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An orange-colored French soup in a white bowl.
Butternut squash and carrot soup at Mangette in Long Beach.
Matthew Kang

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Long Beach’s Breeziest French Cafe Comes From a Duo of LA Restaurant Pros

Mangette serves up sharp French fare including a mean fried fish sandwich

Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

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.

A minimalist counter of a French cafe.
Front counter with coffee station at Mangette.
Cabinet and painting with candles at a French cafe Mangette.
Art and candles.
Two women stand with aprons inside their French cafe at Mangette.
Left to right: owners Alicia Kemper and Marie Delbarry.
Mangette
A ham and butter sandwich on a plate.
Jambon beurre sandwich.
Two espresso coffee drinks on a table.
Espresso drinks.
A plate of French-style scrambled eggs with salad and toast.
Soft scrambled eggs with country bread, salad, jam, and butter.
A grain bowl.
Farro grain bowl with soft poached egg.
A slice of cake with whipped cream.
Olive oil cake with chantilly cream.
Diners sit around a minimalist French cafe space of Mangette.
Dining area
A small garden-style patio at Mangette..
Back al fresco dining area.
Menu at Mangette.
Menu.

Mangette

1145 Loma Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90804 Visit Website
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