THE FEDERAL BAR OPENS IN LONG BEACH
Our friends at The Federal Bar, North Hollywood’s premier gastropub, are now open for business in Downtown Long Beach. The new location, just like the one in NoHo, is a sophisticated gastropub that serves unique pub bites like the Federal Dog, an all beef hot dog topped with shallot rings, pickled jalapeños and mustard, while offering an extensive and impressive craft beer selection.
Like the original Federal Bar, the Long Beach location is also housed in a former federal bank building. While the North Hollywood pub design features two distinct mixed contemporary and traditional bars on the ground floor – each with its own style and charm with a flair for the 1930’s and prohibition era, the LBC bar is in a league all its own as the space is truly spectacular. Formerly Madison Steakhouse, the new space is easily one of the coolest looking bars and restaurants around with its high ceiling, lovely wood décor and a terrific use of open space. It’s vast and somewhat reminiscent to the look and feel of LA’s Grand Central Terminal.
A go-to place for quality beers, The Federal Bar specializes in hard-to-find and limited edition brews. Locals in Long Beach—you have to go, and adventurous foodies and drinkers should really make a day of it and ride the Blue Line out to Long Beach and have a good ol’ time—without driving.
While the food at both Federal Bars is similar, my recent visit did give me an opportunity to delve deeper into the menu. We started with the fresh Citrus Caesar, prepared with hearts of romaine, shaved aged gouda, croutons, and lemon citrus Caesar dressing. And of course I had to have The Fiddler, a Jameson Irish Whiskey-based cocktail mixed with Frangelico, Fever Tree Ginger Beer built over ice in a Collins glass with a lemon wedge. This proved to be a light and refreshing way to start dinner.
Things really kicked into high gear with the Molten Meatballs filled with fresh mozzarella, marina sauce and parmesan, and the Fried Pork Belly Skewers with a citrus glaze. Now this is good eating. I think it’s a misnomer to simply call this pub fare as these are really great, hearty and tasty dishes. I opted to pair with a nice glass of La Flor Malbec.
Of course the sliders and flatbreads are also excellent selections as starter items but I’ve had those before. The same goes for the highly popular and filling Federal Burger, prepared with garlic chips, smoked cheddar, bibb lettuce, and balsamic onion. And just like in North Hollywood, the Maple-Glazed Sweet Potato Tots are a must-have This is a truly evil little creation and you just can’t stop eating them until the bowl is empty, and even then you might consider ordering another.
For our entrees, we went with the IPA Braised Short Ribs served with roasted garlic mash, fried shallots, and jus. This is a real winner. Filling and flavorful fare, it went perfectly well with the La Flor Malbec.
The Grilled Salmon served with black rice, smoked corn, cotija cheese, and cilantro is also a light and healthier choice for dinner if you’re not in the mood for a really hearty and filling meal.
Desserts at The Federal Bars are really outrageous, the Sweet Bacon Cristo, and the Elvis Pie are diet-killers (but so worth the guilt) and the same can be said for the Salted Caramel Cheesecake, and the decadent Red Velvet Cake—think giant Ding Dong. So good!
And it looks like you’ll soon be able to really make a night out of it at The Federal Bar Long Beach as the downstairs former vault area will soon become a performance/event space that will host local entertainers and musicians. Again, the vault area, like the upstairs bar and restaurant, is an impressive space that is sure to become a favorite haunt for revelers.
The Federal Bar Long Beach is located at 102 Pine Avenue. Open daily. Call 562-435-2000.