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Newport beach/etc area for NY chowhound

n
Nehna Mar 26, 2007 10:36 AM

Going to be in the Long Beach/Newport Beach area for two nights this week. Looking for a couple of great restaurant suggestions for 4 New Yorkers traveling together. Esp some great sushi options. I rarely get to Orange county so I really am at a loss for where we should go.

  1. Mr. S Mar 26, 2007 10:50 AM

    For sushi in OC, Sushi Shibuco in Costa Mesa for omakase is top notch. The location leaves something to be desired (strip mall, bad-ish area), but for quality, it is the best around. For standard sushi and rolls, try San Shi Go in Laguna Beach, they also have an excellent sunset view. If in Long Beach area, drive up to Torrance for Musha if you are in the mood for Izakaya, everything is good, but I rave about the mackeral torched tableside.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Mr. S
      n
      Nehna Mar 26, 2007 11:00 AM

      Oh Musha looks awesome....we used to go to Happa Izakaya in Vancouver and have never found anything similar in NYC (there are some here, but nothing like Happa).

      1. re: Mr. S
        elmomonster Mar 26, 2007 11:12 AM

        I second Sushi Shibucho. It is, by far, the best around these parts. Omakase is a steal at around $40 per person.

        Here's some pics of the sushi:
        http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2005/10/omakase-at-sushi-shibucho-costa-mesa.html

        Another place to consider is Bluefin in Newport Beach. It does a tasting menu for $75 that is just divine. The sushi is not the main attraction for me though, it's the inventive Japanese/French dishes doled out by the kitchen.

        Here's some pics of the first meal I had there:
        http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2006/...

        1. re: elmomonster
          Mr. S Mar 26, 2007 11:50 AM

          On a side note to elmomonster's rec., Bluefin will also be a great place for a "typical OC" experience, people watching at its finest. I know, its non-chowish...

          1. re: Mr. S
            notmartha Mar 26, 2007 12:47 PM

            What people watching?

            I would second Bluefin. My favorite place for upscale sushi and the fusion dishes. Plus afterwards you can get the cinnamon custard danish from Pacific Whey next door, or drive a short distance to Crystal Cove state beach and dip your toes into the frigid ocean.

            BTW, Long Beach isn't adjacent to Newport Beach.

            1. re: notmartha
              Mr. S Mar 26, 2007 02:14 PM

              What people watching at Bluefin? Um, try the fancy Newpsies that live there. That would be a start!
              Not relevant to the topic, I know but don't deny thats a good spot for people from out of town to get an "OC" experience.
              And you are right about one thing: Long Beach isn't adjacent to Newport.
              The poster DID ASK about Long Beach, though.
              And the water is actually a balmy 63 F according to surfline.com, hardly frigid for this time of year.

              1. re: Mr. S
                notmartha Mar 26, 2007 03:22 PM

                Guess I was too busy watching my chow.

                Just commenting that the OP may have confused the two cities.

                1. re: notmartha
                  n
                  Nehna Mar 26, 2007 03:26 PM

                  No I just know they're not terribly far apart...we're staying in Long Beach and I know that Newport Beach isnt a far drive and figured there would be better (?) dining options than Long Beach.

                  1. re: Nehna
                    notmartha Mar 27, 2007 11:02 AM

                    If you are willing to make the drive there are better destination for good chow than Newport Beach. Check into the San Gabriel Valley area for good Asian food, for instance. The hot spots for great dining are really far north in the middle of LA county.

                    BTW, Abe's do have cooked food - both traditional Japanese and fushion type, so it's not all sushi.

                    Another one to consider is the Beachcomber cafe at Crystal Cove. There are reviews at Chowhound - some liked it, some don't. I found the dinner there to be pretty good the one time I tried, but I think being next to the ocean while I eat really contributed to my enjoyment.

          2. re: elmomonster
            f
            FDawson Mar 30, 2007 02:37 PM

            I definitely 2nd the Bluefin recommendation. I've been there several times. It's down PCH a ways from Newport Beach though. About half way between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach in a shopping center on the East side of the road. Make sure you go to Maestro's located on an outparcel in the same center for a glass of wine after. There are some interesting social dynamics there, i.e. gold digging 30 yr old women mixing with 60-70 yr old rich tycoons.

        2. f
          FDawson Mar 26, 2007 11:03 AM

          In Newport Beach I'd go to Wasa
          1346 Bison Ave.
          (Macarthur Blvd.)
          Newport Beach, CA
          949-760-1511
          This place has great sushi, occasional inconsistent service (just sit at the sushi bar), and moogoo beautiful people walking in and out. Not to pricey either.

          In Long Beach you'll enjoy Sushi of Naples.

          1. n
            Nehna Mar 26, 2007 09:04 PM

            Any non sushi place suggestions? Turns out our 4th isnt too into raw fish, unlike the rest of us ;) I think we're going to do Musha one night but need a good choice for the other night that doesnt involve raw fish. Maybe an Italian? Or some good california local ingredient type spot?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Nehna
              f
              FDawson Mar 30, 2007 02:46 PM

              If you want Italian in Long Beach, the No. 1 spot is L'Opera on Pine. A less glitzy place would be DeMinico's (sp?) on 2nd Street or Cafe Gazelle. You might really like Cafe Gazelle. It's located at 191 La Verne in Long Beach...562-438-5033. Cafe Gazelle is small, intimate, and has great food.

              1. re: FDawson
                j
                justagthing Mar 30, 2007 04:55 PM

                Cafe Gazelle is great. There is also another wonderful Italian restaurant on Broadway called La Parolaccia Osteria
                http://www.laparolacciausa.com/

            2. i
              I make my own pickles Mar 26, 2007 09:56 PM

              Sushi Shibucho wasn't bad, I have only been there once. Newport Beach is about 30 minutes from Long Beach, and if your after decent food you might want to make the drive 30 minutes north from Long Beach.
              But if your looking for a way to experience NB, Bluefin is probably a good bet.
              I went to Garlic Jo's about a year ago and that was ok too.
              Hope you have a great dinner.

              1. j
                justagthing Mar 26, 2007 11:45 PM

                Well..I was recommending Restaurant Koi in Seal Beach, right next to Long Beach. Great sushi, but also has other good items on the menu, but I prefer to sit at the sushi bar there.

                As far as other recs, what type of food are you hankering for? There are a couple of great Italian places, Le Creperie for crepes, also good Mediterranian all close to 2nd St/Belmont Shore area. Of course, you could also go to Pine Ave for some fine dining at 555 or Allegra for tapas. There are many great options in Long Beach nowadays.

                1. s
                  samurai221 Mar 27, 2007 11:15 AM

                  Pascal's is the best non-sushi option and it is right in newport. It really is fantastic, decor leaves a tremendous amount to be desired but the food is great. Studio in the Montage resort in Laguna Beach gets lauded with praise and has a great setting. The sushi is really not as good in the OC as it is up in LA, but Bluefin is quite good although the setting and clientel is a lot for your stomach to handle. Right next to Bluefin is an italian restauratn that is quite good called modo mio, some people do not think it is that great but they do a tremendous job with their risottos and make very good fresh pasta.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: samurai221
                    Mr. S Mar 27, 2007 02:56 PM

                    samurai is right on, if you want native California ingredients and an amazing setting, Studio at the Montage will just be outstanding. The use only local grown seasonal vegetables and they have a phenominal wine list. Anything done by Chef Boyce is remarkable. Also, if California is what you seek, the Hotel lobby has a fine collection of California plein air works that Laguna Beach is famous for. Not to metion world class sunset views.... bring your wallet!

                  2. t
                    torta basilica Mar 30, 2007 11:32 AM

                    Definitely Bluefin!!! Hate to be snobby, but Shibuco's area is not the best place to spend one of onely 2 nights in Newport!

                    Would also recommending travelling down to Laguna to the Montage Resort to one of their 2 fine restaurants, drinks beforehand at either the Surf n Sand Hotel (on the beach) or Rooftop at Casa de la Camino Hotel (360 degree panoramic view) - both spectacular!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: torta basilica
                      Mr. S Mar 30, 2007 11:50 AM

                      torta is right on, the Rooftop has THE most amazing view, just dont stay for dinner.... IMO its over priced and bland... Head to Studio or Cafe Zoolu for dinner, Studio is fancy, Zoolu is funky good and intimate.

                      Make a reservation!

                      http://www.gayot.com/restaurantpages/...

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