RelyEx Solutions

Drayage Brokersin Long Beach, CA

Contact RelyEx today to quote your next shipment.

Because a drayage load can mean a few different things, confusion among carriers is common. Many carriers link drayage with going into a port, but that isn't always true. While all drayage loads typically originate from a port of entry, there are often several legs of a drayage journey before a container turns up at its final stop. Legs of a drayage load may include:

Why Are Drayage Companies in Long Beach, CA So Important?

You may be thinking, what's so important about drayage? It's such a small step in the container storage transport process. In reality, it's an integral piece needed in the logistics industry and a crucial part of U.S. supply chain management.

To truly understand the importance of drayage, let's use flowers as an example. Most cut flower shipments enter the market from areas in South America until they end up at Dutch auction houses. Once there, wholesalers purchase flowers in bulk and send those products to retail outlets worldwide. Because flowers are perishable, they typically need to be refrigerated and are often shipped in reefer containers. These refrigerated vessels must maintain a certain temp to prevent loss.

Drayage companies like RelyEx allow flower shippers to send their products from Argentinian ports to airports in the Netherlands with peace of mind because their products are protected. The only way to accomplish this feat is with the help of swift, meticulous port drayage services. Drayage companies allow flower shippers to send their products from Argentinian ports to airports in the Netherlands with peace of mind, because their products are protected. The only way to accomplish this feat is with the help of swift, meticulous port drayage services.

If port drayage is compromised, it can cause delays and even fines. You know the packages you get delivered to your front door from apps like Amazon? Without drayage and drayage brokers, one or two-day shipping times wouldn't even be possible.

As a multi-billion-dollar industry in the U.S. alone, it seems like drayage shipping issues shouldn't exist. But the fact is inefficiencies and congestion are still major problems at ports. Whether it's a lack of carriers, absent chassis, or overburdened terminals, delays lead to missed deadlines, lost revenue, and worse.

But anytime challenges exist, so too do innovative solutions.

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 Drayage Long Beach, CA


 Drayage Services Long Beach, CA


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RelyEx Solves Problems

At RelyEx, we like to consider ourselves problem solvers. The nature of the container drayage industry presents new challenges every day, but we're firm believers that there's a solution to every hurdle we encounter. And while some drayage businesses implement a reactive approach, RelyEx customers choose us for our proactive mindset. We take pride in solving your company's drayage challenges to help you avoid frustrating fees, missed expectations, and delayed shipments. We strive to make every transaction successful and streamlined by partnering with shippers who prioritize transparent, prompt, and accurate communication.

 Ocean Container Drayage Long Beach, CA

RelyEx Has a Unique Vantage Point

RelyEx approaches your business from the customer's perspective - a unique approach that helps us provide high-quality, effective drayage services. We've been in the customers' shoes, know their pain points, and because of that, provide first-hand solutions to stressful supply chain issues. With over 30 years of collective knowledge, our team excels in:

  • Inventory Management
  • Logistics
  • Purchasing
  • Finance

Our varied, high-level drayage shipping experience helps us achieve our overarching goal: expertly managing your freight movement needs. That way, you can direct your time and focus on growing the core aspects of your business while we handle the heavy lifting. Throw in proactive planning to avoid bottleneck situations and strong communication for transparent customer relations, and you can see why so many companies trust RelyEx.

 Warehousing Long Beach, CA

RelyEx Nurtures Strong Carrier Relationships

When it comes to shipping logistics, it only takes one mistake by a mediocre worker to disrupt your business. That's why, at RelyEx, we pride ourselves on forming and nurturing relationships with carriers who match our standards of care. Our founding partner started his career transporting freight for companies as an on-demand carrier. He uses that knowledge to maximize the resources of our carriers so that our customer's expectations aren't just met - they're exceeded.

Based in the port city of Long Beach, RelyEx has a keen understanding of the challenges of managing the inbound and outbound flow of containers. Our team of container drayage experts provides your business with unique solutions to nuanced shipping problems, minimizing demurrage and ensuring the successful delivery of your freight.

 Transloading Long Beach, CA

Customers choose RelyEx because:

  • We are a reliable drayage logistics partner that manages your freight from beginning to end
  • We have a rare industry vantage point with 30+ years of client-side experience
  • We foster and fortify the strongest vendor relations
  • We take a proactive approach to problem-solving, not a reactive approach
Let us know how we can help.
Container Services Long Beach, CA

Your Drayage Shipments Managed from Start to Finish

Some drayage brokers don't care how customers feel about their service as long as they sign a contract and get paid. As a solutions-oriented team, RelyEx takes the opposite approach. We're motivated by the opportunity to overachieve for our customers and to provide them with the best logistics experience possible. With professional experience as carriers and shippers ourselves, we know the roadblocks and challenges you're facing. We excel at mapping out the best plans of action to solve those problems. But that's just the start.

Our tracking experts monitor and manage every aspect of your drayage shipment from booking to delivery, 24/7. Once booked, we look for the availability of your containers hourly once they're at port. When they arrive, our team acts quickly to access your storage containers when they're available.

Plus, RelyEx ensures your company's requirements are met by the carrier during loading and delivery and provide necessary documentation as fast as possible. With real-time tracking updates and access to our customer service professionals, your team has complete visibility throughout the shipping process.

We Source Top-Notch Operators at the Best Prices

Over the years, RelyEx has built a strong network of drayage carriers, transloading locations, and container storage spaces to provide you with the best possible options to match your drayage service needs. We know that searching for quality service presents an added layer of complexity and stress to our customers. That's why we work hard to take that off your plate by connecting you with our reliable shipping partners.

With a background moving freight as an on-demand carrier, our founding partner understands how to maximize the resources and equipment of our carriers to match your needs.

 Drayage Long Beach, CA
 Drayage Services Long Beach, CA

We Make Transparent, Timely Communication a Priority

Like other industries, the global logistics space is complex. Mistakes will be made, and problems will happen. With those truths in mind, RelyEx has built its reputation as problem solvers. Unlike other drayage companies, we don't shy away from this industry's complexities because we take pride in solving problems. Even better, we aim to do what's needed to avoid those problems altogether.

As your logistics partner, we will provide your company with accurate, transparent, and prompt communication. If there are unexpected issues, we'll notify you immediately and will provide several options to remedy the problem. We even offer custom reporting for large clients who need at-the-moment updates and quick access to shipment documentation.

We Have Robust Project Management Experience

Why let the unpredictability of your industry dictate your success? With a background working in manufacturing, our founders are familiar with the demands of managing production schedules and sales orders. That experience makes it abundantly clear to us that every business and industry is different. If you struggle with seasonal surges or other factors, our team supports your business with a mapped-out plan and schedule, so you stay ahead of the game.

 Full Truck Load Long Beach, CA

Paperwork Errors

Typically, shippers need four specific documents to clear shipments through customs: A Bill of Lading (or BOL), a commercial invoice, a packing list, and an arrival notice. Seasoned drayage brokers like RelyEx are used to preparing these documents, but new shippers tend to miss this step due to inexperience.

Payment Delays

If a shipper only pays for part of their shipment, a vessel operator may refuse to release their freight until their bill is fully paid. Payment delays lead to cargo detention at the port of entry, which triggers demurrage charges.


Documents Received Too Late

Paperwork is needed when you're shipping goods with a drayage company. When documents like the Certificate of Origin or Bill of Lading arrive at their destination late, you can expect demurrage fees. RelyEx avoids this situation entirely by being proactive when submitting paperwork.

Additional causes for demurrage fees can include:

  • Damaged Container Storage
  • Custom Released Containers
  • Storage Containers Are Too Heavy

Free Consultation


The Supply Chain Partner You Can Count On

At RelyEx, we know first-hand how stressful supply chain problems can be for business owners. Though drayage shipping might seem minor on the surface, it affects every stage of your shipping process. And when inevitable hurdles manifest, RelyEx propels you over the proverbial roadblocks with a proactive mindset and a passion for challenging projects. We believe that all problems have a solution, and our unique vantage point allows us to provide first-hand solutions to customers in a wide array of industries.

When it comes to your business, don't settle for anything less than RelyEx. Contact our office today to learn more about how we make your shipping experience streamlined and stress-free.


Latest News in Long Beach, CA

Fresh renderings for proposed apartment tower at 615 E. Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach

A presentation scheduled for the November 2 meeting of the Long Beach Planning Commission offers a closer look at a proposed high-rise development on Ocean Boulevard.The proposed project from WPH Holdings...

A presentation scheduled for the November 2 meeting of the Long Beach Planning Commission offers a closer look at a proposed high-rise development on Ocean Boulevard.

The proposed project from WPH Holdings, slated to replace a surface parking lot at 615 E. Ocean Boulevard, calls for the construction of a 21-story tower which would feature 203 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments above parking for 261 vehicles in an automated garage.

Studio One Eleven

Requested entitlements include development incentives through Long Beach's "enhanced density bonus," which permits an array of on- and off-menu bonuses to allow greater floor area and waivers of other zoning standards. In exchange for the incentives, WPH would be required to set aside 13 of the new apartments as deed-restricted affordable housing at the very low-income level.

Studio One Eleven is designing 615 Ocean, which would rise to an apex of 257 feet above street level, and also calls for resident amenities including outdoor decks, a rooftop pool, a fitness center, lounge rooms, a game room, and a club room. Balconies are planned for roughly one third of the apartments.

Studio One Eleven

"The project design features a modern sleek treatment including a staggered protrusion element that serves as balcony space and an architectural aesthetic appeal," reads a staff report to the Planning Commission. "The lower levels also include a concealed curtain wall system with fritted glazing surrounding the automated parking facility."

The staff report indicates that the project meets the standards required for the city's enhanced density bonus and other local zoning rules, and recommends approval of the project.

Studio One Eleven

The 615 Ocean development would rise from a property located just west of Shoreline Gateway, a recently-completed 35-story tower that now ranks as the tallest building in Long Beach. Construction was also completed recently for a new high-rise from Vancouver-based developer Onni Group at the intersection of Broadway and Long Beach Boulevard.

WPH Holdings, outside of its proposed high-rise in Long Beach, has focused its efforts on affordable housing developments in the City of Los Angeles.

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10 of the best vegan restaurants in Long Beach to celebrate World Vegan Month

Learn. Connect. Act. Support independent journalism by becoming a member today.JOIN NOW Posted inThe Hi-lo Whether you’re a self-declared flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian, a straight-up carnivore or a fully fledged vegan, it’s never a bad idea to load up on greens or skip meat for a meal here and there.Personally, I pivoted to a vegetarian (occa...

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Posted inThe Hi-lo

Whether you’re a self-declared flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian, a straight-up carnivore or a fully fledged vegan, it’s never a bad idea to load up on greens or skip meat for a meal here and there.

Personally, I pivoted to a vegetarian (occasionally pescatarian) diet last November and I haven’t looked back. Over the past year, I’ve been on a mission to explore everything plant-based Long Beach has to offer. And there were a surprising amount of places that made that transition easy as pie.

Since it is World Vegan Day and the rest of November is World Vegan Month, I thought I’d share some of my favorite veggie-head eateries around Long Beach.

And if you’re imagining biting into a bland kale and sprouts sandwich or one of those black-bean burgers that were around long before the days of high-quality meat mimicry, hear me out, things have changed.

Get with the times by trying one of these plant-based restaurants listed below—in no particular order.

Vegan Castle – 2400 Santa Fe Ave.

From the moment I took a bite of sashimi at 15 years old, sushi became my favorite food. And I blame this wonderful Japanese cuisine as my one holdout to fully claiming a strict vegetarian diet. That being said, when I discovered Vegan Castle on the Westside, it unexpectedly quelled that nagging sushi craving I have never been able to stifle.

This plant-based wizardry of a sushi restaurant really hits the spot. If you go, try the rainbow roll, the shrimpless tempura roll and the ocean roll. Plus, they have a great selection of beer and sake.

PlanTita’s – 1950 W. Willow Street

PlanTita’s (not to be confused with Plantiitas on Retro Row) is Long Beach’s newest vegan offering, and it’s also located on the Westside. Owner Aileen Castañeda has worked hard to replicate her grandmother and mother’s traditional Mexican recipes sans meat or dairy. PlanTita’s offers dishes like the pozole verde made with jackfruit, aguachile using hearts of palm instead of seafood, elote fried “Ribbs,” queso-loaded fries with braised soyrizo and more.

The Plant Butchers – 500 W. Broadway

Two words: vegan deli. Yes, this is a thing. The Plant Butchers, which opened on Oct. 1 in Downtown, is where Long Beach vegans can finally indulge in a whole spectrum of meatless meat and cheeseless cheese. They serve breakfast, salads, ribs, charcuterie, sandwiches, pastries and beyond. The deli opened next to LA-based Sugar Taco (we’ll get to them next), and both vegan ventures are co-owned by Nia Gatica Campos. Try the Reuben: House-made pastrami, sauerkraut, provolone cheese and Russian dressing on marbled rye—nut, dairy and meat free.

Sugar Taco – 500 W. Broadway

When the powerful vegan taco craze swept Los Angeles, Sugar Taco was at the forefront in 2019. This spring, Gatica Campos and her fellow co-owners opened a third location in Downtown Long Beach, where they make their own seitan—a key ingredient to mastering healthy meatless meals. For starters, try their fish taco, which is served with a gluten-free tortilla, tofu-based breaded fish, chipotle crema, curtido and cilantro. For die-hard baja fish taco lovers, you’ll hardly taste a difference.

Wild Chive – 2650 E. Broadway

If you haven’t heard of Wild Chive, you’ve either been hiding under a carnivorous rock or maybe you’re new around these parts. If you’re looking for some serious southern comfort food or just a hangover-quelling brunch, this is your new spot. From the Monte Cristo to the Southern Fried Chick’n Sammie—this is where you’ll find some of the city’s best vegan soul food.

Hart and Soul – 3418 Long Beach Blvd.

And speaking of soul food, Hart and Soul is another new-ish plant-based eatery in Long Beach. Here are some of the mouth-watering menu items I’m dying to try—Coulda Fooled Ya Chili Carrot Dogs: two carrot chili dogs with cashew cheese served with a side of tater tots, and Tony’s Nuggets: Fried oyster mushroom “chicken” nuggets with a side of tots. They also offer taco Tuesday with jackfruit tacos.

Nice Burger – 2620 Long Beach Blvd.

If you’re looking for a concerningly convincing old-fashioned burger, Nice Burger will be your new best friend. They’ve got four bright and colorful fast-food locations in Orange County and now they’ve got a spot in North Long Beach. They have menu items that pay eerily similar tribute to classics you might find at Carl’s Jr., McDonald’s, Burger King and more. For breakfast, try the NiceMuffin: sausage, egg and cheese. Personally, I’m smitten with the Big Guy: cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles and Thousand Island.

VBurger – 420 Cherry Ave.

Another spot to get your guilt-free burger n’ “cheeze” fix is VBurger. Owners Paula and Alex Armstrong set out to open a vegan pop-up driven by animal rights values in 2019 and ended up gathering enough of a following to open up their own shop. They are now beloved for their classic Beyond and Impossible meat burgers like the Deuce Deuce and other items like the V Breaky Sando, the V Cali Burrito, Super Nachos, asada fries and more.

Seabirds Kitchen – 975 E. Fourth Street’

For whatever it’s worth, Seabirds Kitchen gets my official date-night stamp of approval for those looking to leave animal-based proteins out of their outing. This cute little spot on Fourth Street does so much right. For starters, can we talk about the Bibimbap Bowl? It’s brown rice, steamed kale, Korean jackfruit, fermented cauliflower, fried kimchi, crushed peanut, gochujang, ali yolk creme and green onion. Their Beets Me Burger and jackfruit nachos are also delicious.

Cena Vegan – Partake Collective, 456 Elm Ave.

And last but certainly not least, is Cena Vegan. Long before this taco stand started drawing long, snaking lines when it appeared in Highland Park in 2016, Mike Simms told his wife Carmen Santillan that he had to transition to a vegan diet to reverse clogged arteries.

“If you’re vegan, we’re vegan,” she told him.

And you can taste the love that Santillan poured into veganizing the Mexican recipes of her late mother that now make up Cena Vegan’s menu. Years on, that menu has a massive following, operating out of three collective spaces in LA County today. This year, they landed at Partake Collective in Downtown Long Beach. Take it from me, the Big Vegan Burrito Bowl or the vegan barbacoa nacho boat will leave you mystified it’s not meat.

Side note: I know I mentioned Seabird Kitchen’s Bibimbap Bowl, but if you’re looking for some authentic and incredibly addicting vegan Korean food, Sura in Downtown has a vegan menu. My Achilles heel is officially their Vegan LB Mushrooms Tofu Soup: Signal Hill cultivated seasonal oyster mushrooms, button, enoki onion, scallion, rice and banchan. You’re welcome.

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Things to do in Long Beach this weekend including…a Reggae Superfest and the Dia de los Muertos Grand Parade

The following list is a curated roundup of weekend events in Long Beach published every Wednesday on the Hi-lo and Long Beach Post. Have an event to share? Email with “Things to Do” in the subject line.If you’re feeling at all depressed that spooky season is now officially over, we’ve found a couple of events centered on the Mexican cultural celebration, Dia de los Muertos, to keep holiday momentum going.O...

The following list is a curated roundup of weekend events in Long Beach published every Wednesday on the Hi-lo and Long Beach Post. Have an event to share? Email with “Things to Do” in the subject line.

If you’re feeling at all depressed that spooky season is now officially over, we’ve found a couple of events centered on the Mexican cultural celebration, Dia de los Muertos, to keep holiday momentum going.

On Friday, the Bixby Knolls business district is going all out with a block-party-style (minus the road closures) celebration that features live entertainment, dance performances, music, art and business activations. You also won’t want to miss the massive Dia de los Muertos parade in Downtown on Saturday.

We’ve also found a semi-niche storytelling event. Plus there are a few festivals going on celebrating plants, reggae music and homebrewing.

Get to scrollin’!

If you’ve ever listened to an episode of NPR’s storytelling podcast “The Moth” and wished something like that existed in Long Beach, then it would behoove you to take a trip to DiPiazza’s this Thursday, Nov. 2.

Speak. Easy. is a storytelling event put on by Long Beach Community Theater every first Thursday of the month where everyday people are invited to share a five-minute story on a particular subject. Whether it’s a monologue, dance, song, poem or performance art—guests are free to tell their story in whatever form feels truest to them. Thursday’s topic is “Mending Fences,” stories of forgiveness, friendship, make-ups, do-overs or redemption.

There’s a lot of effort that goes into putting these shows on. Prior to performance night, each storyteller goes through two rehearsals with the Long Beach Community Theater group to help the speakers polish up their performance to present a memorable show for audiences. Speak. Easy. opens at 6:30 p.m. and is free to attend, though a donation of $5 or $10 is welcome. Click here for more information.

DiPiazza’s is at 5205 E. Pacific Coast Highway.

Bixby Knolls will be celebrating Dia de los Muertos during their community event, First Fridays, on Friday, Nov. 3 with live music, heaps of art, pop-ups and business specials that make the monthly community event arguably the best in the city.

The event will feature its annual ofrenda, or Dia de los Muertos altar, sugar skull painting, and an Aztec dance performance in honor of the holiday. The “Artist’s Lot” inside the Expo Arts Center will be teeming with art demonstrations and installations, pop-ups and music, with businesses in the area also offering special entertainment, discounts and other festivities.

If you’d like a more comprehensive look at all there is to see, listen and enjoy, click here for information.

First Fridays at Bixby Knolls is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The free event spans a sizable length of Atlantic Avenue, but a good starting point is at the Expo Arts Center at 4321 Atlantic Ave.

Plant enthusiasts won’t want to miss the inaugural Long Beach Plant Fest at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) on Saturday, Nov. 4, a celebration of all things green, where guests can shop for plants, explore planting techniques, and chow down on plant-based foods.

Presented by local plant shop Plantiitas and Hella Plants Market, a NorCal-based plant market, the Long Beach Plant Fest will feature a large marketplace of indoor plants and botanical merchandise, a variety of street food, vegan food vendors and workshops. These workshops are designed to help both newbies and more experienced plant owners learn techniques and care for their plants or more easily approach their next plant-related project.

Tickets to the event start at $10. A $15 allows early entry to the festival and a VIP $35 ticket includes early entry and a special plant-related goodie bag. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

The Museum of Latin American Art is at 628 Alamitos Ave.

Chart-topping reggae band Big Mountain will be headling Reggae Superfest at Thunder Studios in Long Beach on Saturday, Nov. 4.

The daylong music festival features nine reggae acts hailing from around the world, including Jamaica’s Glen Washington, Trinidad and Tobago’s Marlon Asher and South America’s Alika.

The festival will also feature a marketplace, food and drink vendors and other activations including a kids’ corner with face painting, jumpers and games. Tickets to the festival range from $30 to $200 for VIP packages. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Thunder Studios is at 20434 S. Santa Fe.

Long Beach’s largest Dia de los Muertos event returns for its eighth consecutive year on Saturday, Nov. 4 with a massive parade and daylong festivities celebrating the memory of those who’ve passed.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Pine Avenue and Third Street, making its way down East Shoreline Drive to Rainbow Lagoon where the Artes and Ofrendas Festival will take place at noon.

Last year’s event attracted over 20,000 people who enjoyed a stream of colorful floats, classic cars, ballet folklórico dancers, and Catrinas and Aztec dancers as they paraded down Pine Avenue.

Adult tickets are $10 and children 10 and under are $5. Tickets may be purchased online here.

Rainbow Lagoon Park is at 400 E. Shoreline Dr.

This beer festival on Saturday, Nov. 4 invites guests to try special beer batches from some of the city’s local homebrewers, highlighting the talent and ingenuity of the people—homebrewers—who helped cultivate the craft beer scene as we know (and love) it today.

More than 20 backyard scientists have been selected to participate and will compete against each other. So, as you try the variety of beers you can also vote for your favorite. The event will also feature a beer garden with brews from Altar Society, Ambitious Ales, La Jara Brewing, Long Beach Beer Lab and Ten Mile Brewing Company, as well as food and live music.

Tickets to the Long Beach Homebrew Fest range from $45 to $60. You must be 21 years or older to participate. Click here for more info.

The 6th Annual Long Beach Homebrew Fest will be at 550 W. Devon Place.


Put on your best silk cat’s pajamas and slink over to Helen Sanders CatPAWS gala event, which benefits the kitties who’ve metamorphosed from helpless foundlings into happy, purring Cinderellas and Cinderfellas.

This Saturday, Nov. 4, at 5 p.m., Le Chic Chat Soiree will transform the halls of the Navy Golf Course Seal Beach into an elegant ballroom. Clink cocktail glasses and munch hors d’oeuvres, a dinner buffet and dessert, and place your bids on some fabulous silent auction items, including round-trip airfare, hotel stays, spa packages and more. Actor/comedian Roger Lundblade will emcee the fur-stivities. Tickets are available online or at the door. CatPAWS’ spay/neuter mobile clinic will be onsite, purchased with funds raised at last year’s Soiree. Adorable adoptable kittens who have been rescued by CatPAWS will make a special guest appearance as well.

The Soiree is CatPAWS’ elegant way to fund programs like the DIY kitten-care kits distributed free to local public shelters and which save the lives of hundreds of newborn kittens; spay/neuter and medical care for our rescued cats; the Traveling Kitty Comfort and Therapy Show, which brightens the lives of people in assisted-living residences; and staff and supplies for the spay/neuter mobile. And of course, adopting cats and kittens to loving, forever families. For more info, click here.

The Navy Golf Course is located at 5660 Orangewood Ave. in Cypress.


Circus Vargas presents another outstanding, mega-hit entertainment experience in Lakewood at Lakewood Center November 3 – 27.

Join them for a brand new big top adventure with performers from all over the globe! Featuring The “Last Ringmaster,” Johnathon Lee Iverson – classically trained opera singer-actor adds another dimension to their newest stellar production, “Bonjour, Paris!”

Circus Vargas channels the “City of Lights” in all-new high-energy, action-packed extravaganza! In this latest, greatest production Circus Vargas delivers the ultimate live family entertainment experience for 2023!

A must-see Parisian-style circus production featuring world-renowned performers, aerialists, acrobats and more! Audiences are immediately immersed in an ambience of glitz and glamor reminiscent of the famed Lido de Paris. A must see! This extravagantly flashy, fun-filled circus spectacular is guaranteed to excite and delight audiences of all ages! An amazing adventure, not to be missed! Join us for two unforgettable hours under the big top …where memories are made to last a lifetime! Circus Vargas’ “Bonjour, Paris!” C’est magnifique!

For Circus Vargas performance dates, times and to purchase tickets, visit, call 877-GOTFUN-1 (877-468-3861) or visit the box office at each location. Follow Circus Vargas on Facebook and Instagram for updates, discounts and behind the scenes video.

Char-Grilled Steaks and Blistered Pizzas Rule at This Artsy New Long Beach Restaurant

Long Beach’s new Marlena restaurant from chef Michael Ryan and first-time restaurateur Robert Smith, which opened on October 2, brings Californian cuisine to the heart of Naples. There is a sense of privacy surrounding the restaurant, located in the three-decade-old former Russo’s space and sitting away from the main drag on 2nd Street.D...

Long Beach’s new Marlena restaurant from chef Michael Ryan and first-time restaurateur Robert Smith, which opened on October 2, brings Californian cuisine to the heart of Naples. There is a sense of privacy surrounding the restaurant, located in the three-decade-old former Russo’s space and sitting away from the main drag on 2nd Street.

Diners will find a seamless indoor-outdoor vibe at Marlena. Ryan’s culinary point of view reflects a local, seasonal, and globally-influenced approach synonymous with California bistros like République and Alta Adams. Although this style of cooking is common in greater Los Angeles, it is less so in Long Beach where only a handful of restaurants are cooking similarly, like Ellie’s in Alamitos Beach, Nonna Mercato in Bixby Knolls, and the now-closed Restauration from chef Philip Pretty.

Ryan apprenticed under chef Evan Funke for the first six years of his career including stints at Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica and Felix in Venice. “I’ll still call Evan when something just isn’t working,” says Ryan. “His influence on my food is clear.” Ryan also helped to open the now-closed AR Cocina in Culver City, Winsome in Echo Park, and Faith and Flower in Downtown. Most recently, the Ryan overhauled the menu at Claire’s, the daytime beachside spot at the Long Beach Museum of Art.

“When Robert said he wanted something like Californian-gone-Mediterranean, I couldn’t believe how in the pocket it was for me,” says Ryan. A large, two-tiered Josper wood grill handles proteins like Black Opal and Creekstone steaks and California rockfish and octopus, while salads come topped with slivers of boquerones and ample Grana Padano. The wood-fired pizzas from Bestia and Gjusta alum Waldo Stout are particularly noteworthy, along with the desserts from Ryan’s wife Minnie Choe, who operates a bakery out of Kitchen Terminal in Redondo Beach. The lineup of sweets at Marlena includes a burnt Basque cheesecake and salted pistachio olive oil cake. Cocktails come from barman Dave Castillo, formerly of the Ordinarie.

Marlena is named after Smith’s mother-in-law, Marlene, whom he and his wife Jen moved to Long Beach from the Bay Area to care for in 2020. “Phonetically, it would be pronounced Marlena in German, her heritage,” says Smith. “As I was developing the food’s direction, I also realized that when separated, ‘mar’ and ‘leña’ means sea and firewood in Spanish, which captures our kitchen so well.”

Marlena is located at 5854 E. Naples Plaza, Long Beach, CA 90803, and is open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Long Beach Poly football ready for a title fight in Division 2 playoffs

LONG BEACH — Before the start of this season, the Long Beach Poly football team had three goals.It wanted to win a Moore League championship, a CIF Southern Section championship and a CIF state championship.After going undefeated in Moore League play to cap a 9-1 regular season, the Jackrabbits have set their sights on winning the program’s 21st CIF-SS title,...

LONG BEACH — Before the start of this season, the Long Beach Poly football team had three goals.

It wanted to win a Moore League championship, a CIF Southern Section championship and a CIF state championship.

After going undefeated in Moore League play to cap a 9-1 regular season, the Jackrabbits have set their sights on winning the program’s 21st CIF-SS title, this time in the Division 2 playoffs, and then perhaps win the ever-elusive CIF state title.

“It’s a lot of fun to be able to play in November,” Poly coach Stephen Barbee said. “There’s something special about it.”

Long Beach Poly wide receiver Jordan Malau’ulu kneels in the end zone after scoring a touchdown against Cabrillo on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, at Cabrillo High School in Long Beach. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Even with those lofty goals, Barbee is not one to look ahead or past his team’s first-round opponent, Vista Murrieta (6-4), Friday at Veterans Stadium at 7 p.m.

“It’s going to be a very good game,” Barbee said. “They’re very well coached. On special teams they do a lot of cool things so we’re going to have to really be on our game to be able to stop them.”

“We have to come out ready and smack them in their mouth first,” Long Beach Poly senior linebacker Isaac Johnson added.

Last season, Poly suffered a 52-42 loss to Los Alamitos in the Division 1 quarterfinals. That result has been motivation all season for Poly seniors like Johnson, the team’s second-leading tackler (44 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss), and receiver Jordan Malau’ulu (Fresno State commit), the team’s leader with 43 receptions for 569 yards and seven touchdowns.

“I’m very excited to get back from last year’s loss,” Johnson said. “We’re looking to do better than last year so this year for sure we’re going all the way.”

“I remember we should have had that (Los Alamitos) game,” Malau’ulu said. “I’m not going to lie.”

Long Beach Poly football seniors Isaac Johnson and Jordan Malau’ulu on doing whatever it take to win their Division 2 first round playoff game against Vista Murrieta at Veterans Stadium Friday night. #LongBeachVarsityReport

— John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) November 2, 2023

Barbee said Johnson and Malau’ulu have turned that experience into being dependable senior leaders.

“He’s consistent,” Barbee said about Johnson, who in addition to playing linebacker has also spent time playing safety. “He’s a pretty quiet young man. He’s been at the top of the team in tackles for the past two years. He’s on every special team. He can do a lot of different things.”

“(Johnson) leads with his actions,” Barbee continued. “He does everything for us.”

Barbee on Malau’ulu: “He is a huge possession receiver. Every day the energy that he brings really brings the team along, to be quite honest. He finds excitement in everything from let’s do a couple more sprints to just celebrating his teammates. He’s so inclusive. He makes sure in our team meetings he’s sitting next to the team managers and really makes everybody feel a part of the family that we have here at Long Beach Poly.”

Malau’ulu plays alongside several other talented receivers, like seniors Luke Buggs and Charles Clinton, junior Ezekiel Orozco, and sophomore Kamarie Smith, so he knows the importance of staying engaged and being ready when your number is called.

“Be patient because the ball is not going to come to you every single time,” Malu’ulu said. “But when it does come to you, you have to take that for a drive. You have to make sure they know, that’s why we have to guard him. That’s why we have to press up and then once they start double teaming, it opens the lane for somebody else.”

Meanwhile, Malau’ulu’s outlook is something that Barbee believes permeates the energy and effort necessary to win championships.

“It’s 100% infectious,” Barbee said. “You see him going and getting excited and hooting and hollering, how can you not start to feel that way too.”

That shared mentality has Johnson ready to win Friday.

“We don’t want to be first-round exits,” Johnson added. “We’re for sure not going to be a first-round exit so I think everybody is upping the tempo for playoffs, so we’re for sure going to get it done.”

Long Beach Poly football head coach Stephen Barbee is excited to see @LBPoly_Football kickoff the D2 playoffs with a first round game vs. Vista Murrieta. @CoachSBarbee also talks about the leadership from seniors Isaac Johnson (@isaaccc1k) and Jordan Malau’ulu (@jordanmalauulu).

— John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) November 2, 2023


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