Part of this was to not deal with the driving up and down the 110, and Lakers game parking. The other part was to show her we really do have a rail transit system in Los Angeles.
After the game (which the Lakers won, woo-hoo), we rode the train back to Long Beach and, back in The Militant's car, searched for a place to eat. It was already past 11 p.m., and late night eats in the LBC, unlike Hollywood or Koreatown, were slim pickins.
After circling up and down Long Beach Boulevard, there were few choices available. As this was a visitor from out of town, national chain restaurants were a no-no. And even the venerable Long Beach Roscoe's was nearing closing time.
What, to do, what to do?
The Militant pulled out his unspecified smartphone and entered, "24 HOUR RESTAURANT LONG BEACH"
The 24-Hour Cafe.
Sometimes the best answer is the most obvious one.
This cafe wasn't in Downtown nor the Belmont Shore area but in a relatively desolate area of West Long Beach - an industrial area just north of the Long Beach Harbor, on the northwest corner of Anaheim Street and Santa Fe Avenue.
In a part of Long Beach more populated by cargo containers, oil refinery tanks and industrial buildings than people, drive by and you'll probably miss it. But the cafe's proximity to the 100-year old harbor is actually its greatest unique asset. After all, the port is a round-the-clock operation and the cafe serves it appropriately. A port-area family-owned institution since 1954, 24-Hour Cafe has served port-bound truckers not just food but amenities such as a lounge, a game room, a pool table and hot shower facilities.
The I-5 past The Grapevine. But this is located towards the destination (or the origin) of a trucker's route. They are likely less tired, less weary. It's certainly an aspect of Long Beach life that doesn't get highlighted very much.
One their way out, The Militant rummaged towards the back of the restaurant, his eyes heading towards every sign of truck driver culture. One such thing was a bulletin board near the bathrooms. One flier reminded drivers that idling for more than five minutes was against state law (pictured right).
It was true Militant serendipity that he found this place. Now, the question of where to eat late at night the next time he's in the Long Beach/Wilmington area has already been answered. This place is definitely Militant-Approved. Good, affordable food, no 'tude and the place just oozes being local. And did The Militant mention they also have Wi-Fi? Definitely worth a return trip!
|STAY MILITANT, 24-HOUR CAFE MASCOT COWBOY!|