Cuisine Scene: Side Dishes

Consider the side. Though an afterthought to some, the mindful diner knows a great side dish can not only enhance an entree but sometimes overshadow it. The best of them burst with flavor and ingenuity, whether they’re beloved standards, new takes, or new takes on beloved standards. Whatever the case, they’re delicious. Here’s a front and center look at some of Long Beach’s favorite sides.

GREEN SALSA, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine

There’s little doubt that Lola’s (2030 E Fourth St/4140 Atlantic Ave) is one of the city’s most beloved restaurants and practically no doubt its most beloved item is the green salsa that comes with complimentary chips. Creamy, mildly spicy, herby–cilantro perhaps?--you can't put your finger on the ingredients or stop eating them. Owner/chef Luis Navoarro once said the dish best represented his restaurant since it may be “ the single most compulsively delicious sauce.”

CREAMED SPINACH, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

If you type in “Ruth’s Chris Creamed Spinach” online be prepared to spend the next few hours perusing various takes on Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s (180 E Ocean Blvd) iconic side dish. The ingredients that make it iconic are secret, but they produce a creamy texture and buttery taste, with subtle tanginess, that pairs wonderfully with steak, creating the kind of experience that many people would like to recreate as much as possible.



Rice and beans is right up there with French fries as a ubiquitous side dish; unfortunately it can sometimes be quite commonplace. Which is why the first time you have the dish at Selva (4137 E Anaheim St) it comes as a delicious smack to your tastebuds. Smokey, salty beans cooked with pork are balanced by warm rice perfectly, comfortably prepared. The dish is truly good enough to be enjoyed by itself but pairs wonderfully with much of Selva’s Colombian fare.

About the Author
Steve Lowery
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