Michael's on Naples Ristorante

By Michael Dene
5620 E 2nd St
Long Beach, CA 90803
Telephone: (562) 439-7080

Who knew Long Beach could be just that much fun?!  What an iconic Southern California neighborhood of 1950's modern architecture, beach side stores and a host of interesting restaurants.  Michael's has been on our radar for the last few years and we finally made it to an extraordinary chef's tasting menu here on unseasonably warm Saturday night. 

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Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills 



9700 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 975-4350

The basement of Neiman Marcus has been completely redone and finally resembles Harrods or some other world-class department store.

As your escalator sinks into the basement amidst cosmetics, perfumes, lotions and potions, the space is electric.  There is a wall of glass separating the new Mariposa dining room, which, when inside, allows you to yearn for fancy treats and gifts while you dine and observe.  Like most of the aging women frequenting the place, Mariposa has survived a much needed face lift with a vibrant, youthful result. 

The plank marble floors have a contemporary look and offset the good-looking aqua blue and shades of yellows accenting the room. Anchoring are two larger booths surrounded by blown glass ornaments and Mercury glass beads. Gone are the rather dull Calder tapestries and instead now there is an elegant nod to the good tastes of the 50's with a present day that keeps it from looking like a theme room. .

Along the entire back wall is a full bar which replaces the former dark wall (due to no windows in this basement setting).  Behind the bar are a series faux windows with a constantly changing light show of colors and what seems to look like a workman on the other side washing windows. If you look closely at the shadows cast, there seems to be something large dangling between his legs but we are hoping that is a safety belt and nothing more. Or perhaps it's a way of entertaining the usual older, female and gay population who crowd this famous Beverly Hills watering hole.

The chairs and banquettes are a lovely cream color and aqua blue glasses set off the basic white tables and stylish (and comfortable) chairs.  

As you settle into your table or banquette, the usual hot and scrumptiously fattening popovers and shot of chicken broth are placed before you to start your lunch.

There are many staples still on the menu and many new choices as well. Scott indulged in the lobster club which was just as delicious as before the transformation (although it was a tad light on the lobster for the hefty price of $30). We suggest that you ask them to skip the third piece of bread and add some bacon. 

A tasty latte was a perfect complement to the sandwich.

Michael enjoyed the beet salad with a creamy Chevre cheese. It was superb and deliciously light; just perfect for lunch or a starter. He followed it with the turkey London broil which was moist and flavorful. The sweet potato fries were terrific, hand cut and especially tasty. For a small up charge you can have truffle fries which are even more delicious.

The service was crisp and professional, as always, and everyone there knows how to make you feel like you're the most important shopper in the store.  Robert was there hosting today, as he has been for the past 30 or so years, and there just isn't a better representation of Mariposa than both he and James.

We were pleasantly full and decided to skip on dessert so you will just have to go yourselves and leave it up to your imagination.  Having written that, the check is delivered with two delicious C. Kay Cummings chocolate mints to go, which is a beautiful touch and a great way to start your shopping day.

The Dining Duo says, "Go" and enjoy a bit of time shopping around the luxurious items of Neiman Marcus when you're finished with dessert.

Appetizingly yours,

Michael and Scott
The Dining Duo

("Like" us on Facebook at The Dining Duo)

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212 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Reservations: 310 859 3418

This month is all about Truffles.

Handsome Aussie Chef Curtis Stone describes his incredibly intimate and charming restaurant in Beverly Hills as, "The Maude Experience."  This brief but accurate description is what separates Maude from just about every other restaurant in Los Angeles; it is indeed just that: an experience.

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