I arrived to Bixby Knolls’ Art & Craft a couple weeks ago as a repeat first timer. First timer because Art & Craft Eatery is just weeks old, and I hadn’t had the opportunity to dine with them prior to my visit. Repeat, however, since I’d been to that particular location a few times – initially when it was Atun Sushi on a couple of occasions, and then last year as The 4262.
Just back from a trip the night before and off the following day in observance of Veteran’s Day, I’d taken that particular day off, giving me the morning all to myself (kid in school, husband at work). I arrived as Art & Craft’s first customer, waiting for the doors to open at 11:30, so I hadn’t planned on having a drank. But seeing the choice of sangria on their menu, I said to myself, Why not? Technically, I was still on vacation, and I had a few reasons to celebrate. My trip had been to the east coast to run the New York Marathon (and I finished!), and I’d be turning another year older the next day. So sangria it was. And burger it was – those of you who read me often know I’m not the biggest beef fan except when it comes to hamburgers. I often turkey and veggie my burgers, but a post-marathon, pre-birthday lunch by myself seemed a nice occasion to get beefy.
I’ll pause here to give a quick aside about Art & Craft Eatery. The owners are new – different than those running Atun and the 4262. From what I’ve heard, they’re excited to be in Bixby Knolls, and truly seem ready to offer something unique, fresh, and thoughtfully crafted to this hood – which is my hood. Their dinner menu has all of their lunch offerings in addition to a four-course prix fixe dinner that I’m looking forward to trying soon.
And I will be back soon – not just because of their attentive service and playful ambience. But because of the sangria! It brought the exact balance of flavors that I crave in one of my favorite drinks – tang, sweet, boldness. I can see myself walking over to Art & Craft on summer evenings with my husband, with friends, with family, for dinner and lots of sangria. If I hadn’t needed to be back on mom duty in a few hours, I would have had a second (and possibly a third) sangria before doing some boozy shopping nearby at Twig & Willow with my birthday money.
My burger and fries were mighty fine as well. It’s so annoying when I go beefy only to be disappointed. Art & Craft’s burger did not do me wrong. And neither did their fries. In fact, I could order just fries and sangria the next time I go and be wonderfully thrilled – they were impeccably salty and fluffy with a tender crisp.
As much as I enjoyed Art & Craft, I’m going to have to wait a few weeks to return, as I now need to get rid of some of this birthday/anniversary (which hit three days after my birthday)/marathon belly fat (believe it or not, some people gain weight when they run – I’m one of those people). While I’m sure Art & Craft’s salads are tasty, I don’t think I’ll be able to pass on sweet wine and fries (oh yes, I failed to mention the delicious aioli that I chose to have accompany my fries – I’d need that again too) on a second visit. I’ll use my longing for both as weight loss motivation. 🙂
Art & Craft Eatery in Long Beach’s Bixby Knolls
4262 Atlantic Avenue