about us

Delicious food prepared by an experienced and talented professional.

Chef John McLaughlin and his wife, Ria, started At Last Café over eight years ago, named At Last Café by Chef John’s mother, Lorraine, because they were finally doing it, finally opening a restaurant!

Chef John’s restaurant experience started as a teenager, busing tables, then graduating to line cook for the Reubens Restaurant chain. After getting married, he continued to work in restaurants while attending Long Beach State. At the same time, he was on the waiting list for the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York. He and Ria left for a cross country trip to New York from California, where he attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) .

Experience in the restaurant industry went from working and traveling on private aircraft for Fluor Corporation, an eleven year job with the Marriott chain at their fine dining restaurant in Anaheim, JW’s Restaurant, to designing and preparing the hors d’oeuvres menu for the 2007 and 2008 Academy Awards Show green room. Chef John has also taught at Long Beach City College, The Art Institute and Sur La Table. In 1991, Orange Coast Magazine proclaimed him “Best Chef” in Orange County.

In 2010, At Last Café was featured on the on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and Chef John was honored to be invited to cook with Guy Fieri.

At Last Café is the culmination of a love of cooking, blues music, photographs of our garden and Long Beach, contributed by our talented son Eric, and hard work!

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