I fluttered my wings, they seemed to lift me out of the nest a few inches, I hovered lightly above the safe home in which I resided with 4 other girls. I stepped trepidatiously to the edge, “could I keep a flight?” I wondered. Electricity, gas, fuel for the car, my incredibly frugal grocery trips, health insurance and my ever-failing-earthy-Jeep. I took the risk, fall- sure it might happen but I’d land safely and with my little tail feathers tucked between my legs- humbly asking mom to warm up my horse haven bedroom from childhood. The risk minimal- I signed the lease, as long as I work my tush off I’ll get t0 have an entire cozy, as the craigslist ad’s like to say, beach front studio to myself.
This has been an incredible blessing, an answer to earnest heavy prayers and a liberating journey. I wanted so greatly to have a place that I could convey my style, cook lots and lots of Lovelieats and have utter and complete silence while pouring over my beloved bookcase. Thank you Lord.
There’s more- not only is this sweet little studio on the beach, it’s also just a prance away from another quaint little home that has the pleasure of hosting not just me but many. The Attic is a refurbished 1920’s home – owned and operated by Long Beach local, Steve Massis. Massis talks on his website about his life-long ambition to open a restaurant and how the Attic has fulfilled that dream whole-heartedly. In the past, Massis has managed Open Sesame as well as La Creperie on 2nd street- both unique and charming restaurants in their own respects. The Attic was to be something of it’s own entirely.
Steve wanted a restaurant that made people feel at home, comfortable and without the glitz and showiness of many restaurants. He achieved this by choosing mismatched china, flatware and cups. The furniture all has a different feel as well- the tables showcasing the artwork of local Long Beach artists and the throw pillows throughout the home- all a different pattern.
I’ve eaten there on several occasions during my short while of residence in Long Beach- the night of my move was the first of my many perfect meals. I was exhausted from unpacking and frazzled at the amount of boxes that I had somehow accumulated over my 4 years at the condo with the girls. I had so much organizing to do and no idea where to start. My boyfriend at the time came and saved the day, suggesting a venture to the restaurant I so longed to try after hearing wonderful reviews of it’s cozy ambiance and divine eats. I was surprised at the quick walk to the restaurant- just around the river bend as some might say. The day melted away as the hostess perched us at a comfortable bench on the patio, handing me blankets and fluffing pillows before we sat- I was in an absolute heavenly state. We both ordered decadent vegetarian dishes, a Portobello wellington- Portobellington- for him and the most scrumptious Black bean veggie burger for me- fried pickles, pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayo and all atop an onion brioche. Yum.
I’ve gone there twice more now- it’s a comical meal for those dining with me- I hover over their food as it’s served taking photo after photo, making sure to catch the meal in it’s perfect light. Some of my best girlfriends and I had dinner at the restaurant shortly after my first visit, the food and ambiance just as welcoming and warm at their indoor-outdoor bar.
The girls ordered luscious plates of Jambalaya, Reuben sandwiches, gigantic potpies and The Ninny for me-, which was ridiculous to say the least. The Ninny-
despite it’s incriminating name- packs a flavor-laden punch- toasted sourdough bread and jack cheese melted scrupulously over perfectly ripe avocado with a slightly spicy “Zinger” sauce. I also discovered my new very favorite cocktail on this evening- whoever decided to combine Tabasco, lemondade, mint and vodka in one perfectly shaken mason jar is a wizard.
My last visit to the Attic was my house-warming gathering. My close friend had just moved to the city as well, both our places a bit quaint to host a larger dinner party at- so we hosted it at someone else’s house- The Attic. Gathered around a big welcoming dining table we spent the night laughing and making memories in our new town, enjoying dishes full of flavor and hearts full of love in a home away from home. Keep it up Attic- you’ve got something special.