location: Beach Patio Cafe.
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. A patio cafe.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. Right on the beach, in Miami.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 2 (of Season 3), "Finding Freebo".
It's where Maria LaGuerta meets with Miguel Prado.
The scene opens with Miguel arguing at the cafe with his brother, Ramon, who is impatient about the lack of progress in finding Freebo (the man he assumes killed his other brother, Oscar).
Maria shows up, and when Ramon begins to criticize her about the Freebo case, Miguel tells him to go home.
Maria tells Miguel that she has bad news: they have found new evidence that a man he helped put away, Chicky Hines, didn't do the carjacking/homicide that he was convicted of doing. It looks like Prado convicted the wrong man.
Coming on the heels of his brother's death, this leaves Prado in a bad temper. But he covers it, turning on the charm, and suggesting that Maria and he get together later. When he adds that the invitation includes with his wife, Maria seems a bit disappointed.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. A patio restaurant on the beach - but far from Miami.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. This was shot at La Palapa Del Mar, at 4020 E. Olympic Plaza, in the Belmont Shore section of Long Beach, CA.
That's at the foot of the city's Belmont Pier, next door to the Olympic Pool.
And it's also right next to the beach used for the scene where a stranger stalks Rita's daughter. (In fact, La Palapa is visible in the background of some of the shots in that beach scene.)
And just a short walk from the alleyway where Debra interviewed some hookers in another scene. (But don't worry, this isn't a dangerous part of town - far from it. It's one of the nicer sections of Long Beach.)
It's open to the public, so feel free to drop by on some sunny day to enjoy a meal on the patio.
To get there, just take Ocean Blvd to S. Termino Ave and turn towards the ocean. The cafe is right on the beach, and you can't miss its pointy roof.
The restaurant even has its own website, at www.lapalapadelmar.com.
shot the photos below in 2009, early in the day, before the restaurant
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
Tim mentioned in his daily column that "Dexter" was filming down at La Palapa. So when it showed up on the show, it was easy to spot. Then I just had to drive down to Long Beach and get some matching photos.
there were also some clues to be had, if I had needed them. The Long
Beach oil islands are visible off shore. Some of the downtown buildings
on Ocean Blvd are visible in the background (including the same one visible
in the stalker beach scenes). And, well
let's face it, there aren't that many patio cafes sitting right on the
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