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Chez Bacchus is a vastly underrated space, particularly for Long Beach. Overtaking a previous space which was riddled with problems and following a concept that never even led to open doors, owner and sommelier John Hansen has done what most thought was outright impossible: Create a white-cloth dining experience without the pretense—and made it successful.

With the onboarding of the incredibly humble, equally talented Chef Danny Kay, there’s been a nice shift that expands the space’s dedication to Californian cuisine: Yes, it includes some stellar, elevated dishes—like Chef Kay’s wonderful potato and chèvre-stuffed agnolotti with shaved Tuscan black truffle—and incredibly humble-but-also-incredible dishes—a braised pig ear, gluttonously gelatinous before Kay throws it in a tamarind concoction while crisping the slivers of ear.

But truly, what makes this space so vastly underrated is that it is keeping Long Beach’s white-cloth dining scene alive without making it feel un-Long Beach. Hansen’s exorbitant wine knowledge and masterful hospitality skills make for a dinner that is always one worth sharing with at least one other person—but if you dine by yourself, you won’t miss anything else for it because it will be enchanting.

Photos and written by Brian Addison. 

For Brian Addison’s full feature on Chez Bacchus when they first opened, click here.

And strange in that it admittedly evoked a bit of deja vu and nostalgia: It was several years ago that in the very space, Fourth & Olive attempted to bring white-cloth dining to Long Beach with a strictly Alsatian food and wine menu that eschewed trends and aimed to bring food the city rarely sees.

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