When I was in high school, I went to the beach a lot during the summer to watch the sun rise with a good friend of mine (R.I.P. She's not dead, just in Kentucky). We passed by this restaurant often, never knowing what it was. Discovering Naples Rib Company now makes me wish I found this place earlier.
I found this restaurant while searching for places for dineL.A.'s restaurant week. I wanted somewhere close to my house, and Naples was one of the closest restaurants with one of the highest ratings on http://opentable.com.
Naples Rib Company provides valet parking for customers. The valet lot is small, but it is complimentary. However, if you miss the lot, there is also street parking on the small streets surrounding the restaurant. Located near the beach (technically the neighborhood is on a small island connected by 2nd Street), this neighborhood is filled with quaint houses. It is a visual splendor for those who love interesting architecture and quiet neighborhoods.
Entering the restaurant, the atmosphere is a throw back to the old school days of restauranteering. There is a large bar on the right and cozy booths that fill up the left side of the restaurant. It is dimly lit and intimate, with deco similar to the show "Cheers". I talked to the hostess and within two minutes of checking in, we got a booth.
The service is prompt, offering a big smile and large, freshly baked corn loaf with sweet butter. It was just the prelude to the amazing food to come.
Their selection of food is vast and amazing. They specialize in all the goodies of Americana food, and each and everyone of them are mouthwateringly delicious. Some of their favorite starters are the grilled artichoke and their signature onion straw brick. For the onion straw brick, think of the Awesome Blossom at Chili's except in brick form and much more delicious. It is served with their BBQ sauce and is a behemoth of an appetizer. Some could get full from just these two appetizers.
The grilled artichoke was flavored with sea salt, cracked pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. They serve it with Hollandaise, mayonnaise, and clarified butter. It is immensely flavorful and extremely delicious.
Then the entrees. Each entree comes with a grilled vegetable (sometimes asparagus, sometimes corn on the cob, depending on season), a slice of fruit (cantaloupe or pineapple), and your choice of two sides. That means you get four sides for your entree! Ridiculous! Some of the choices you are given are: BBQ baked beans, creamed corn, French fries, garlic mashed potatoes, coleslaw, chili, mac n' cheese, steamed vegetables, and sweet potato mash.
The portions are amazing in quantity. Nothing is so small where you're left unsatisfied with wha you receive. You won't believe something as small as a side of chili can contain so much flavor. It has diced green onions and cheese on top. You can taste the rustic flavors of the beans, herbs, and stock. With a side order of fries, you can try to make your own chili fries.
The tri-tip is so tender, you could probably cut it with a butter knife. The flavor runs out with each bite, and you're going to want something fibrous to sop up the juices.
The ribs here are amazing. They are tender, yet crispy on the outside. The sauce is subtle. They fall off the bone and regardless of which rib style you choose (St. Louis, beef ribs, baby back), they are all a good choice. After all, they've got the word "rib" in their name. At the end of the meal, you are given hot towels and to go boxes for all those leftovers you'll have.
Naples Rib Company is the bee's knees. This place is brilliant in it's hometown simplicity, but complex flavors. It is a crowd pleaser, a favorite among foodies, and just a great place to meet and hang out. If you've never had the pleasure of enjoying an all around great dinner, from the ambiance to the quality of food, take a drive down to Naples Rib Company and treat yourself to higher quality living.
Naples Rib Company
5800 E 2nd Street
Long Beach, CA 90803