Friday, June 03, 2011
Rate-A-Restaurant #251: The Beachcomber
Location: 15 Crystal Cove (Newport Coast)
Type of restaurant: American/Seafood
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.
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."
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)
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.