If you’re looking for an intriguing place for brunch, consider Fuego at The Maya Hotel in Long Beach. The food is commendable and the setting alone is worth the visit. The restaurant is open to the Long Beach harbor and has views from the skyline to the Queen Mary. With a band just outside the dining room playing live salsa music, the mood is that of a relaxing day on the Mexican Rivera.
The brunch menu is definitely Mexican but traditional brunch diners will find the requisite eggs and pancakes…although the pancakes are made with blue corn and served with prickly pear syrup.
Accompanying each entree order is the small but impressive salad bar which is loaded with traditional Mexican pastries along with fresh fruits and veggies. My faves from the bar were the corn salad (simple and flavorful) and the jicama + mango salad which was like eating a crunchy mojito.
The service was impeccable but a little slow after we ordered our three entrees: the cerveza carnitas, the fiesta breakfast (pancakes, eggs, and bacon), and the baja lobster. I wondered if the lobster held up the other dishes which seemed like they should come out quickly. Our water glasses and coffee cups were well attended to, however, and dirty dishes were removed promptly.
All of the entrees were delicious with the blue corn pancakes and the lobster (and accompanying black beans) being the stand outs. The carnitas needed a dash of salt and the eggs and bacon were good but par for the course.
We also had the prickly pear and orange mimosa as well as the sangria. The mimosa was delicious with a slight kick from the prickly pear. The sangria was flavorful but we requested an additional dose of simple syrup to make it sweeter; it was more on the dry, fruity side.
In all I highly recommend Fuego at The Maya Hotel. The setting is absolutely gorgeous and the staff are on point. The food is satisfying but perhaps slightly expensive for the casual diner ($17 for the pancakes, eggs, and bacon; $32 for the lobster). But for a special occasion or a romantic Sunday brunch get away, there’s probably no place like it in LA.
Oh, another tip, roam the grounds after brunch. Between building #2 (the hotel is broken up into 4 or five buildings over several acres) there is a cool lounge made out of a huge umbrella. If you’re lucky (and we were on this summer day) there will be a a bar and a DJ there playing salsa music. Altogether, it makes for the perfect spot to chill after breakfast and watch the boats sail by.