Credit: Ed Visions

5 Reasons Ola Mexican Kitchen Is One of Our Favorite Restaurants in Long Beach

With an Innovative Menu of Mexican Fare and Sweeping Coastal Views, This Restaurant Is an Ode to SoCal Living

The top level of 2nd & PCH is conveniently home to two of our favorite places to eat and drink in Long Beach: Ola Mexican Kitchen and Palapa, Ola’s little sister. While the two serve different vibes and menus, there are a few things that they have in common: thoughtful, delicious flavors, friendly service and an absolutely stunning view.

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After the stellar success of Ola Mexican Kitchen in Huntington Beach, owners Toby Reece and Tony Andrews decided to open up a second location in 2019. In true Ola fashion, the Long Beach location quickly won the hearts and stomachs of locals and visitors—with the help of a few special differences from its HB predecessor, of course.

 

Beautiful Outside and Inside

Best Restaurants Long Beach
Credit: Ed Visions

Anyone who’s visited Ola Mexican Kitchen in Huntington Beach has most likely seen the jaw-dropping view of the ocean. At Ola Mexican Kitchen Long Beach, Reece and Andrews wanted to capture the same feeling. “One thing that you won’t find in this area of Long Beach is a lot of restaurants on the water with a view. There are a couple, but they’re all at marina level,” Reece says. “We’re up on the second floor, so you can actually see over the top of the sailboats and get a really cool view of the Long Beach Marina.”

While the view and outdoor space are undeniably beautiful, the interior is just as nice to look at with its elegant palette of colors and textures. Since there’s more of a layout to play with, the Long Beach spot is more decorated than Huntington Beach, but you can still find subtle nods to its Surf City sister throughout the space.

 

Unbeatable Service

Best Restaurants Long Beach
Credit: Ed Visions

There are countless places to go out for a good meal in SoCal. That said, the owners of Ola Mexican Kitchen are proud of their philosophy of going the extra mile for their customers.

“Something that I train on and we try to live by is to fight to say yes and never say no. We always try to be accommodating with any of our guests, whether it be reservations, table requests, or recipes. We want to make our guests happy, and we try to find a reason to say yes to everybody,” Reece shares.

Not only is the staff professional and friendly with guests, but there’s a noticeable air of enjoyment among employees as well—another philosophy that the restaurant upholds.

“We always say make friends. I say that to all of our staff when we have our pre-shift meetings: ‘Go make a friend today,’” Reece says. “I’ve had many, many instances of the people that I have been introduced to because of saying hello and goodbye, touching tables, and creating relationships with my customers.” 

 

Delicious Food

Best Restaurants Long Beach
Credit: Ed Visions

While guests of Ola Mexican Kitchen in Long Beach can expect mostly the same menu as the Huntington Beach location, Long Beach has a few exclusive, fine-dining items courtesy of Chef Chris Paul Zaldana. On the appetizer side, you can find delicious crispy flautas, and you’ll also find a soyrizo and veggie taco option. The true stars of the show, however, are the sustainably caught fresh market fish and the 14-ounce Hyplains Ribeye Caballero. For Reece, however, he says you can’t go wrong with the mix-and-match tacos (don’t forget to ask about the taco of the month!) or his favorite dish, the ribeye enchiladas. 

 

Creative Cocktails

Along with a tasty selection of plates, Ola prides itself on an equally delicious drink menu. “We have a specialty cocktail list that kind of maneuvers its way through the different spirits behind the bar, but, being a Mexican restaurant, we really wanted to celebrate the margarita,” says Reece. While we definitely recommend the classic El Jefe Cadillac Margarita and the fruity Punta Negra Margarita, it’s always worth asking about the margarita of the month.

Since Palapa offers its own vibe, you’ll find its own unique cocktail list, making for the perfect way to whet your appetite before a meal at Ola—or to finish the evening off with a post-dinner nightcap. Some of our favorite sips on the list include the Strawberry Fields, the Lavender Yuzu Martini, the Kentucky Caballero and two of its own margaritas: strawberry jalapeño and frozen mango. 

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Space for Special Events and Occasions

While making a reservation at Ola to celebrate with a few friends and family members is always a great idea, sometimes it’s a more-the-merrier situation. Whether it’s to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary or even a work function, Palapa serves as the perfect space for a special event.

“Because of how it’s laid out and in proximity to Ola, we can actually reserve that entire space where you have your own bar, you have all your own outside seating and your own private view,” Reece explains. “We’ve accommodated up to 200 people out there for private parties.”

A special event that combines Palapa’s intimate ambiance, the gorgeous marina view and Ola’s incredible menu? Sounds like the perfect way to spend an evening.

 

Ola Mexican Kitchen
6420 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Ste 230
Long Beach, CA 90803
562.430.0055
@ola_mexican_kitchen

Writer | Website | + posts

Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.

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