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Aug 28, 2008 02:26 PM

Clambake in Orange County


I'm planning a rehearsal dinner for next summer which will be heavily attended by my extended family who will be flying in from Scotland. As I'm marrying an East Coast'er, I thought a clambake may be a nice combo of the beach and the East Coast for the international guests.

Has anyone had any experience throwing a clambake in OC? Are there caterers that specialize in this sort of thing? Any particular beach locations that work well?

Thanks in advance for all of your foodie knowledge!

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  1. There is a place you can order from back East, whole clam bake kits. Here is the link You could do that, or see what they have and get it all locally. Up in the South Bay we have an excellent seafood supplier that could probably put together all of the seafood for you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JEN10

      Here is the link, sorry clicked the wrong button!

      Quality Seafood
      130 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA

    2. How fun !

      You mean beach location as in on the sand?

      Maybe the Ritz Carlton would cater a clambake down on their beach.
      I know they cater great paella and do arrange events on their priate beach.
      Might be quite expensive.
      1 Ritz Carlton Dr
      Dana Point, CA 92629
      (949) 240-2000
      Ask for Karen Smiley

      Other than that, best beach locations for this, IMO, would be:

      (1) Corona del Mar
      Grass area at street level, great view. Don't think you can reserve, but people around there are polite and will honor privacy of your area on the grass. Call the City for more info.
      Fire pits on beach level.
      But, lots of stairs in between Can't really be both places together.
      There is a sidewalk all along the sand where you can place tables, if needed for some guests. Easy access distance from parking lot.

      (2) Balboa Peninsula pier area beach.
      All the way down to Main Street by the Pavillion area from Newport Blvd. Near the pier is a huge grass area and also sand area. And, a wooden gazebo.
      Probably ask the City about the grassy area and the wooden gazebo area off Main Street at the Balboa pier to see if it can be reserved. It's soo close to the sand, you will have the best of both worlds. IIRC, there are fire pits there, too. But, ask again or peruse.

      And, you're close to restaurants there too. Order some crab artichoke bisque from Newport Landing. Really creamy and good.

      (3) South County beach - Aliso State Beach
      has firepits on the sand.
      And, there is a "jungle gym" area for kids.
      Albertson's Market across the street for convenience.
      Very near Laguna Beach restaurants/caterers.

      It is near the Montage Resort and Spa (very expensive).
      Some of your guests may want to stay there at the Montage?

      or across the street is their other property, Aliso Creek Inn.
      There is a golf course at the Aliso Creek Inn. All those guest rooms are more like apartments and have full kitchens and back yard patios, but aren't as luxurious as The Montage.

      Anyway, if at Aliso Creek Inn, there is a walkway that goes underneath the Pacific Coast Hwy, so safe and short distance to walk back the the Inn from the clambake at the beach.

      For the clams, etc., nearby is Costa Mesa is a very good place called Santa Monica Seafood on 17th Street (near Newport Ave). Ask them for advice re: clambake. Their fish market has the freshest fish!
      Santa Monica Seafood
      154 E 17th St
      Costa Mesa, CA 92627
      (949) 574-2685

      Also, there are the Dory boats early morning at the Newport Beach pier area. But, no phone number for that, sorry. That's fish right off the boat.

      The clambakes we have had have been poolside, so I'd have to think about hints applicable for beach/sand. All those places, you probably would need some tables and chairs for some of the older folk. It's not easy on the knees after 65 sometimes.

      Call the restaurant Newport Landing and see if they will do a clambake on their outside patio at the docks. They have formal events there often. It's right next to the ferry boat that crosses to Balboa Island. No sand there, though, Cement and tourists, but private area right on the docks. Their party food is better than some of the menu food, plus they clean up ! Never saw them do a clambake, though you can ask. They do a good job on private parties.

      Another option would be check the old restaurant Woody's Wharf.
      2318 Newport Blvd
      Newport Beach, CA 92663
      (949) 675-0474
      They have an outside patio that looks out over the bay water/docks. They have really great clams, but I don't know about the whole clambake deal.
      I would definitely call the owner and ask if he can work something with you.
      Their menu food has changed a little since I used to dine there. Upgraded to compete with continental dining. And, the decor is kind of rustic. It might be worth a call. Their steamed clams are great. And, they have Paella.

      As for a versatile caterer, we enjoy Luscious Jimmy's Catering, Inc.
      Jimmy is very versatile and a very acceptable chef.
      He likes to get fancy and don't know if he has ever done a clambake. But, they're good.

      Have I confused you yet? LOL

      Congratulations and best regards.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kc girl

        bloody hell! Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I will definitely give Newport Landing and Woodys Wharf a call. Our wedding and reception is at the Balboa Bay Club so most of the out of town guests will be staying there, thus that would be perfect!

        Again, thank you!!

        1. re: mandeeuk

          Did you know the Balboa Bay Club has their own sandy beach?
          If one in your party is a BBC member, you can consider using that location.
          Talk to them, too. How convenient is that?

      2. The King's Fish House locations have a Clambake on their menu that is quite good. The one in Laguna Hills has large tables in their bar are and a nice outdoor area that could both accommodate large groups (if you decide to take it off the beach). I don't know if they do catering (their site doesn't say so) but they might be a place to checkout.