Friday, February 11, 2022

Heritage (Long Beach, CA)

Heritage Restaurant
2030 E 7th St, Long Beach, CA 90804
Fri 02/11/2022, 07:50p-09:55p

Heritage Exterior

My last post was on LBC pizza joint Little Coyote, and coincidentally, I've decided to follow up with a report on Heritage, which is located just a couple blocks away. The New American eatery is helmed by Phillip "Philip" Pretty, whom, you might recall, we last encountered over at Restauration, another Long Beach spot. To recap: he was Chef/Partner there along with Dana Robertson (née Tanner), and things seemed to be going well for them, but unfortunately, the restaurant suffered a pretty devastating fire in November 2018. It took them a year to re-build and re-open, but by late 2019, Pretty was ready to move on, and decamped around the start of the pandemic (Restauration shuttered in April 2021 following ownership's flouting of COVID-19 dining regulations).

The Chef then decided to team up with his sister Lauren Pretty, who comes from a bartending background and worked at both Hinoki & the Bird and Pizzeria Ortica. They soon began looking for a space, and in June 2020, signed a lease on a 1922-era Craftsman in LBC's North Alamitos Beach neighborhood. After a quick flip, Heritage Sandwich Shop opened on August 1st, selling out on its first day, and was met with considerable success. The fancier Heritage Restaurant subsequently debuted on May 8th last year, serving an à la carte menu, but switched over to a tasting menu format on November 16th, shortly after the place was awarded a Michelin Plate.

Heritage Interior
The restaurant resides in a bungalow that was apparently partitioned into two in the 1990s (and is located just a few doors down from the Chef's domicile). Pictured above is the left side of the building, which formerly served as home to Taqueria El Carboncito/Midnight Grind Café/JK Sam Beauty Salon and now houses Heritage Sandwich Shop during the day while functioning as a dining room for Heritage at night. Meanwhile, the right side of the building (the old Rose Nails space) was converted to additional dining room space in November last year.

Heritage Menu Heritage Beverage List
Heritage offers a four-course prix fixe at $65 a head, plus $30 for wine pairing. There's also a small wine and beer selection, while corkage is $20. Click for larger versions.

Mushroom Cappuccino
1: Mushroom Cappuccino
The Chef's liquid amuse bouche showcased the focused earthiness of mushroom alongside an undercurrent of sweetness and the aromatics of thyme. It set a cozy tone for the rest of the meal.

Octopus Confit
2a: Octopus Confit | chorizo, beans, creme fraiche
Octo featured a soft, springy bite, while its savory-saline nature took well to the salty-spicy-sour chorizo. Also key were the beans, which added a welcomed heft to the dish, and I was definitely a fan of the overarching herbiness of the cilantro, too. Quite lovely overall.

Braised Sweetbreads
2b: Braised Sweetbreads | heirloom carrot, pea tendril, yoghurt
Sweetbread showed off a great juxtaposition of crispy outside and creamy interior, while flavors were relatively delicate; think slightly chicken-y, a bit earthy, a touch briny. The offal paired well with the cool, creamy yogurt, while the carrot imparted both sweetness and crunch. Even better, though, was the refreshing contribution from the pea greens.

Grenache Gris Rosé, Curran, Santa Barbara, 2019
To drink, I opted for a bottle of the Grenache Gris Rosé, Curran, Santa Barbara, 2019 [$48]. The wine had a juicy, inviting aroma of tropical fruit, pineapple in particular, and almost recalled fènɡlí sū. Taste-wise, I found this eminently quaffable, with more of those pineapple cake notes joined by zippy red fruit and a tinge of floral. This would be perfect for day drinking.

Diver Scallop
3a: Diver Scallop | snap pea, turnip, preserved meyer lemon
Scallops were well-caramelized, but were still nicely rare on the inside, and their sweet-oceany flavor profile made sense with the brightness of the snap peas and pea purée. I quite liked the juicy, crunchy, bitter character of those turnips, too.

7 Day Aged Duck
3b: 7 Day Aged Duck | french lentil, salsify purée, spinach
The duck ended up as my favorite dish of the night, and one of the best preparations of the protein I've had in a while. The breast conveyed a real anatine funk that was both potent yet elegant, while the meat's juiciness matched well with its wonderfully crispy skin and expertly rendered layer of fat. The bird was certainly delicious alone, but the nutty lentils were a great complement, and I liked the zestiness of the nasturtium as well.

Mimolette & Mezzo Secco Cheese
4a: Mimolette & Mezzo Secco Cheese | date, honey, crostini, herbs
In this semi-composed fromage course, the two varieties of cheese played off of each other well, both in terms of taste and texture, and married easily with the super crispy bread and sugary fruit.

4b: Pavlova | vanilla parsnip pastry cream, market berries
Last up was this take on the pavlova, one that featured a delightfully aromatic vanilla-laced cream set against a center of tart, juicy berries, all while shards of meringue offered up textural contrast.

Phil Pretty's move from Fundamental LA down to Restauration was a win for Long Beach, and his transition into Heritage is another victory for the City. The food represents the latest evolution of the Chef's cooking, and there's a clarity, a purity to the cuisine that's pretty evident. I'd actually like to see the kitchen push things even further and move to a lengthier tasting menu format, but that may take some time. For now, I'll simply plan to have Heritage around as one of the best places to eat in the LBC.


Blogger Cindy said...

Shortly after reading this post I immediately booked for tomorrow :')
Looks promising and affordable.

Thursday, March 03, 2022 7:22:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Nice! I didn't know that you were in the Long Beach area. I'm curious if you'll have the same dishes available that I had.

Friday, March 04, 2022 7:50:00 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

We had almost the same meal! Diver scallops weren't available, there was a grouper available instead. My dining partner got the wagyu beef while I got the duck, and instead of the octopus confit we did the sweetbreads and beets. We're not in the Long Beach area but will always drive for good food :) That being said, always appreciative of your reviews.

I sent you a tweet but posting same question here - have you been to Manzke yet? Thinking of taking my significant other to Kato or Manzke for our anniversary but there's nothing on his early dinners yet.

Monday, March 07, 2022 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Wait, what's your Twitter account? I don't recall see anything from you. But no, I haven't been to Manzke yet, though it's obviously on my to-eat list. And coincidentally, I'm actually going to Kato next week!

Wednesday, March 09, 2022 1:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I probably messed up on Twitter, I really don't use it at all! I'll just keep msging on this blog.

I'm looking forward to your Kato review! I was leaning towards Kato anyway, excited that he got his own space and hopefully grew out of the insecurities from his Eater feature. I think it's worth supporting him as he seems to be doing Taiwanese food and Japanese execution. I am a little bitter that when I first moved to LA 3 years ago his tasting menu was $65 and a lot of the menu looked the same but the prices kept skyrocketing up as did his fame. But 3 years ago I was in grad school making negative money so I couldn't reasonably justify it...and now we're here at $200/pp ahaha.

Random question - do you know when/how his reservations open? One of my friends went last year and said he kept refreshing for weeks until they randomly opened up on a random day and time. Desperation times for desperate measures because it was his wife's only request on their honeymoon to LA.

Wednesday, March 09, 2022 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Oh yeah, Kato was actually only $55 the first time I went back in 2017, and it's been curious to see the restaurant's prices rise concurrently with its acclaim.

But as for reservations, I just checked their Resy page, and it says: "Reservations may be made on a month to month basis, with slots opening in the second week of the month prior."

However, the way I got my reservation was by simply checking regularly and grabbing a slot that happened to open up (I'm guessing someone cancelled).

Wednesday, March 09, 2022 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Just booked a spot for Kato, and as someone pretty new to the fine dining scene my hands were all clammy and sweaty when booking LOL. There were plenty of spots. Might change my mind, a large group of my friends and I are going to Paris in May this year and I'm trying to figure out where we might go. I'm a touch bummed in that most of my friends aren't interested in haute cuisine but we shall see!

The only meal I've had that was more expensive was in Kyoto at Kikunoi Honten, but that ws 3 Mich and we booked a private room as well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Good to hear that you got Kato reservations! I just went earlier this week, and it was probably my best meal of 2022 thus far. But what exactly is their reservation release policy? If reservations opened up on 3/16, then that clearly doesn't adhere to what's stated on the restaurant's Resy page.

For your Paris trip, you're going to have to break away from your friends if necessary--I'd eat by myself if forced to. You can't leave the city without some fine dining.

I was actually wanting to visit Kikunoi the last time I was in Japan, but if I recall, couldn't get reservations unfortunately.

Friday, March 18, 2022 2:29:00 PM  

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