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Naga Restaurant, Long Beach

Yvonne | Sep 2, 200204:10 PM

Full disclosure: My bf knows the family who own and operate this restaurant so our entire meal was comped.

My bf and I, plus 5 other friends, drove down to Long Beach for what was promised to be good Thai and Cambodian food. The restaurant is right next to the harbor in Long Beach, with amazing views of the city lights and water. We were immediately welcomed and seated right next to the floor to ceiling windows. My bf took the lead in ordering with the recommendations of the owner. Overall, I think the food was very good at reasonable prices.

We ended up eating:

Chicken satae – Chunks of skewered chicken marinated in a yellow curry and served with a chunky peanut sauce. Good but not different from other versions I’ve had.

Beef Sach Ko Ang – This was a Cambodian specialty and was delicious. Thin slices of beef (almost like Korean bulgogi) rolled up into a ball and grilled on skewers. I bit into it expecting steak cubes but the thin layers peeled away, providing an intriguing textural experience. The thin slices of beef also absorbed more of the marinated flavor and wasn’t dry at all.

Tom yum seafood soup – The soup was chockfull of shrimp, plump mussels, and tender squid pieces. My complaint with this soup in most restaurants is that it isn’t spicy enough. But here, it had a wonderful aroma (you could actually smell the spice, if that makes sense) and left a pleasing burn on the tongue.

Panang beef curry – This peanut-based curry sauce is usually too sweet for me but was balanced by a nice spiciness here. I loved ladling some of the curry sauce over the rice and just eating it plain.

Pad Thai – Nothing too special with this dish, but nothing bad either. I noticed that the chef used dried tofu (what I know in Mandarin as dou fu gan) instead of the slices of fried tofu. The firmer texture added some interest to the soft and chewy noodles and crispy bean sprouts.

Spicy crab noodles – This dish was actually not very spicy but was my favorite. The rice noodles were similar to that for the Pad Thai but seemed slightly springier/chewier to me. You could barely see bits of crab but they coated the noodles and infused the dish with their flavor. I’ve never seen this anywhere else but it’s suddenly become something that I crave. Yum.

I don’t know how typical my experience was as we were treated like special guests in a home instead of restaurant patrons. Everything was delicious and the view was amazing. It looks unassuming on the outside but inside were white tablecloths and napkins, definitely a cut above a neighborhood place. We never got a bill so I don’t know what the total would have been. When I was looking at the menu, appetizers were ~$6 and entrees in the $8-12 range. They have a full bar so we all had drinks with dinner.

Naga Restaurant
600 Queensway Dr.
Long Beach, CA 90802

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