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“Trying hard, doesn't hit the mark” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Panama Joe's

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Panama Joe's
5100 E Second Street, Long Beach, CA 90803
562-434-7417
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Ranked #295 of 963 restaurants in Long Beach
Cuisines: Mexican
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Trying hard, doesn't hit the mark”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

We had not been to Panama Joes for quite a while (not wild about the food) but we'd heard the menu was updated and the food quite good. Bottom line: go for the drinks and maybe some appetizers. If you want a good meal, there are better options. Can't recommend the chips and salsa. Salsa is bland and the chips are thick and cold and not crispy or very crunchy. Maybe we got a bad batch. Server recommended the ceviche starter. I love a good ceviche but this wasn't it. The fish was very chewy; tasted okay (not great) but all in all not a pleasant dish. The fajitas were also highly recommended but not very good. The chicken was tough and chewy and the fajita vegetables were almost nonexistent - just a bit of onion and bell pepper. Rice was hard and crunchy. Refried beans rich and creamy but so bland they almost didn't taste like beans. My husband had a steak burrito that was okay - like all the other meat the steak was tough and chewy. Service was phenomenal - pleasant and attentive. Too bad the food isn't up to par. Margaritas were very good; we'll go back for a drink and to try a different appetizer.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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28 reviews from our community

50% Recommend
    7
    7
    5
    2
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great happy hour!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

The drinks are buy one, get one for a quarter during happy our and you get free chips and salsa. They also have discounted food during happy hour along with many other drink specials.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Youth is wasted on the young”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Panama Joe's is a better than average Mexican restaurant that offers a ton of "specials" on food and drink several days a week. It is a good place for lunch, but the new owners have done all they could to make it a "happening" place in the evening. Unfortunately, this emphasis has resulted in an influx of rowdy and/or intoxicated patrons. The noise level is extremely high, even when one of the bands that play nightly is on a break. The wicker chairs in the patio area are horrible. They will snag your clothing and are so unsteady as to be dangerous. The only parking is in a metered parking lot, or at the metered curbside. The local parking enforcement officers are extremely energetic...bring quarters!

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Good people watching from the outside seating area.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

We checked out this restaurant at Belmont Shore & the drinks were good with average food. We had the chicken nachos which were good but forgot they were served with refried beans on them. Not a big fan of them. Huge plate of nachos & you also get chips & salsa to start - so a ton of food.

Visited August 2012
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Long Beach, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“small town feel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

Panama Joes food and fun all rolled up in to one, the staff are so friendly. And the town belmont shores off the beach is just awesome.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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