Long Beach Lunch: Your House
The house you physically live in might be small or large or not even a house at all (I, for one, have never not shared a wall with others). But no matter what your living situation is, there will always be a seat for you at Long Beach's Your House, a sizable restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway that specializes in as much Thai food as it does Japanese, just like your actual home, I'm sure.
Shaded from street view by a near-forest of trees and shrubbery, Your House occupies a two-story pitched-roof structure that looks more like the neighborhood Bhuddist temples than an actual former house of any sort. After zooming past this blip on the block between Temple Ave. and Orizaba Ave. for years on my way to the Traffic Circle, I finally decided to pull into their on-site parking lot and take advantage of their extensive lunch specials, long advertised on a purple vinyl banner with more visibility than the restaurant itself.
Through the blue front porch entryway and past the sawadee welcoming statue by the hostess stand, the inside reveals a sunny low-cieling dining room and bamboo-fenced patio where tables of various sizes sit ready to accommodate any party, from couples to whole families, who arrive to feast on the seemingly neverending menu options.
Sarah Bennett Pork pad kee mow lunch special
A full spiral-bound list of laminated pages gets dropped at the table in case you want to order a la carte Thai dishes and sushi rolls from the hefty traditional and fusion menu, but arrive before 3 p.m. and the only menu you'll need is the lunch special one sheet, a front and back listing of daytime deals that trumps any other in Long Beach.
In doing this column for the last few years, it's become obvious when the lunch combos are afterthoughts. Most places just list a small selection of the cheapest and quickest-to-make food, bring the price point under $10 and call it a "special." With Thai restaurants, this means you're stuck ordering only common dishes like pad Thai and Panang curry. At sushi bars, it's tempura and meagerly stuffed California rolls.
Your House, thankfully, flips the whole "lunch combos as second-rate citizens" norm on its paltry little head with more than 24 Thai plates--from savory squid and chicken kai koow to spicy pork pad kee mow all served with a chicken broth soup and side of rice for $7.95--and eight high-class bento box selections that let you order the probably pricey items you want on a Long Beach luncher's budget.
The Thai food is tasty, but nothing too exceptional. Most impressive at Your House are the sushi deals. Each bento box is around $11 and includes miso soup, salad and a four-piece California roll, plus whichever of of the not-so-bite-sized house maki rolls you choose.
Sarah Bennett Princess roll bento box
Given that the Candy, Kryptonite, King of Kings and Rainbow rolls (my favorite is the Princess, a shrimp, crap and spicy tuna roll topped with bright orange masago and a sweet mango cream sauce) are all at least $11 each, the box is a steal. An extended list of special rolls--including Twin Tower, Double Tuna, Highway 3--are also buy one get one half off during lunch.
Your House might be nothing like a true home kitchen (unless you have a Latino sushi chef in the mix), but it is a good-vibes local restaurant full of Thai and Japanese cuisine with lunch prices that rival what you'd pay for the raw ingredients themselves.
Now that pre-beach summertime cruises down PCH are basically inevitable, there's no excuse to ignore the purple banner luring you past the green foliage, across the ample parking lot and into the largest pan-Asian house that Long Beach built.
Your House, 2838 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, (562) 498-4949