A chic new daytime restaurant called Mangette opened in Long Beach’s Zaferia district late last year from Los Angeles restaurant veterans Alicia Kemper and Marie Delbarry. Kemper is the owner of the wine shop Buvons located next door to Mangette (and a member of the Eater Young Gun class of 2015), while France-born Delbarry is a manager at the wine shop and culinary events coordinator. The indoor-outdoor cafe serves comforting and easygoing French food for breakfast and lunch, with eventual plans to collaborate with local chefs for dinner pop-ups.
Mangette is a made-up word derived from the French verb “to eat,” along with “ette” to canote a little place. Though Delbarry said the opening weeks were slow, weekend traffic has picked up at this lesser trafficked portion of inland Long Beach, a stone’s throw away from the busy Belmont Shore and 4th Street corridors that tend to attract trendier eateries. The historic, brick-lined 1940s building was retrofitted to serve food before Mangette and Buvons moved in.
Sporting high ceilings, long windows, and a lovely back garden area, the counter service restaurant serves butternut squash and carrot soup topped with chive creme fraiche; soft scrambled eggs with salad and country toast; and a farro grain bowl with minced mushrooms, onion soubise, roasted daikon, and poached egg. More substantial lunch fare includes a well-crafted jambon beurre sandwich on a baguette, as well as a terrific fried fish sandwich on a brioche bun with tartar-like sauce gribiche. Noe Duran, a former cook from Michelin-starred Heritage, helms the food menu. To drink, a full coffee menu based on Counter Culture beans stands up to the top espresso spots in Long Beach while dessert includes a plush olive oil cake topped with a dollop of chantilly cream.
Long Beach’s culinary rise continues to benefit from experienced operators and staff from Los Angeles restaurants. Felix alum Michael Ryan recently opened Marlena in the Naples area while Jonathan Strader and Jack Leahy (formerly of Hatchet Hall) have opened two outlets of Little Coyote pizzeria. Later this week, art complex Compound in Long Beach will debut Union, a Filipino-influenced restaurant from chef Eugene Santiago, who worked at Terranea with Michael Fiorelli and Simon LA with the late chef Kerry Simon.
Mangette is currently open Thursday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1145 Loma Avenue, Long Beach, CA, 90804.