Fuego At The Maya: A Tasty View
2010-09-14 · By Chandra Clewley
I have been across the bridge several times for brunch on The Queen Mary, weddings at The Reef and a handful of Happy Hours at Hotel Maya. I had been meaning to return to Fuego at The Maya, the flagship restaurant inside Hotel Maya. It was a gorgeous evening, when the days are still long, so a friend and I decided to try the restaurant out for a full meal. Hotel Maya has recently had a more than $23 million dollar renovation and every time I have visited since, I have noticed, I still find a very empty parking lot and a quiet hotel on the water. My mind always gets to wondering on how I would promote it, if I did the marketing there. Walking in to the hotel through massive doors into a modern and fun lobby, the décor is truly incredible. The care and design elements are so obvious, it is a wonder that the lobby isn’t packed with twenty-something’s sipping martinis and looking around at who’s who. We ventured up to Fuego, and were seated immediately at an open table outside facing the water. The views are spectacular from here, and you can see Long Beach’s entire shoreline, including the Ferris Wheel, the lighthouse, Shoreline Village and the gorgeous buildings that jut out into the skyline. The view of the Queen Mary is also there. Long Beach is truly beautiful from here.
We quickly ordered the Guacamole Trio, which included the Classico, Mango-Serrano and Salsa Verde type guacamoles. In addition we ordered the Churrasco Lamb Chops with Chimichurri, Mixed Baby Lettuce with Fuji Apple and for an entrée we decided to split the Blue Crab and Smoked Shrimp Masa Crepas. The lamb chops were prepared perfectly with a sweet potato puree and spring sweet peas. The crepas were flavorful with poblano and roasted corn salsa, but the star of the evening was the salad, which I would have gladly ordered as an entrée and I wish was served this way for dinner. It involved baby lettuce, cilantro, red chile pecans, goat cheese, grape tomatoes and an amazing chipotle dressing. I am telling you, it is tasty and should be ordered when you venture here.
Our service was also impeccable and we loved our quiet, ever smiling, knowledgeable and attentive waiter. The entire wait staff was quiet, professional and not chatty, which I love in an environment as gorgeous and peaceful as Fuego at The Maya.
After our meal, I wanted to show my friend the grounds, so we walked around the outside of the hotel, on the waterside. There is a large party area right next to the restaurant that would be just amazing for any event, in particular a wedding, as there was already a modern styled gazebo set up here. As we ventured toward the pool, we passed another small, intimate sitting area with gas lit tiki torches and another large area for events. When we made it over to the pool area, there was one person swimming laps. The bar area, of course was closed down, but the row of cabanas that sit like little islands in the water behind the pool are so stylized and cool, it is hard to believe that this place isn’t a nightclub along the lines of Skybar or The Standard. If you have ever been in marketing, or P.R., Hotel Maya gets your creative juices flowing as you walk the grounds. It is truly a gorgeous hotel that is still a local secret.
I will add the caveat that for dinner the food is pricey, so Fuego at The Maya may not be for your daily fair. For special occasions or to show off your town to newcomers and out-of-towners, I would highly recommend a dinner at dusk here, when the lights just begin to come up across the bay. Be prepared for a topsy, turvy drive over. Due to construction, you will feel like you are driving in circles to get here and you are. Keep going, it is worth it. Hotel Maya is located at 700 Queensway Drive, Long Beach, CA 90802 (562)435-7676 Fuego at The Maya is located inside. Parking is validated for dinner guests.