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May 26, 2010 08:19 PM

Ritz Restaurant, Newport Beach?

The Ritz Restaurant in Newport Beach (not the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel) used to be a totally class act...great food, service and ambiance. That was in the days when Hans Prager (one of the truly great restaurant giants of southern CA) owned the Ritz, and was the executive chef. Sadly, Hans passed away some years ago, and this beautiful restaurant has changed hands. Has anyone been there recently? Is it any good? Is it anything like it was when the Pragers were at the helm??

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  1. Yes and no. It is physically much the same, though the server's outfits are now more demure. Foodwise it is quite good (and they still serve the cheese toast!) but not great and it lacks some of the flair it had under Prager. I took a couple of friends there for lunch recently and we all enjoyed it and, even more recently, my family had a lovely Mother's Day brunch there. Alas, they no longer offer the Moms a rose at meal's end and no family photo out-front any more. As I said, Hans Prager had flair.

    2 Replies
    1. re: New Trial

      I have not been there "recently," but was there for a Mother's Day brunch about 5 years ago that was so bad that we never thought about a return visit. A very different place 5 years ago than 20 years ago, but absent a complete do-over in the past 5 years and stellar reviews, I would not remotely be interested in returning.

      1. re: lawdog262

        yeah, this place needs a complete do-over in food & decor. It's old-fashioned not in a good, charming way but in a dowdy, dingy way. Food tastes like what you might get a Norm's, only worse.