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Seeking cheap eats in Newport Beach

Is there any such thing? I'm headed there on Monday for business, and I think I'll have the evening to myself so I am looking for a place where I can have a good, solo, leisurely meal. I'm staying right by the airport but I have a car. (I'm unfamiliar with the area, though, so nothing too hard to find!) If there are any good holes-in-the-wall or can't miss type places, let me know.

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  1. Taco Rosa, Newport Beach. They have fresh fruit margaritas. It is in a hard to find mini-mall, but don't let that deter you. It is a mellow, relaxing place to eat, and anytime I'm in OC, I meet with friends there. Yummy food. The owners own Taco Mesa.

    1. Taco Rosa - (949) 720-0980 - 2632 San Miguel Dr, Newport Beach, CA

      1. For hole-in-the-wall-ish (not really), Taco Mesa (as just mentioned) on 19th in Costa Mesa, city next to NB. It's a converted old Taco Bell...really odd place and mix of people but it's good. http://www.tacomesa.net/

        1. Can you be more specific on price range? Does that include booze? Any favorite cuisine?

          1. Well, my princely stipend is $25 total, but I'd be willing to go a bit over if it was worthwhile, or treat myself to a drink at the bar. I'm coming from the East Coast, so it would be nice to get something that would be significantly better/different in California, so I was thinking Mexican or Asian. But I've never been there, so I'm wide open to everyone's suggestions. I am an adventurous eater. I love seafood and spicy things. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so dessert isn't really a draw for me.

            Also, if there's an early morning can't-miss breakfast place that I can go to Tuesday morning, that might be nice too!

            3 Replies
            1. re: pomme de terre

              Try Plums in Costa Mesa for breakfast...if you are in a hurry,Keanes is down from Plums just off 17th st for excellent espresso and pastries

              1. re: pomme de terre

                Good call on Plums for breakfast. I love that place. I start everymorning with the best cappucino in town at Keanes Coffee as well.

                Personally, when I dine alone, I like to be social and sit at a restaurant's bar. Because it will be Monday it should be mellow at the bar at Cafe R&D or Francoli in Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

                Bandera (on PCH) would also be a great night.

                I am not sure how good the sushi is in your area but not very far away from John Wayne is a quaint sushi bar called Ango Tei. Good value and quaility. It is one Paularino next to my favorite Japanese market call Mitsuwa.

                1. re: pomme de terre

                  Dick Church's Restaurant is very close to the airport. Diner type food, good breakfasts and has been around forever....although I haven't been in at least 10+ years. 2698 Newport Blvd, just south of the SNA (sorry, I'll never use John Wayne).