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Tan Cang Newport Seafood vs Seafood Cove - which one should i go to?

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Lau Sep 22, 2008 07:04 PM

I'm planning on hitting one of these places as well while I'm home...which one is better? "must order" dish recs?

btw I'd really like the try the lobster or crab at one of these places as that's what they're known for right?

also im talking about the Tan Cang in the OC not the branches in the SGV

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  1. t
    trvlcrzy RE: Lau Sep 22, 2008 08:00 PM

    Go to Dragon Phoenix instead....yes, go for the lobster or crab.

    5 Replies
    1. re: trvlcrzy
      Chandavkl RE: trvlcrzy Sep 22, 2008 08:39 PM

      Is Dragon Phoenix back from the dead? Last report I remember said it was way way downhill from 5 to 10 years ago.

      1. re: trvlcrzy
        JAB RE: trvlcrzy Sep 22, 2008 09:03 PM

        The horror. At least for Dim Sum.

        1. re: JAB
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          Lau RE: JAB Sep 23, 2008 07:40 AM

          so avoid dragon phoenix? ive heard of it, but only for dim sum...i looked at the profile on yelp, gets terrrible reviews for dim sum, but a few of the reviewers who have review dinner are fairly positive

          anyhow back to the original question, which of the 3 is the best? ill be going for lunch on friday, specifically going for lobster or crab and whatever else is good

          1. re: Lau
            Professor Salt RE: Lau Sep 26, 2008 07:09 PM

            Most definitely avoid Dragon Phoenix for dim sum. It's utterly horrific.

            I went to Seafood Cove a few months ago after a years-long hiatus. The food that was once great (hot & sour soup, kung pao anything) had dropped off considerably. Where they were once amazing, it's now just ok.

            1. re: Professor Salt
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              ns1 RE: Professor Salt Oct 2, 2008 03:20 PM

              This is very true. The place just looks dated and run down now, and the food definitely does not feel as good as it used to be.

              Go to Furiwa instead on Westminster/Brookhurst next to the Rite-Aid across from Target. WAAAAAAAAAAAY better.

      2. j
        JMan604 RE: Lau Sep 23, 2008 08:06 AM

        I haven't tried tan cang yet but I've tried seafood cove. The problem with seafood cove is that i feel they use msg as my wife and I were super thristy after eating there. It was abit too salty for my taste. But I always patronize the restaurant across the street (Seafood Paradise) which is also known for the lobster and crab.

        1. a
          attran99 RE: Lau Sep 23, 2008 09:18 AM

          Tan Cang has the best house special lobster and crab on earth. I'm having a craving just thinking about it. The also have great clam and mussel dishes. The OC location is the original.
          Seafood Cove and Seafood Palace are a bit strange. They have management shifts and the staff travels with the managements across the street and back, again. I've no clue what the current state of the situation is. However in the past, my mom has gotten the Seafood Chow Mein and Kung Pao Chicken from Seafood Cove.
          I'd stay away from Dragon Phoenix, if I were you. Not in the same league as Tan Cang.

          1. sweetestliz RE: Lau Sep 23, 2008 10:59 AM

            Definitely go to Newport Seafood. Their house lobster or crab are both amazing. I also always have to get the live shrimp when I go there. I would not go to Seafood Cove or Dragon Phoenix for crab/lobster. I only go to SC when I'm broke (good lunch specials) and DP when my mom is craving dim sum, but is too lazy to go out of Little Saigon.

            8 Replies
            1. re: sweetestliz
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              Lau RE: sweetestliz Sep 23, 2008 11:31 AM

              great thx

              what else are "must order" dishes at newport seafood?

              1. re: Lau
                kingkong5 RE: Lau Sep 24, 2008 02:22 AM

                For all your wonderful information about Fu Wing Low, I'll try to return the favor in kind :)

                Definitely go to Tan Cang/Newport Seafood. It is the best out of the three, unless maybe you are going in a big group who is friends with the owner at the other two places. The house special lobster is great, and they will even put it on top of lo mein noodles if you ask. The noodles are great for sopping up the sauce, or you can just use the white rice.

                Other dishes we always get there is the bo luc lac, diced filet mignon in a garlicky sweet sauce, anything that they can do with geoduck (we prefer the geoduck salad, they also do it stir fried), sauteed pea shoots, and canh chua, Vietnamese style hot/sour soup. If in a large group, we'll usually add kung pao chicken (not amazing, but very edible), tom rang muoi which is the salt/pepper fried shrimp with the heads on them, peking style pork chops (deep fried then that gloppy red sauce), and/or clams w/ thai basil. If you've got kids there too, the house special fried rice, or the pho ap chao would be great. Pho Ap Chao is like beef chow fun, dry.

                Hope you have a great time, and that you don't get stuck in Room #2 the side room with no windows.

                1. re: Lau
                  kingkong5 RE: Lau Sep 24, 2008 02:25 AM

                  And also you may find a lot of these "favorites" at a substantial discount under the "family dinners" part of the menu. If you find one that fits your needs, order that and then supplement with lobster and/or geoduck. If you ask nice, you can also get them to substitute your favored preparation instead of what is on the family dinner without added cost.

                  Oh yeah, cash only is their motto, but they do have a credit card machine if you persist or forget.

                  1. re: kingkong5
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                    Lau RE: kingkong5 Sep 24, 2008 04:33 AM

                    perfect this is very helpful! im very much looking forward to this...i also love bo luc lac, so thats even better (this type of stuff is simply not available in NY)

                    glad you liked Fu Wing Low btw...kenny is a great chef!

                    1. re: kingkong5
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                      kevin RE: kingkong5 Sep 26, 2008 10:55 AM

                      hey , king kong, do you happen to know if they served, vietnamese sweetened iced coffee (? cafe sua da) at Newport Lobster?

                      1. re: kevin
                        kingkong5 RE: kevin Sep 26, 2008 06:52 PM

                        I don't think they do, I've never ordered it there. I'm not sure if it goes particularly well with lobster. I do like the fresh squeezed orange juice when they have it, and of course they have soda and beer.

                        If you're hankering for coffee, there's a bunch of places closeby towards brookhurst along 1st street, so not too far from Newport Seafood.

                        1. re: kingkong5
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                          kevin RE: kingkong5 Sep 27, 2008 05:35 PM

                          That's what I thought. Never saw it mentioned on the menu.

                          But didn't know about the fresh squeezed orange juice, sounds like it will cut right through the garlic in the sauce for the house special. And also, beers go perfectly with the food. Esp that French beer with the Grolsch-like top which sells at close to retail.

                          Only problem is that they are cash only. And usually a bill there amounts to over $50 per person if not more with tax and tip.

                  2. re: sweetestliz
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                    kevin RE: sweetestliz Sep 26, 2008 10:52 AM

                    Yes, agree on Newport Seafood, aka Tan Cang (right?).

                    House special lobster is excellent and very expensive. But if you have a group going it won't deant the pocketbook to seriously.

                  3. t
                    trvlcrzy RE: Lau Sep 23, 2008 12:24 PM

                    Wow! What can I say? Last time we went it was with a bunch of people that knew the owner personally. I guess it's different otherwise??? Will compare it again with Newport Seafood and Can Tang.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: trvlcrzy
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                      hobbess RE: trvlcrzy Sep 24, 2008 11:23 PM

                      Definitely, Newport Seafood and their lobster dish, which I found to be one of the best dishes in OC, and their fillet mignon.I can not say enough good things about that lobster dish.

                      I'm curious about the difference between Newport Seafood in Santa Ana and the one in SGV, if there's any difference in quality? I remember Jonathan Goldman praising the SGV's lobster dish in one of his columns. Assuming there's no difference and even though Newport Seafood is better than Seafood Cove, you might want to consider going to Cove and eating at Newport Seafood at SGV.

                      1. re: hobbess
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                        Lau RE: hobbess Sep 25, 2008 06:59 AM

                        yeah im eating there for sure on friday for lunch

                        although i believe that the Newport Seafood in santa ana is actually the original and the SGV is a branch

                        1. re: Lau
                          kingkong5 RE: Lau Sep 25, 2008 07:56 PM

                          Yes, the Seafood Cove lunch special is totally awesome. If you get a bunch of people, you can order all of the good stuff at ridiculous cheap lunch prices.

                          Probably my favorite thing at Seafood Cove is the house special chicken. I don't know why it's so good, but it is so good. My wife, she likes the canh chua ca Vietnamese style. Actually, on our very first date we went to Seafood Cove back in 1996, and had the house special chicken and canh chua ca, how weird.

                    2. l
                      Lau RE: Lau Sep 26, 2008 05:05 PM

                      ended up hitting Tan Cang Newport Seafood...ill write up a full report in the next few days with a couple pics....but the bottom line was that i thought it was excellent; everyone was impressed by the place

                      1. l
                        Lau RE: Lau Oct 2, 2008 03:11 PM

                        thx for the all recs everyone...i ended up hitting Tan Cang Newport Seafood, here's my report:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/561845

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Lau
                          Servorg RE: Lau Oct 2, 2008 07:34 PM

                          Lau, did you ever get your photos to show up with your review? I looked and never saw them. Hope you get them to materialize.

                          1. re: Servorg
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                            Lau RE: Servorg Oct 2, 2008 08:16 PM

                            i tried to post them a couple times, but for some reason it wont post, i dont know why...here's the pics from yelp:
                            http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/WGOJKw...

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