Step into Alegria Cocina Latina and one leaves Long Beach for a place that hints of foreign exotic places. Casual in decor and ambiance it could be located in Spain, Mexico or Brazil.
Despite its casual appearance Alegria has a professional and enthusiastic serving staff, most with many years at the restaurant. Service is prompt and as often as not someone will be there for a personal greeting and it has consistently been a four star restaurant.
Alegria has new owners so we stopped by to meet Adricana Baeza, partner-owner, and see what changes had been made. Not many our waiter, Alfredo Iraoza, has been with the restaurant since it opened in 1994. Then we met Chef Hazael Enriquez who has been with Alegria for thirteen years. Favorites like El Gaucho and Paelia Valenciana are still on the menu as well as Alegria chicken wrap, a long time specialty. Serving lunch and dinner seven days a week Alegria always seems to be busy.
Prices are modest at Alegria, most entrees priced under $20 and reasonable prices prevail at the bar as well. There are live entertainment shows on weekends.
Alegria is located at 115 Pine Avenue, Long Beach, with valet parking available. It is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.. Phone 562 436-3388, on the web at www.alegriacocinalatina.com
We left Alegria content that one of our favorite restaurants has not changed and was still four star.