Wokcano on the Promenade in Long Beach opened in April, 2009. It is the sixth and, currently the newest, location of this Asian fusion restaurant. Having eaten at their downtown Los Angeles location before, I had high expectations when I walked into this location. I was not disappointed. The layout was thoughtful, the atmosphere pleasant, and the service, friendly and efficient. Oh, and the food? First- class.
A band was playing when we walked in. We were given the choice of sitting in a dining area in the same room, or an area adjacent to it, which was less noisy. We opted for the quieter option, but noticed that the other room had tables filled with customers enjoying the live entertainment.
Although categorized as an Asian fusion restaurant, Wokcano’s menu can be divided into two main parts: sushi and Chinese entrees. For $2.95 more, an entrée can be ordered as a dinner, which includes a choice of hot and sour soup or miso soup, and a salad.
We ordered the dumplings as an appetizer. You have a choice of steamed or panned fried. We selected the pan-fried option. Unlike many other places, rather than deep frying the dumplings, they brown the skin on the three sides, maintaining the flavor of the filling, while giving the skin a slight crunch to it. Fans of the deep-fried method may be a little disappointed, but I am firmly in the lightly browned camp and it was prepared perfectly.
I ordered a spicy tuna hand roll, and again, first-class. The seaweed was high quality, and the tuna had a delicious kick to it. Although I did not order other sushi during this visit, and I shouldn’t incorporate my experience with the Los Angeles location, I will, nevertheless state, that I’m confident that the quality of the sushi at this location is equal to the downtown Los Angeles location, which I consider to have top rate sushi. Ergo, this location of Wokcano probably has some of the best sushi in Long Beach.
I ordered the aromatic shrimp, which are crispy breaded shrimp in a sweet and sour sauce, with a couple of broccoli crowns. The shrimp was crispy, but not heavy, and the sauce, more sweet than sour, but not overwhelming. My friend ordered the orange crispy chicken, which is marked spicy on the menu. However, the dish is not too spicy, and for me provided the right amount of kick. This is more of a “saucy” dish, and the chicken itself is cut flat, rather than round. In many other restaurants, when orange chicken is prepared in this manner, the skin overwhelms the meat. Wokcano’s orange chicken is meatier than other places, and thus, you get the full compliment of taste: the meat, the skin, and the sauce.
Whether sushi or Chinese entrees, it doesn’t matter which type of food you are in the mood for, Wokcano delivers first class quality. The same goes for the service, whether it’s being seated, orders taken, drinks re-filled, and tables bussed. It’s one of my go to places for sushi in Long Beach, and only after one visit, became my favorite restaurant for Chinese food in the LBC. And, if I’m in the mood for a sushi appetizer with a Chinese entrée, the decision is determined. It’s Wokcano.
Wokcano is located at 199 The Promenade North, Long Beach, CA, and five other locations throughout the Los Angeles area.