Friday, June 03, 2011

Rate-A-Restaurant #251: The Beachcomber

Beachcomber

Restaurant: Beachcomber

Beachcomber
Crystal Cove

Location: 15 Crystal Cove (Newport Coast)

Type of restaurant: American/Seafood

Beachcomber

We stipulated: We traveled down to Newport Beach with Evan's cousins and their parents (read about our Balboa Island visit here) and were looking for a nice spot for dinner. After some quick Internet research, The Beachcomber popped up on our radar. So we headed down to Newport Coast and Crystal Cove.

Beachcomber

Beachcomber

They stipulated: Reservations are limited to Open Table, and aren't taken over the phone. As a result, 70% of tables are first come, first served. That leads usually to a lengthy wait -- but the Beachcomber suggests that people walk around Crystal Cove as they wait. "12.3 acre Crystal Cove Historic District is a well-preserved example of Southern California vernacular beach architecture and terrain. The District retains the scale and ambiance of a 1930's beach resort."

Beachcomber

Beachcomber

What we ordered: Yellow fin ahi with snap peas ($26.95); truffle spinach macaroni and cheese ($17.95); ranch pork chop ($23.95); salmon ($25.95); kids burger ($7.99); fog cutter drink ($10)

Beachcomber

Beachcomber

Beachcomber

High point: The ahi was good; the kids were happy with their burgers; the Fog Cutters were strong and the overall vibe was one of being at a semi-cheesy tiki bar/restaurant in Hawaii. The kind of vibe you want when you're on a mini-vacation, and I feel like it was worth the extra hassle.

Low point: Still, the wait was long for a table, which tried the patience of the kids. It didn't seem like they were in a rush to accommodate us. By the time we sat down, it was late -- and dark.



Overall impression: I was surprised to learn that the Beachcomber at Crystal Cove had only been around since 2006. It felt like an old Trader Vics or Don the Beachcomber's -- giving off a 1950s Tiki bar feel. I love that whole going-back-in-time vibe.

Chance we'll go back:  If we were back in Orange County, perhaps.

For a complete list of our more than 250 restaurant reviews, check out Franklin Avenue's companion Rate-A-Restaurant site.

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