My visit here was scheduled to be part of a Ladies Who Dine outing, our group wanting to keep it close to home since we’re composed of mommies (new and seasoned), marathon runners in training, and persons recently engaged (meaning they highly value their post-work alone time). I picked Pier 76 because, new to its digs on Long Beach’s Pine & 1st, those I’ve spoken to have called the food incredible. And I’m a seafood chick – of course I’d have to try this local hot spot.
But following our pre-dinner festivities at Bo-Beau (which I’ve now declared our official LWD outing for July – see the post here), only my work son (I’ll explain this) and I were game to keep eating after a filling evening – perfectly fine with me as long as I was finally able to try the place out.
I’ve known William for over three years now. He was part of the staff I inherited when I took on my current role at the Health Department. To be honest, I didn’t really know what he did at the time (I had a huge learning curve overall in the position) so I was somewhat relieved when he resigned to move on to another division in the department. William has worked for several programs at our department, which has helped make him one of the most popular persons at the job. With time (he says once I stopped being scary to him – I wish others found me so scary), we started hanging. My people became his people. By last winter, we’d come up with a cooky idea to run a half marathon. And then we did another one. We bonded over our mutual experiences as overly coddled only children whose intense love of all things Star Wars wasn’t trendy or recent or fleeting. Maybe it was his preoccupation with food that made me realize we had to be related some way; hence I adopted him as my work son.
At Pier 76, I did the unthinkable and shared a lobster roll with him. Being a non-porkster, I was supposed to pick the crispy sweet bits of bacon off the top of my half of the roll – I didn’t (I blame my Bo-Beau buzz). Perhaps it seemed wrong to disturb the splendid assemblage of citrusy lobster and langostino enclosed in its buttered tubule of bread. The menu notes one of the ingredients of the roll as “pure love.” Let me tell you, I could surely taste, smell, and feel all the love in that dish. And I’m sure there was some cross-contamination (a little health department jargon) of that love with the smoky fish taco I also ordered, a wonderful balance of sweet and smoldered flavors that seemed to disappear (into my mouth) way too soon.
So while I hadn’t planned on a dinner date for the evening, I don’t think it could have been any more delectable. Actually, it may have been better indeed had there been more LWD friends so there’d be more plates for me to try. But then perhaps I would have had to split my lobster roll into three or four, or to give away a few bites of my taco. As William can attest, sharing is difficult for us only children, even when we’re far removed from childhood.
So yes, the dinner date was just fine the way it was.
Pier 76 Fish Grill
95 Pine Avenue in Long Beach