This Italian restaurant happily embodies the spirit of its namesake – Guiseppe Verdi’s beloved Italian opera, La Traviata. Upon entering, you’re met with the strains of music – not opera, but a nice soft jazz. Reminiscent of an Italian opera house, the lush interior of La Traviata features classic silk draperies at the windows, burnished al frescoed walls, romantic Italian paintings, and a touch of whimsical leopard upholstery. The feel is one of old world charm and comfort – the curtain is rising. Come in – Join in the song!
Act 1: Proprietor Mario Nasab greets us warmly and shares a bit of the history of the charming historic building in which La Traviata is located, right in the cultural center of downtown Long Beach. He is rightfully proud of the elegant dining room, and the adjoining bar is a popular gathering place where guests can enjoy their favorite cocktails while listening to live entertainment. As we wander the premises, we also peek in at The Lounge, a beautiful site for a private party or wedding, complete with a separate bar, dining area and full entertainment capacity.
Act 2: It’s time for dinner! La Traviata’s menu is nouveau-Italian, featuring traditional Italian dishes updated with modern culinary touches. Of note is the Lobster Tortelli with porcini mushroom cream sauce, Parmesan cheese and truffle oil. Caution: This dish may inspire you to burst into a Puccini aria. You will want to savor every succulent bite, so if your mouth is full please just hum.
Another award winning favorite at La Traviata is the melt-in-your-mouth Miso Glazed Chilean Seabass, exquisitely prepared and beautifully presented. You must try it. Other fine choices are the Roasted Diver Scallops with thyme, lemon, white wine beurre blanc served over a bed of arugula, and a duo of Filet Mignon and Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb served with burrata potato puree, grilled asparagus and chocolate syrah.
Act 3: “It’s not over until the fat lady sings.” Okay, maybe you’d prefer a different analogy – but really, you’ll want to try the classic tiramisu paired with a dense chocolate cake. With a cup of espresso, it was the perfect ending to our meal.
La Traviata is the place to come for stand out food, attentive and friendly service, and good times all around. “Please come back”, says Mario as we bid farewell. And that’s music to our ears.