So Cal Restaurant Writers award outstanding Long Beach eateries

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long beach 4-star restaurantsTwenty-two Long Beach restaurants were honored with special awards from the prestigious Southern California Restaurant Writers Association. Long Beach also had the honor of hosting the awards dinner at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Three restaurants earned double gold, winning the coveted Golden Sceptre—5 star and Golden Bacchus Wine awards. Additionally, Elise Benavidez of Elise’s Tea Room was recognized as Pastry Chef of the Year.

L’Opera, The Madison and Sir Winston’s won the Golden Sceptre—5 star award, the association’s highest honor. Chosen by a special vote of the association membership, a restaurant must receive an accumulative 95 points or above to be considered. The Madison, L’Opera and Sir Winston’s also received the Golden Bacchus Wine award.

The association’s 36th annual awards dinner was held on Sunday, March 14 in the Great Hall of the Aquarium of the Pacific where 200 restaurant writers and restaurateurs attended. This marked the first time in several years that the dinner was held in Long Beach. The meal was provided by L’Opera with service by SAVOR…Long Beach (Catering by SMG).

Members of the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association review more than 600 restaurants and hotel eateries from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border.

The awards are presented annually based on scores for food, service, ambiance and beverages. The association was formed in 1975 as a California nonprofit corporation that seeks to improve the quality of the restaurant industry in this region. To further this objective, the organization bestows awards upon restaurants and individuals whose standards of quality and service have been found to be of special merit.

The Southern California Restaurant Writers Association also awarded four starsgold, three starssterling silver and two starssilver awards, as well as recommendations, to restaurants in a variety of categories.

Other Long Beach restaurants that received awards in their respective categories include:

Four Stars: Awarded to restaurants that score an average of 90 or more points

  • DaVinci—Italian
  • Chelsea aboard The Queen Mary—Seafood
  • Parker’s Lighthouse—Seafood
  • Lasher’s—American
  • Tracht’s—American
  • Phil Trani’s—Italian
  • Elise’s Tea Room—Before Five

Three Stars: Awarded to restaurants scoring between 85 and 89 points

  • Alegria Cucina Latino—Ethnic (Spanish)
  • Viva Café at MoLAA—Ethnic (Spanish)
  • Utopia—Contemporary
  • Café Sevilla—Sunday Brunch
  • Michael’s On Naples—Promising New
  • Lotus Café—Ethic (Vietnamese)
  • La Palapa—Mexican
  • Jimmy’s Fish & Grill—Seafood

Two Stars: Awarded to restaurants with scores between 80 and 84 point

  • Café Piccolo—Italian
  • Café Ambrosia—Contemporary
  • Baba Ganoujj—Ethnic (Middle Eastern)

Special Venue

  • George’s Greek Café

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