current weather, as we move into the summer months. The restaurant is back, open for both lunch and dinner, featuring New Mexico-style cuisine.
We began with a stunning cocktail: Kin ($12) featuring Union mezcal, lime, St Germain, aperol, passion fruit, and agave. Beautifully garnished with a slice of dehydrated blood orange and fresh mint, its sweet, tart and smoky flavors were welcoming as we eased into our meal.
I’m a huge fan of Ceviche ($14) and more often than not, if I see it on a menu, I will order it. At Panxa, white fish (tilapia) is cubed and tossed with pepitas, pico de gallo, aji amarillo and served with house chips. It is not only beautiful, but well-seasoned — especially the level of acidity. Make sure you mix and combined everything together before taking a spoonful and carefully balancing it on a tortilla chip. Pop into your mouth, repeat!
I was never a huge salad fan until covid. For some reason, in the past year, I started making a ton of salads, and now, I so appreciate a well put together salad. If you’re a salad fan, I highly recommend Charred Purple Cabbage ($15). I absolutely adored this salad. On the bottom you’ll find mixed greens tossed in the lightest, freshest oregano vinaigrette. Goat cheese, roasted grape tomatoes, and thin sticks of apple combine together for a very balanced mouthful. Add to that the charred wedges of purple cabbage, and it is an flavor explosion in my mouth. I loved the smokiness from the cabbage, together with the slight bite of the arugula, sweetness of the tomato, all coming together for a perfect bite.
If you’re looking for something to share as a starter, or a lighter entree, Chimayo Posolé ($15) is a hearty option without being heavy. Red chili broth, cabbage, hominy, and your choice of chicken, short rib, pork or vegetables, come together to make this stewy soup. Served with a side of grilled bread. I loved the different textures in each spoonful. I like acid in my food, so I squeezed both wedges of lime into the posole. I would have liked an extra pinch of salt, but overall, a very satisfying dish.
Like I mentioned before, it’s been over six years since my last visit, but I still remember the Stacked Enchiladas ($16) I had on that visit. Five mini tortillas are stacked with meat (we chose pork), cheese, cilantro, cotija, and your choice of green hatch chili, red chimayo, or Christmas, which is both the sauces together. We picked Christmas since this is what I had on my previous visit. It was just as good as I remembered!
One of the things I love is the fry bread here. They don’t offer it as a side, but you can order Fry Bread Taco ($16) to partake in this delight. If you’ve never had fry bread before you simply must order this dish. Fry bread is a puffy, pillowy, carby delight. It’s soft, but chewy, and a touch crispy. Topped with chimayo, black beans, protein of your choice (we picked pork), pico de gallo, cabbage, cotija cheese, and lime crema. Make sure you get a little of everything on your fork for that perfect bite.
The piece de resistance of the meal was definitely Scallops a la Plancha ($34). A gluten-free option, the scallops sit on top of sweet corn pancakes, with a cilantro pistou, and lime beurre monté (butter sauce). Everything about this dish was perfect — texture, flavor, and execution. Perfection!
(**only on the dinner menu**)
Panxa Cocina is as good as I remember, if not better. Sure, it’s a neighborhood restaurant, but atmosphere, service, and quality of food and drinks are top notch! This is elevated dining in a relaxed space.
3937 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90803
Tel: (562) 433-7999