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Jan 17, 2007 10:13 PM

Huntington Beach

Headed from PHX to Huntington Beach this weekend - any recommendations for a casual lunch/dinner with entrees in the $20-30 range (preferably near the beach)? My own research turned up Chimayo at the Beach, any experience with that place? Suggestions are helpful, thanks a lot!

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  1. Chimayo has gone seriously downhill as of late. Duke's, upstairs from Chimayo at the head of the pier, is more dependable (Hawaiian, Asian-style seafood). Lugatti's at 5th and Walnut (a short walk from the pier) is very good, very casual, Italian. Coach's, on Main Street just up from the pier, offers a Greek flavored menu.

    1. There's also Spark Woodfire Grill. It's across PCH from duke's/chimayo, and upstairs, so you still get a nice view of the ocean.

      3 Replies
        1. re: brekkie_fan

          I haven't been to the HB Spark (it's a local LA chain) but the Studio City one has people packed in like anchovies -- and the food makes me wonder if they're meant to be salted anchovies.

          Duke's would be my vote, or else head down the road to Newport, as others have said.

          If you can deal with a bit inland, there's also S Vietnamese Fine Dining outside of the Westminster Mall (don't be put off by the location, it's quite good) and, if you're into very good robata-style Japanese food, you could drop $20-$30 a head at Shinsengumi Robatayaki at Brookhurst and Ellis.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            I've done the HB location for the past few years only b/c it's closer to home than Studio City. Had holiday & company parties there w/o a hitch, so I'm cool with the locale (esp. when the weather is warmer). Space is comfortable. Never felt packed in. Sat previously at the bar, outdoor patio, and three times in the back room.

            Have to say, though, I was worried about the quality after they did their overhaul of the menu. Thankfully, the entrees and polenta were delish. We went elsewhere for dessert, though.

            Oh and I did like Duke's for Sunday brunch buffet . . .$27 i think?

      1. Chimayo used to be good when it first opened. My friend is the chef at Chimayo and I wouldn't go there for a free meal. Sadly... Huntington is lacking in really great restaurants. That should change when Pacific City developement is complete.

        My suggestion would to head a five miles down to Newport. Way better choices in your price range.

        Bandera, Gulfstream, Flemings, Blue Coral, Francoli, R&D Cafe, 3-Thirty-3, Bayside, Sage, Sabatino's, Jack Shrimp, Bungalow, Oysters...even The Quiet Women is better choice than most Huntington Beach restaurants.

        All of the restaurants on my list you can wear comfortably wear jeans and a nice shirt.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cdmedici

          Sage in Newport is good. I took my sister there for a quiet birthday brunch on Sunday. In addition to Newport, you could go to 2nd street in Long Beach. I used to live in Huntington Beach and I rarely ate there because the restaurants on 2nd are so much better. Just go north on PCH and hang a left on 2nd. Within a minute or two you'll be in a cute little area with lots of choices. I recommend Open Sesame for cheap, amazing Mediterranean food, Biggs (try their blackberry mojitos), Fora (good tasting menu with wine pairings), Kelly's (looks like an Irish pub but is really a very nice, old-school steak house), and Papalucci's for Italian.

        2. Well I'll be damned, this IS the same place as in Waikiki. I was there last yr and didn't eat, we'll have to check it out. Thanks everyone.

          1. Frankly this HB denizen is badly disappointed by the pedestrian dining options in town. Fortunately, there's a few exceptions to the rule, including:

            King's Fish House on Edinger in the Terra Bella complex (Beach exit off 405) is a good choice for seafood, nothing fancy but good selection of fresh fish at fair prices, comfortable digs and traditional fish house decor.

            Mangia Mangia on Golden West near Edinger has decent if not inspiring country style Italian, heavy on southern & Sicilian dishes. Good seafood.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bernardo

              I have to voice my disappointment with our new HB Kings on both occasions I've eaten there. First time I tried the crab louis. $18 for a sprinkling of crab meat over tons of lettuce. C'mon; even Musso & Frank's does a better job of this for the money! Last visit I ordered the ahi dinner. The meal arrived at my table cold. The manager was apologetic, and brought a new, hot meal, but it really wasn't anything special. He also comped dessert (some chocolate cake thing that I didn't care for), so I have no complaints with the service. I've always found their Pine Ave (Long Beach) to be wonderful, so I was very disappointed. If there's a next time, I'll stick to the spicy fish chowder and a shrimp cocktail. I think Duke's on the pier is actually better.

              1. re: CynD

                Well, I've only tried the halibut, sword, and dabs, all were excellent, as was the bread. As to sides, slaw and green salad were adequate, fries below the line.

                More reviews from other hounds please!