By Laura Scully
It turns out the name is a Swahili word meaning “I am because We are.” Explained Danielle Soldati, co-owner, “We only exist because of our community.” She operates the café with husband Phillippe Esteves. Their first solo venture in the restaurant business recently opened to crowds of up to 300. Then a worldwide pandemic hit. “We were reduced to about a third of that,” said Soldati. She explained that Ubuntu still garnered strong community support when they switched to carry-out orders because of new public health guidelines. “We are so honored the community makes sure we feel like family and will be well-cared for,” Soldati added. “We never expected such support through all of this.”
Located near the Marine Stadium at 355 Nieto Avenue, the restaurant features a large area for outside dining with a patio that is dog-friendly. They are open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. most days, serving a breakfast and lunch menu (brunch on weekends). They still have plans to expand to happy hour and a dinner menu when the health crisis eases. Soldati said they also hope to have picnic baskets available for the Concerts in The Park series during the summer.
“Right now, we are doing the grab and go platters with a selection of cheeses, crudités, and charcuterie,” she explained. In addition, people can order items by phone.
The weekend brunch menu features French Toast, a Cold Quinoa and Wild Rice Bowl, as well as their “Famous Scrambled Eggs.” For lunch, they have a Chicken and Grain Bowl, Brazilian Cheese Bread, and Chocolate Cake Trifle, among other items. Breakfast options include Smashed Avocado Toast, Omelets, Yoghurt, and a Breakfast Sandwich. They also serve natural sodas and specialty drinks, as well as a selection of beer and wine. A delicious assortment of pastries is popular with patrons too.
Soldati said she was excited to open a restaurant in the same area where she had strong connections with fellow long-distance runners and cyclists. When asked why they chose the name Ubuntu, Soldati said, “There was no other name for such a beautiful community.” The new neighborhood restaurant bearing that Swahili word, Ubuntu, is living up to its name.
355 Nieto Ave, Long Beach, CA 90814