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special dinner in Newport Beach

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will be there to have dinner with my son, a US Marine just back from Afghanistan. He may want a steak, or Italian, or sushi, or gosh knows what. looking for ideas for each and any other 'special' possibilities. as it is a special deal, we can be a little bit spendy, good vino would be a plus.

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  1. If French is an option, I think Marche Moderne is the best restaurant in OC.

    For steak, Capital Grille, Mastro's, or Mastro's Ocean Club. Or, if roast beef is preferred, Five Crowns.

    For Italian, Antonello's, Canaletto or Onotria.

    For sushi, the two good places which "feel" special (there are far less glamorous places but with even better sushi) are BlueFin and Hamamori.

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    Bluefin
    7952 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92660

    Marche Moderne
    3333 Bristol St 3001, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    Mastro's Ocean Club
    8112 E Coast Hwy, Newport Coast, CA 92657

    Onotria Restaurant
    2831 Bristol St Ste A, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    Five Crowns
    3801 East Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

    Canaletto Ristorante Veneto
    545 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660

    Antonello Ristorante
    1611 W Sunflower Ave Ste E55, Santa Ana, CA 92704

    Hamamori At the Plaza
    3333 Bear St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    The Capital Grille - Costa Mesa
    3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    2 Replies
    1. re: New Trial

      i second marche moderne! i loooove their octopus appetizer and lamb ribeye with carrot puree :p

      1. re: ozsj0402

        Congratulations on the safe return of your Marine! I would add Old Vine Cafe to the list if vino is important and you are not looking for a "scene." BTW, 6 years ago my wife and I had our rehearsal dinner at Antonello in a small private room, and they did a great job.

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        Old Vine Cafe
        2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    2. My favorite sushi bar is San Shi Go on Balboa Peninsula. Sit at the bar and let the chef do an Omakase meal for you. Let him know in advance if there is anything you don't like. Expect $100pp or more plus alcohol.

      Bluefin on PCH is also excellent, though I order off the menu there.

      Marche Moderne may be the best spot in OC, but it is in South Coast Plaza. The actual spot is lovely, tucked away on a 3rd floor a lot of people don't even know about, but it is in the mall. Another option for French may be Basilic on Balboa.

      In addition to what was listed above, Steak options also include Ruth Chris and Morton's.

      One of my favorite restaurants in OC is Tabu Grill in South Laguna. A bit out of Newport, but excellent. I like the vibe of the smaller restaurant, and the food is excellent. It reminds me of great neighborhood place in San Francisco, a vibe we just don't get here in OC.

      Other really special occasion restaurants are Stone Hill Tavern and Studio at the Montage. Both has tasting menus that are going to pricey but excellent.

      And please make sure that your son knows that there are plenty of random folks out here that appreciate his service and sacrifice.

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      Stonehill Tavern
      St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

      Morton's the Steakhouse
      1641 W Sunflower Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704

      Studio
      30801 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA

      Basilic Restaurant
      217 Marine Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92662

      Tabu Grill
      2892 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

      San Shi Go Sushi and Asian Cuisine
      205 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661

      Ruth's Chris Steak House
      2961 Michelson Drive, Irvine, CA 92612

      1 Reply
      1. re: ocshooter

        San Shi Go place link.

        Just as a side note. This restaurants actual name (at least as far as it exists in English) is 345 Restaurant Newport Beach. The numbers 3 4 5 in Japanese are of course literally "san shi go" and they also are part of something called the "Oki Doki" restaurant group, (hence the website URL of www.okidokirestaurant.com ). Now I'm dizzy and need to sit down.

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        San Shi Go Sushi and Asian Cuisine
        205 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661

      2. There is a really good steak place called Mastro's in Costa Mesa
        and if your son wants sushi, I recommend Sushi Wasabi. The restaurant may not look so fancy but I can guarantee you the quality :)

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        Sushi Wasabi
        14460 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780

        Mastros Restaurant
        2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

        1. In addition to some of the ones mentioned, look at the below.

          I think Basilic Cafe on Balboa Island is one of the best restaurants in Orange County.

          I'd also look at the Quiet Woman for steak, it is quiet and local (before the entertainment starts).

          Rothschild's in Corona del Mar for Italian is another great place and they have a good wine menu. Amelia's on Balboa Island isn't as good, but has a great ambiance. Canaletto Ristorante Veneto in Newport Center is nice too.

          Fleming's in Newport Center does great steaks, but I find them a little pricey compared to Capital Grille or Morton's, but you can't fault their quality of meat.

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          Canaletto Ristorante Veneto
          545 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660

          Basilic Restaurant
          217 Marine Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92662

          Quiet Woman
          3224 E Coast Hwy, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

          The Capital Grille
          8614 Beverly Blvd Suite 157, Los Angeles, CA 90048

          2 Replies
          1. re: scottca075

            I do like the WaSa sushi group of restuarants.

            And Sushi Wasabe was good before, but it's primarily only omakase and it doesn't really have a festive special occassion atmosphere?

            But San Shi Go sounds very interesting to me. What's good on the menu there?

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            San Shi Go Restaurant
            1100 S Coast Hwy Ste 303, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

            1. re: kevin

              I like Wasa as well, and frequent the one at the Spectrum and Irvine. I used to go to the one on El Toro before they sold it. I have been to Hamamori once, and it was good, but not good enough for the price to make it into a recommended spot.

              At San Shi Go, the only thing I have ever had there that I consider a miss was a fried toro dish that they served one time. Otherwise, I just lay out my restrictions on Omakase - I do not eat shellfish, and my wife skips the rice - and let the chef do his magic. Ask what is in season or special. They get some really magnificent toro. In season they import salmon roe from Japan which is nothing like salmon roe you get at most places. I skip the scallops, but they look fantastic and my wife loves them.