Newport Beach area eats for the geographically challenged?
Hi, hoping for a little help. Visiting Newport Beach tomorrow for a few days from Western North Carolina. The places I've looked up based on some recs here and elsewhere have been a little on the $$ for us (I'm sure my search was not exhaustive and hope my laziness will be forgiven!). I also don't know the area well so don't know how far certain towns are from each other. For example, is it a short drive to Laguna Beach for dinner? Other local areas?
I'm looking for places with dinners entrees in the range of high teens/low 20s (or lower!). Thai, Mexican/Cal-Mex, fresh seafood, Greek and "American" recs would all be welcome. We're not big drinkers, so that's not an issue. Prefer non-national chains. Atmosphere: not stuffy or dressy. We're early 40's, late 30's, if that helps.
Thanks for any feedback.
.."Fresh Seafood"... ~ ~ Try the Sunset Specials at Amelia's on Balboa Island, Newport Beach - order 5 - 6 p.m. (not available on Saturdays). $10.75 per entree + $3.00 for the house soup or salad. A Pacific Coast specialty you won't find in N.C. are Sand-Dabs = an enjoyable, but not really a wow experience like a expertly prepared Dover Sole can be; however, at 1/4-th the cost.......
Laguna Beach is not far from Newport Beach - about a 10 - 15 minute drive, depending on traffic on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).
Laguna is a great little town and has some nice places to eat in a wide variety of price ranges and styles. If you search "Laguna Beach" on this board you'll find lots of hits.
Be sure and check out Elmomonster's blog, as well !
If you have a car, and you want good Thai food, Thai Nakorn is across-the-board favorite. It's probably the first thing that comes to mind here in OC, whenever someone thinks about Thai. But, it's about 20 miles from Newport Beach.
Other options in Newport for Mexican is El Matador (which offers combos of all type with refried beans and red rice)...I like it alright, but my friend (who eats at Mexican joints like these all the time) LOVES it.
If you want cheap seafood (like no more than $10 for a plate of grilled fish, rice and coleslaw), drive over to Irvine to California Fish Grill (also in Cypress).
Here's a review: