From the Mother's influence with family food traditions, Mr. Long Le started his first job as a main chef at East & West Cafe. After working hard for such a long time, in 2006 he decided to open his own business - the LONG BEACH CAFE restaurant in Lakewood, Washington state. If you love Vietnamese & Thai food, then a meal at Long Beach Cafe is truly a feast for the senses.
Look beyond a Domino's Pizza, a nail salon and a tobacco shop to find the Long Beach Cafe. Exceptionally effervescent, well-paced and efficient service pairs well with polished touches - lime wedges in the water, table linens embossed with the restaurant's logo, and imported beer served in frosty mugs. The five-page menu provides a vast tour of Vietnamese and Thai eating, with accents from Malaysia, China and Korea. Vibrant red walls energize the room, and snapshots of owner Long Le tell the story behind the name of Long Beach Cafe - the restaurant is a combination of his first name and his nick name of "Beach Boy" when he was growing up in a beach town in Vietnam.
If the food tastes and looks familiar, that may be because Le formerly cooked at East West Cafe (he cooked at the one on Tacoma Mall Boulevard that is closed, but the one in Proctor remains open) before opening Long Beach Cafe in April 2006.
Le skillfully balances the flavors of Southeast Asia - the tones of salty, sweet, sour and spicy heat are all carefully tamed into a flavor symphony. A chopped chicken larb salad smelled of mint and lemongrass, the lettuce dressed with a sparkling sweetened lime vinaigrette with a salty splash of fish sauce and pungent ginger. A heavy thumb of ginger flavored the Chilean sea bass which paired hunks of the meaty white fish with a tangle of colorful vegetables: onions, red peppers, green onions, carrot, zucchini and mushrooms. Yellow rice tasted fragrant and salty.
Lemon crispy prawns were on the typical Chinese honey-walnut prawns with a creamy sweet sauce blanketing breaded and fried fresh prawns with cashews standing in for walnuts. A vinaigrette-marinated cucumber, lettuce and carrot salad provided sharp contrast to the rich dish.
-Cited from Home & Garden magazine.