Tantalum (that's pronounced "Tantaloom") bills itself as "culinary paradise" on its business card. Based on the lunch I shared with a friend this afternoon, they may be on well on the way. We started out with martinis from their specialty selection. My Pomegratini (a version of a Cosmo, in reality) was very good; my friend's Vanilla Cherry not so, but the waitress gladly exchanged it for her. We shared a salad of butter lettuce, julienned pear, candied walnuts, crusted (fried, I think) brie, and "son in law eggs" (deep fried hard boiled egg) in a sherry vinaigrette. Huge salad which the kitchen split for us. It was delicious; tangy, sweet, and the brie gave it a touch of bitter contrast. We next shared one of the day's specials, shrimp skewered on sugar cane, brushed with a fruit baste, and served over wok-sauteed veggies, in a hot sauce. The theme seems to be Asian fusion, and the spicy Thai-styled chili taste of the sauce was breathtaking (literally) but thoroughly enjoyable. We splurged on dessert and shared a custardy bread pudding, served warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and banana slices which had been bruleed, in a rum/caramel sauce. The only disappointment was that the coffee wasn't hot. It's an impressive room, overlooking Alamitos Bay; the bar is a couple of steps down from the dining room, so everyone has an unobstructed view. Decor is, for lack of a better description, Thai-kitsch. Owned by the people behind the nearby casual Schooner or Later.
6272 E. Pacific Coast Hwy.
Long Beach, CA 90803