Hamid Latiff Jr. opened Callaloo Caribbean Kitchen in March to bring the Caribbean flavors of his native Trinidad to the Long Beach community.
Steel pan drum players are invited to play on Friday nights, and his wife, a graduate of Cal State Long Beach, has connections with the local pan community to make the talent pool endless.
Latiff has instilled a relaxed atmosphere of “liming,” which is something that his fellow Trinidadians refer to as hanging out, drinking and eating, joking around and telling stories.
“There is always an occasion to get dressed up and go liming at someone’s house,” Latiff said. No stresses – not even the parking along the crowded East Anaheim thoroughfare where the restaurant is located. At the rear of Callaloo, 4137 E. Anaheim St., are several parking spots, and even more in the lot two doors down at the Coastal Paint and Decorating store that Latiff’s customers are permitted to use on weekends.
Latiff, 47, came to Long Beach about five years ago, having worked initially in the fashion world, buying clothing from L.A.’s Fashion District, and sending back home nation colorful tees, pants, dresses and other apparel. Trinidad is a tiny island of about 1.3 million people located about 7 miles off the northeastern coast of Venezuela, in the Caribbean Sea.
Callaloo Caribbean is a casual restaurant that serves cuisine that’s influenced by African and East Indian cultures. At the top of the menu is roti, an unleavened bread similar to Indian naan bread that’s filled with chicken, beef, goat or shrimp stew or vegetarian mixes. Think burrito wrap.
Review By: OCregister
Roti, curries & jerk chicken are the specialties of this snug Caribbean eatery with subdued decor.