Wats for dinner?

Cambodian New Year is coming up fast and it’s a good excuse to learn to love another Asian cuisine. If you like Thai and Chinese, you should know that Long Beach is home to one of the largest Cambodian communities in the U.S. and has lots of great restaurants to prove it. Many are accessible by the Metro Blue Line and buses.

Metro rider David Lor, a Cambodian food devotee, generously agreed to share a few of his favorite places with other Metro riders. We’ll put them on the Metro Dining Map but we hope you’ll report back with good dishes and maybe even a few new places.

And if you’re in Long Beach this weekend you might want to check out the seventh annual Cambodian New Year Parade at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. It will be followed next weekend by the Cambodian New Year Celebration on Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at El Dorado Park, 7550 E. Spring St. in Long Beach. Of course there will be food booths; but what about the rest of the year?

Here are David’s Long Beach suggestions, gleaned from years of serious research: Phnom Penh Noodles  – most famous for their Cambodian breakfasts (rice porridge!) 1644 Cherry Ave; Sophy’s – Cambodian food in one of the nicer settings in the community, 3240 East Pacific Coast Highway; Siem Reap – close to Metro and located in Long Beach Cambodia Town, 1810 East Anaheim Street, and Crystal Cambodian/Thai Restaurant – also not far from Metro at 1165 East 10th Street. There’s also a Cambodian restaurant in L.A.’s Chinatown — New Battambang 648 New High Street, near Union Station.

While you’re dining, think of Cambodia’s incredible Angkor Wat, think of the jungle, think of the amazing civilization that was building stunning temples while some other cultures were sleeping in caves. You can’t take Metro to Cambodia but you can take it to dinner. Go Metro.