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Any good eats by Bolsa Chica (in Huntington Beach)?

Hi everyone! I set up a private tour of the Bolsa Chica wetlands and wanted to make late lunch arrangements for after the tour. Can you recommend any good places to eat close to Bolsa Chica? I prefer ethnic eats but am open to suggestions and I'm looking at reasonable price per person, $20 to $25.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. Not ethnic but tasty is Harbor House, on PCH in Sunset Beach. It's totally the old burgers-and-fries type beach shack, but bigger.

    1. The pickings are pretty slim in the Bolsa Chica area especially at lunch time. There is a nice Vietnamese restaurant called S at Westminster Mall. It is free standing at the corner of Edwards and Bolsa. Depending on the number of people you have Springdale Bar and Grill might work for you although it is typical American food. It's on Springdale just north of Bolsa. The rest of the restaurants in the area either don't serve lunch or are chains.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Audrey_Ekstrom

        Well, just as far down from Bolsa Chica as S is downtown Huntington Beach... there's the Sugar Shack, there's the random Mexican place which name I can never remember that's up on the second floor four blocks in, on Main Street, there's Duke's which is usually pretty tasty, there's the Peruvian Place (Inka Grill?) four blocks in on Main Street...

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          A second for Duke's, even if it's a small (3-4 locations) chain. Love that parmesan/macadamia crusted fish, with capered beurre blanc. Lots of flavors, but they really work together well.

          BTW, the HB Inka Grill is gone.

          1. re: Steve Green

            Doh, oh well re: Inka Grill.

            I actually really like just the grilled fish with the papaya salsa... and that Maui onion salad is fantastic, though the dressing is a bit sweet.

          2. re: Das Ubergeek

            That Mexican place is Fred's Cantina and it overlooks Pch/Main St. I have never ate there but there is some outside seating which would have a nice view of the HB Pier.

        2. Roman Cucina in Sunset Beach is a better option than some posted above.

          Don't know where you live...but, if you're headed back north - I recommend Sophie Thai, or Ambrosia Cafe (Greek) in Long Beach.

          1. Bolsa Chica and Edinger: Sea Siam, a good Thai restaurant. Call ahead to make sure they're open for lunch. Had dinner there last week and it was as good as ever.

            In the Huntington Harbor Mall: House of Brews (the name speaks for itself, but it's pretty decent) and a Chinese place (the Great Wok, iirc) which is mediocre at best.

            Harbor House, pointed out by OP above, is a good option. Huge menu, but their omelettes are the main attraction for me.

            Jon's is a coffee shop at Bolsa Chica and Heil; nothing special.

            If you go farther afield in HB, there are places like DeSimone's for Italian deli type sub sandwiches, Bukhara for Indian, and Mangia Maniga for Italian (if they're open for lunch)

            1 Reply
            1. re: CynD

              DeSimones has the best sandwiches on the planet. It's a hole in the wall but the BEST Sandwiches you will ever have... Order the Cheff Special you will thank me. Brian

            2. Not too much good ethnic food in the immediate area that i'm aware of.

              Walt's Wharf in Seal Beach has some decent seafood, just a few miles up PCH.


              1. Bolsa Chica is right by Westminster, with a large number of Vietnamese restaurants. I'm sure people here can steer you to a particular one if that's what you are going for.

                1. The Red Pearl restaurant in Hollywood has received some good reviews----but its smaller original location is on Main St. in downtown HB. Its a fun & hip upscale asian-fusion restaurant-bar.

                  1. IMHO no compelling choices in the immediate area, but for Italian Mangia Mangia on GW St & Finbar's on PCH in Seal Beach are both perfectly adequate. Years ago I was told Cantamar on Bolsa was a good place for Mexican, don't know if it's still in bsns and if so whether's it's any good.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bernardo

                      Cantamar is still there, on Bolsa Chica & Warner,(not Bolsa; they're two different streets), hiding in a strip mall behind the KFC. It's very fresh, family run, and dependable, if not outstanding, Mexican food. If you're after Mexican in that area, there's a Super Mex branch on PCH and Warner, in the corner center where the Daily Grind drive through stands.

                    2. if you go to the harbor house, try the peanut butter and chocolate shake, it's wonderful! i warned a couple that i took there that they should each order their own shake. they didn't and wound up getting in a fight until someone wised up and ordered their own. and their omelettes are a big draw for me, too.

                      1. The Harbor House was good years ago but it has gotten old and tired. I still go there now and then for breakfast but I certainly wouldn't take a group there for anything other than breakfast. The last time I was there it was none too clean and smelled kind of moldy. They are known for their omelets though and the lines on Sunday morning are long.

                        I hesitated to recommend anything in downtown HB for a group because parking is usually a nightmare down there unless you go to the valet parking at Duke's or have each individual in the tour pay to park in the parking structures.

                        Roman Cucina on PCH is only open for dinner. The Wok at Huntington Harbor is awful, I think the House of Brews is also only open for dinner. De Simone's is excellent for sandwiches but I didn't think the OP was looking for a place for take-out sandwiches. Steve's at the corner of Springdale and Warner is a "place your order at the counter" kind of place. After you've placed your order and paid they give you a number placket and then bring your food to you.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Audrey_Ekstrom

                          Could you elaborate as to why you consider The Wok to be awful? I have tried plenty of chinese restaurants in the north HB area and I find The Wok to be terrific. But I only go for their lunch which is a great bargain (soup & egg roll, rice and generous entree portion and cookies). I find the food to be of top quality, the MSG-free restaurant nice and clean, and the service outstanding. My only slight complaint is that they chop their veggies into larger pieces than I would prefer. I would be interested to know why you think so poorly of it?

                        2. We've tried the Wok 3 times in the last 3 years. All 3 times the wor wonton soup has been luke warm and the won tons flavorless, with overcooked shrimp (one per person). Our chow mein was warm but the chicken was rubbery. The sweet and sour pork pieces were tough and full of fat. We really want to like this restaurant because it is very close and convenient for us. For now we make do with Kung Pao Bowl on Edinger. It isn't the best but the staff is warm and welcoming and the Mu-Shu is pretty good.

                          1. Red Table is very close to the wetlands. Just back up Warner (inland) and turn left at Algonquin. it is in the Trader Joe's building in the back. Great food. Not a giant menu but eclectic. So far everything is good. Not a fast food place. Great sweet potato fries. Last time I was in there on a Tuesday night it was completely full by the time we left before 7pm. It is the newest restaurant in the area. And a real find. Opens at 11:30am.

                            1 Reply
                            1. good to see this thread resurrected. As a Bolsa Chica regular, we almost ritually stop at the Abbey in Seal Beach afterward for a Wedge salad, a burger and a craft beer. love that place.