Hello, Saint & Second in Long Beach, CA

Things have been a bit busy since I arrived at Long Beach a few days ago, but earlier today, we finally had an opportunity to get most of our staff together and enjoy a team dinner. Unfortunately, California is lagging noticeably behind nationwide CDC guidance on COVID-19 response, so we still had to split our group up into two smaller parties in order to comply with state and local ordinances, but it was still a good meal.

We went to Saint & Second, an American restaurant on 2nd Street in Long Beach.

Saint & Second

Saint & Second

To start, we got a dozen West Coast oysters with a side of white balsamic mignonette, cocktail sauce, and lime. My table had four people including my­self, so we each got three oysters.

West Coast oyster

For our main courses, our Producer opted for Skuna Bay salmon with basil brown butter, hazelnuts, green beans, and crème fraîche mash.

Skuna Bay salmon

Our Director of Post-Production went with natural filet mignon with fennel purée, kamut, and rainbow carrots, accompanied with some port wine sauce.

Natural filet mignon

Our Creative Director ordered oxtail gnocchi with prosciutto and brown butter, roasted mushrooms, arugula, and burrata.

Oxtail gnocchi

And finally, for my dish, I got bison short rib with carrot mash, spring onion, peas, and bison jus.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of my selection. I’m not sure if this is because I just had some of the best melt-in-your-mouth barbecue ribs in Oklahoma not even a month ago and now everything else tastes lacking, but the bison ribs seemed fairly underwhelming. The outside of the cut was overcharred, and the bit­terness of the burnt meat overwhelmed the flavor of the actual bison.

For my beverage, I had a glass of house blueberry lemonade. It was a lot more sour than I expected, but I guess that’s technically a good thing, because that means there was less sugar and more fruit. That also ended up being helpful later on, because the sourness of my drink pierced through some of the bit­terness of the burnt bison. The lemonade came with free refills, but I only managed to down two glasses because of its tartness.

I also ordered a side of truffled thin fries with blue cheese sauce and truffle oil. The fries were sauced unevenly, but apart from that, they were fair­ly straight­forward and satisfying.

Bison short rib

My co-workers at my table ordered alcohol, and there was also an entire second table, so I’m not going to do a full cost breakdown like usual, but here are the pricepoints of the aforementioned items:

West Coast oysters ×12 $  39.00
Skuna Bay salmon $  28.00
Natural filet mignon $  42.00
Oxtail gnocchi $  23.00
Bison short rib $  33.00
Truffled thin fries $   9.00
House blueberry lemonade $   5.00

Our Director of Post-Production seemed to be of the opinion that this restaurant had high-end food, and online reviews for Saint & Second are generally positive, so I think I might have just gotten a little bit unlucky with my choice of dish (or rather, just the way it was prepared).

I selected bison because it seemed like a good balance between “interesting” and “something I’ll probably like,” but I suspect I probably would have en­joyed my meal better if I had just gotten a regular signature burger. Also potentially relevant is the fact that I didn’t get much sleep last night and had been micro-napping throughout the day, so my senses might have been a bit dull.

Overall, this isn’t a place where I would be dying to come back to for a second meal, but the experience wasn’t bad either. If you’re in Long Beach and want to check out some different restaurants, I’d say this place is definitely worth adding to your list of considerations.