Getting to the Plunge restaurant is almost like going to a speakeasy. But it’s well worth the effort.
Get buzzed into the building. Go up the stairs and down the hall. There’s no door to Plunge, just a beautiful open room with an IMAX view of the ocean and a fireplace in the middle.
And they’ll lend you binoculars to check out the view.
There’s room between the tables, a large community table and conversation areas including one consisting only of giant, comfortable cushions. It’s also the kind of place where a person can come in, set up a computer and work for a while.
And it’s excellent for rehearsal dinners.
Although it’s a pretty upscale place, it still has a couple of shelves of games in a corner of the bar.
Their goal is to have the food match the view.
“We want use the best ingredients,” co-owner Randy Kolstad said. “We want to make sure everyone — customers, staff and vendors — goes away happy.”
Something For Everyone
The co-owners are long time veterans of the Long Beach restaurant scene. Kolstad and Stephanie Carlough (owner of Steamed Organic) have created an eclectic mixture of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
There’s a 100% Vegan Falafel burger with a red lentil base ($15) on a ciabatta bun.
But if you need beef, there’s also a Certified Angus Beef burger with Gouda cheese. Don’t miss the flavorful garlic fries.
The most popular dish is Happy Tuna Melt. It’s 100% vegetarian with a chickpea base, melted Swiss cheese and served open face on sourdough.
And they have vegan s’mores.
“I can’t tell you the recipe,” Kolstad said. “But it’s not marsh marshmallow, not milk chocolate. You can’t tell the difference.”
And there’s vegetarian Ceviche with a citrus-based marinade, orange lentils/strawberry/cucumber avocado/Jalapeno/cilantro/taro root chips.
It’s wine and beer at Plunge. The wine list emphasizes organic, non-GMO sustainable wines.
There’s even a wine dispenser. Customers can select from whites or reds and choose the size of the pour. They feature local beers, six flavors of Kombucha, house-made Italian sodas and Mexican Coke.
Everything is made on site — Crème Brule, Strawberry Puff pastry and those Vegan S’mores.
Brunch features the Smokehouse Scramble (bacon, sausage, ham and cheddar cheese), the Plunge Parfait (fresh berries, house made granola) and the Love Pita, a garlic pita.
The original Plunge was a bathhouse in the old Pike that closed in 1976. The motto was, “Where children of all ages come for enjoyment of the day.”
That’s a pretty good goal.
Location Location Location
It’s on the second floor of the Ocean Beach Club Apartments. Besides a concierge, there’s a keypad for entry. There’s street parking, but it’s easier to use a cab or a car service. If you drive, park in the lot at the bottom of Junipero near the lifeguard station. It’s a short walk.
Important To Know
Plunge offers catering.
They have Trivia on Tuesday and live music on Wednesday.
Plunge is at 1900 E. Ocean Blvd. The phone number is (562) 373-7164. The website is www.plungelbc.com. They open at 11 a.m. weekdays at 9 a.m. on weekends.