Z Pizza or Domenico's (both Italian).
Favorite Dish: Are you a vegetarian? Then Z Pizza is Nirvana for you. My most favorite pizza on the planet hails from Z Pizza. Z Pizza is a chain, with most locations being in the San Diego area. My favorite pie is topped with pine nuts, spiced veggie 'burger' (meatless), mushrooms and black olives. I'm salivating as I write this!? The only set back with Z Pizza is it is primarily a take-out restaurant. They have a cramped dining room (four or five small tables), however, eating there allows you to people watch, as many locals flood in and out to retrieve their orders. Domenico's (my other favorite) has been a staple at The Shore since the fifties. Their house salad dressing made them famous and will knock your socks off! It is not to be missed. Next, try their pizza with ground pepperoni -- an interesting and tasty alternative to the typical sliced type. Of course, you'll need to wash this all down with a pitcher of ice cold beer. Reasonably priced with pleasant atmosphere. YUM!
You could shut your eyes and virutally stumble into nightlife on The Shore. My recommendation? Park your car, get out, walk up and down the street until you hear music which appeals to you, or a food aroma that makes your mouth water. There you are!
You can lounge hop if you wish and do it all on foot.
Dress Code: Good grief. This is a Southern California beach town, nobody cares what you're wearing. The only restrictions (typically) are that you cannot be without a shirt or shoes. Other than that...
Although pedestrian traffic abounds and police cars cruise The Shore regularly, use common sense when in any public place. Stay in pairs (at least) particularly when you are walking to and from your car.
The Queen Mary -- a large ship permanently docked in Long Beach which was used as a luxury liner prior to World War II when it was 'enlisted' to aid in the war effort. Disney owned it briefly and made some aesthetic improvements, although they later abandoned/sold it. There is a brief self-guided tour available, exhibits about its colorful past, gift shops, several nice lounges with music and cocktails, even a boiler room which is rumored to be haunted. If you have ample time in Southern California, it may be worth a peek, other wise skip it.