Southwestern Flavor at Panxa Cocina in Long Beach

Sunday brunch is one of the meals many of us look forward to each week. What is better than sleeping in and then getting up late to meet friends for a long leisurely brunch filled with cocktails, good food and conversation? All this makes for a perfect Sunday and a great place to do it is Panxa Cocina in Long Beach.

Located in Belmont Heights, Panxa Cocina sits on an isolated block of Broadway, a few blocks away from numerous restaurants and shops. But, despite the quiet location, inside Panxa Cocina is a packed house with a warm yet relaxing vibe on a Sunday morning.

Showcasing modern Latin and New Mexican cuisine, the interior has a hip, southwestern vibe to it. A beautiful painted Indian Chief’s profile covers one wall, wooden baskets embrace the light fixtures and handmade adobe plates adorn the tables.

Chef Arthur Gonzalez, whose heritage is German and Oaxacan, worked in New Mexico for many years under James Beard award-winning Chef Eric Distefano of Coyote Café and Geronimo, as well as at Señor Lucky’s in Santa Fé. Inspired by their southwestern roots, Chef Gonzalez and his business partner Vanessa Auclair opened Panxa Cocina with a menu of authentic New Mexican dishes, as well as Oaxacan dishes influenced from his grandmother.

Like every good brunch, we started with cocktails. To add a little flair to the mimosa, you can add mango or hibiscus. For a wake-up kick, The Broadway Bloody will do just that. Made with house-infused hatch-green chili vodka, house-made tomato mix and a tajin rim, this is one spicy Bloody Mary.

Being a brunch menu, there both breakfast and lunch dishes. As we were starting a bit late and our brunch was more like an early lunch, we began with the Ceviche Mixto appetizer made with whitefish, pico de gallo and pepitas on an aji amarillo sauce.

While the Burritos were tempting, we chose two items from the New Mexico Favorites section.

The Navajo Taco is a choice of pork, chicken or short rib, pickled slaw and Oaxacan crema on New Mexican fry bread. Crunchy on the outside and tender in the middle, I love fry bread and remember eating it every time we went on a family trip to New Mexico.

For the Stacked Enchilada, we chose short rib and Christmas salsa, a mix of chimayo and green chili salas. As it was brunch, we also added a fried egg on top.

When it comes to brunch, I like to save the sweet dishes like pancakes and waffles for dessert. So we finished the meal with Blue Corn Pinon Pancakes with berry compote and piloncillo syrup. Not too sweet, the pancakes were a perfect end to Sunday brunch.

Panxa means belly in Catalan. Brunch at Panxa Cocina made my panxa very happy.

Panxa Cocina
3937 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90803