A previous topic mentioned the poor eating choices in Long Branch. So I used this Saturday night (on my way to grab a pizza) to do a drive tour of the West End area to see what's new and happening culinary wise to make sure we werent possibly missing a gem.
First thing I noticed is that Ranoosh is now Kam Zaman (sp?). It's sign still says its Lebanese but I dont know if its the same owner/chef or even if its still kosher. Place recently renovated and looks upscaled. Google search turns up nothing. Many cars in the area but I couldnt tell if they were for Kam Zaman or for Ron's West End Pub next door.
New place opened up last summer called Roselli's on Brighton Ave. The place looks like a museum from the outside. They dont seem to have a website but other sites says they serve New American have a liquor license and offer take out. I may stop during the day and check their menu posted by the door. Although it has that fancypants wannabe feel to it.
Another option is Jesse's Cafe also on Brighton. Sign out front says its (interestingly!) organic vegan and international cuisine. Place looked bright and cheery, clean and comfortable. Casual. With Down to Earth in RB closed this may be an option. Tofu, chickpeas, smoothies anyone? Unfortunately, there was no place to park to grab a menu and they looked like they were closing up for the night.
And this was due to Jack's Rib & Ale House. Very active there. People and cars coming and going.
The building where Al Mare used to be is still vacant.
The Inkwell, however, was not vacant. packed, packed .....PACKED. Is it still popular with the college students?
They seemed not be at Stingers unless they cater to a late crowd. Maybe they cant afford the cover charge. 656 Ocean (kosher) had just opened at 9pm couldnt tell if anyone was there. Not so with ...
IL Piccolo Forno on Ocean Ave was full. Not a single empty table at 9:30pm. Never tried it but with all the other Italian places in LB competing they may be on to something. Loyal following?
Sadly, Izu 's had only a few ppl inside. Unless the sushi crowd eats early to hit the bars afterwards? I know many ppl dont agree with Andrea Clurfeld but she did give it high marks. Thought the free publicity would help give it a boost. Being just a simple storefront prob doesnt help either esp on a Sat night.
First time I noticed Scala's Pizza. Always looking for a new pizza place. Hmmm....
The kosher deli is now a Quisno's. For some reason I find that funny.
Charley's and Tavolo's had their usual crowd. And Pier Village was well ... Pier Village.