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Sep 22, 2008 04:28 PM

Mama D's (Newport Beach)

Was treated to this Italian-American restaurant recently by someone I rather like, so I hate to be a critical, ungrateful a-hole. Mama D's used to be located in Manhattan Beach years ago before relocating to Newport Beach and has the usual array of accolades from local newspapers and Zagat adorning its walls. It occupies an old warehouse in the boathouse district with high unmodulated wooden rafters which gives the room a boomingly loud acoustic effect.

Service was busy but prompt. Very friendly service, which they take great pride in. I liked our greeter and waiter very much. They did an outstanding job.

Food was just eh, though. I ordered linguine with white clam sauce; others at the table shared a pizza. The linguine came in a deep bowl with about a quart of steaming clam juice, a half dozen in-shell littleneck clams, and some chopped, canned, clam meat. The broth had no particular seasoning working, just hot canned clam juice. Was more like a soup with pasta, not a pasta dish with sauce.

Pizza was ordered extra thin and well done. It's middling east coast pizza of no specific geographic provenance. The dough was a little sweet to my taste, and didn't display any artisanal care in its mixing, rising, or prebake prep. Your basic fast formula, single rise, sugared up dough with too much yeast. Nothing to write home about at all.

Maybe we ordered wrong. Does anyone have recent good experiences with this place?

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  1. FYI: They didn't relocate to Newport - they've just opened at least two more restaurants (one in Hermosa, and yours in Newport).

    I enjoy Mama D's, but it's not the greatest around. But my wife likes it, so I get to go pretty often to make her happy.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Dr. Confoundo

      Thanks for clearing up the location issue.

      What do you get that makes you happy?

      1. re: Professor Salt

        Never been in the place, but I'm sure there is a Mama D's still in Manhattan Beach. Not sure of it's pedigree, but it's near the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Manhattan Beach Blvd.

        1. re: Professor Salt

          I enjoy their Fried Calimari, and I usually get the Seafood Lasagna.

      2. Used to eat at Mamma D's in Manhattan Beach. I actually never liked their's like Spaghetti O's out of the can for me. It was boring, unimaginative, tasteless and nowhere near real Italian fare. We would only eat there because my brother in law likes it (lives in MB and drags us there) and it's easy on the kids. Then again, my brother in law has a very bland palate. Even a burger from McDonald's is great for him. So there....

        2 Replies
        1. re: trvlcrzy

          Your brother-in-law sounds a lot like my wife. I try to get her to go to interesting places, but she'd much rather eat at Chili's or something. Mama D's is an exciting night out for her.

          1. re: Dr. Confoundo

            Ha, ha! A gourmet meal for my brother in law is The Cheesecake factory!!

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. I felt the food was just OK...we went there on a recommendation from a trusted friend and were disappointed. The owner guy in the hat is just weird...actually made me slightly uncomfortable and frankly embarrassed when he was giving us his life story as we were trying to pay the check. We made a quick escape and haven't gone back. Food isn't worth it IMHO.

            1. The original comment has been removed