I’m learning more about SoCal every day. For instance, at least a half dozen people have told me the worst traffic is on Thursday afternoon. Did all the former college students who arranged for no Friday classes figure out a way to preserve that as adults?
It was with this is mind that we set a halfway point to meet our friends Farrell and Vered for dinner last night. They live near Palm Springs, but were visiting in Los Angeles. We headed to Long Beach. Traffic on the 405 did not disappoint.
None of us know much about Long Beach, so we set out to find a restaurant using Yelp. That’s always scary. Yelp can be swayed, good or bad, with enough effort.
Our second worry was Vered and Farrell dine… we eat. Their tastes are more sophisticated.
Long Beach is a beach community (duh). La Parolaccia is in a neighborhood away from the water. It seemed like a locals place.
The TV over the bar was tuned to RAI! It’s an Italian place with Italians who speak Italian! A California rarity.
Helaine had lasagna, Farrell salmon, Vered a simple spaghetti dish and I had “Linguine alle Vongole con Bottarga.” That’s my go to pasta dish, linguine with clams. At La Parolaccia they add “bottarga,” grated dry mullet roe (dried fish eggs).
From the first bite I was in love! Nicely cooked pasta, small clams and cherry tomatoes in a light sauce with rich seasoning in every mouthful. Was it the mullet roe? Whatever it was, it was dynamite!
Best linguine and clams ever. This was truly a California surprise.
Helaine and I were worried when we picked a place sight unseen, but the service was great, the bread hot and the food tasty and genuinely Italian.
We sat, shmoozed and ate. Good friends are always worth the drive.
An hour ten there, thirty five minutes home. Thursday traffic!