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Thomas Ortega Plans Sophisticated Mexican with Playa Amor in Long Beach

The restaurant will take over local-favorite watering hole Sababa Restaurant & Lounge.

Photo courtesy of LARC PR + Marketing

Chef Thomas Ortega (also at the helm of Amor Y Tacos in Cerritos, California) will be opening a new Mexican cuisine restaurant in Long Beach in October 2015. The restaurant will take over the space previously occupied by Sababa Restaurant & Lounge, a locally adored watering hole that shuttered last month.

Though details are sparse, Ortega 120 chef is keeping it a short drive down from his hometown of Cerritos for his second new restaurant opening in two years. The new restaurant will feature "Dia de los Muertos-style décor," which might look familiar to those who have stepped foot in Amor Y Tacos. The menu promises to be smaller, and a bit more technically sophisticated.

"You probably won't see any mole tots or Doritos Chilaquiles at Playa Amor, but the new menu will put my technical culinary background to the test with an adventurous take on Mexican fare," Ortega stated in a press release.

Adventurous Mexican should be a welcome addition to the strip mall complex that neighbors Marina Pacifica and serves the nearby Belmont Shore and Seal Beach communities, which currently contains a Trader Joe's and Ruby's Diner, among other spots.