Tried Benley in Long Beach last week with my girlfriend--
This restaurant is in a desolate corner of a shopping plaza with a TJ Maxx anchor store to its left and the San Gabriel River (sewer) on its right. Eeew. However, the interior is exactly the opposite: a bit hip, relaxed, and intimate. Very unexpected in this part of LB. Very.
Everything we tried was recommended by our server--
"Cabbage Chicken Salad and Blanched Shallots w/toasted garlic vinaigrette" and "Shrimp & Pork Cut Spring Rolls".
Spring rolls were very good--very fresh (although I guess you'd expect this from spring rolls) with a warm sliver of pork down it's side; very nicely presented, too. The salad was simple with a subtle vinaigrette, and some toasted garlic to balance it out. Very good stuff. I would've shared more of this with my girlfriend, but she was too busy flirting with the server. :)
"Pan-seared Salmon w/sauteed seasonal greens and cilantro aioli" and "Stir Fried Beef and Potatotes"
Also good stuff. The salmon was a thick filet with great flavor; cooked perfectly. A huge dollop of aioli on top which I thought could have been a little smaller, but still a great dish. The beef was damn good, too--stir-fried cubes of filet mignon, red onions (I believe) and french fry-style potatoes. Perfectly sauteed! Perfect!
Dessert: "Buttermilk Panna Cotta with a key lime anglaise and graham cracker crumble", "Melting Valrhona Chocolate", "Banana Foster" and "Tableside Dripped Coffee".
All very enjoyable as well. Great place. Thumbs up. Plates are around $5-$15 or so.
Couple of notes: The chef was once with Campanile and the first Sushi Roku; no corkage fee on wine (still working on obtaining a license)--take advantage of it while you can. Plates are great for sharing. Very friendly staff.
8191 E Wardlow Rd.
Long Beach, CA
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