We love DTLB’s culinary scene specifically because it is so unique. And it is so unique because the vast variety of eateries are either locally owned or unique to Long Beach, giving visitors and patrons alike distinct offerings that run the full gastronomical gamut.

This is precisely why we’ve created this series, Off the Menu DTLB. This series seeks to explore grub and drinks that are either not on the menu whatsoever at a DTLB joint or, perhaps, aren’t so blatantly advertised or just seem offbeat entirely.

For a full list of previous Off the Menu items, scroll to the bottom.

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La Traviata’s Lobster Tortelli.

It has been a Long Beach staple for nearly two decades, sitting at the bottom floor of Long Beach’s oldest building—the Willmore at 3rd and Cedar—and offering up some of the city’s most classic Italian grub. Long thought of as only a high-end dinner option, there is one of DTLB’s best kept secrets within its walls: it has one of the best lunches and happy hours.

And we’re not just talkin’ paninis.

We’re talkin’ a burrata and prosciutto salad served with arugula and heirloom cherry tomatoes. Or their ravioli di cinghiale, a boar-and-ricotta stuffed ravioli covered with a simple red sauce. Or their lobster tortelli, a decadent mixture of lobster and porcini mushrooms, stuffed into tortelli pasta and drizzled with a wonderfully rich truffle cream sauce. They even offer a Waygu beef burger for those feelin’ like an American in Venice.

Even better? Any item on the menu labeled with an “E” means it’s an express item—meaning you’ll be in and out in 30 minutes.

”Downtown is changing and we want to capitalize on offering workers and visitors high-quality food that isn’t your run-of-the-mill offerings,” said Geoffrey Thompson of La Traviata. “We’ve been here for 19 years and we feel like we’re a staple that can keep up with the times. It’s about reminding people that there’s great quality food in Downtown, even for lunch. And the appetizers we offer during our social hour? Truly par none.”

Burrata and prosciutto salad.

That social hour, which runs every Friday from 5PM to 9PM, offers some of the most accessible treats in DTLB: $5 beers, drinks, vino and apps that are genuinely spectacular. Accompanying it is free live music at 7:30PM.

”People from the outside think we’re stuffy,” Thompson said. “And to an extent, we are elegant. But we’re invested in Long Beach and invite people to come enjoy truly great food—whether it’s for lunch or a dinner date.”

Thompson’s investment includes offering outdoor dining—a process they’re in the midst of working on with the City—as well as possibly extending into the Willmore Building’s gorgeous plaza to host special brunches.

”Ultimately, we want to provide what Long Beach provides all the time: a great experience,” Thompson said.

La Traviata is located at 301 Cedar Avenue.

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Off the Menu in DTLB

  • Recreational’s Hoppy Iced Coffee
  • Fruitilandia in DTLB
  • Pier 76’s Chowder Fries
  • Potholder’s Flintstone French Toast
  • Recreational Coffee’s Iced Basilfruit