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by Darren Held

You can’t just do improv 24/7, as it turns out. Sometimes you have to eat or sleep or, you know, do stuff to make a living. The making a living thing is really complicated, and we’re sure you’ve got sleeping pretty much wired by now, so we’ll give you a few hints on eating. Cuz that’s just how we roll.

Long Beach is known as the black hole of fine dining in the LA/OC area. And it’s true that there aren’t a lot of five-star options. But there are plenty of good neighborhood places. We’re partial to Star of Siam, La Paralaccia and of course Hot Java and Paradise, all on Broadway. Siam is (wait for it…) Thai food, in a nice mom-and-pop kind of atmosphere with great curries and a delish bar-b-q beef salad. La Paralaccia has excellent pastas and pizzas, and the pizza-making guys have awesome arms if you’re into watching well-muscled men do, um, pizza things with their muscles. And really, who isn’t? Hot Java has decent coffee and great pastries, and Paradise has good cheap drinks, tasty bar food and Chace.

In Belmont Shore (aka “The Shore” if you’re being cool and hip), we like Natraj, La Creperie and Thai Gourmet. Natraj offers authentic-seeming Indian food (never having been to India, we have to sort of take their word for it) with a lot of spice, good hot chai and mediocre service. La Creperie has awesome crepes, both savory and sweet, and a decent wine selection. Thai Gourmet is sleeker than Star of Siam and has some interesting menu items, although overall we prefer Siam.

Right now our fave new place is Sababa. The owner is friendly and helpful, the food is above average and the martinis are the best in the LBC.

Hope that was helpful. And if you have any tips on the making a living thing, could you please share? Thanks.

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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