Speaking of Newport Beach Restaurants - A Blast from the Past
I knew and liked the bombastic owner of Ambrosia and saw that the move initiated by Bren was doomed:
Same about the owner and the food of the Bouzy Rouge on Newport Blvd. on the Balboa Peninsula:. That's where I learned to love anchovies.
Is any of the restaurants referenced in this thread still around ?
Is "Blast from the Past" (that's the name of the restaurant, right?) still around ?
We were there last month for the lunch priced Lobster Tail.
Delishes as usual. It was my birthday and the waitress comped us with nice treats. We have been eating lobster there since 1965. What is amazing is how good all the accompaniments
are. The cole slaw, the potatoes, the soup! My husband grew up around Balboa as his dad had a boat there.
Recently he was busy pointing out many of the places mentioned on this thread. Altho he had told me stuff before, on this trip he showed me some new hangouts. I never got to Bouzy Rouge b/c we were always en route to the Crab Cooker.
Don't know how my funds could survive a crab cooker here in L.A.
Keeping to my theme of great restaurants now gone, there was a terrific very interesting article in The OC Weekly reminiscing about Sid Soffer and his restaurants in Newport Beach - Sid's Steakhouse and Sid's Blue Beet.
We knew Sid and his wife, Michiko, (who ran and maybe still runs a great Italian restaurant.
Her place was just up the road from his and then she and her superbly talented chef, Paolo, moved to Old World Village (if the name isn't right, I apologize) in Huntington Beach.
I was searching my defective memory while posting.
I did some online research.
The original restaurant in Newport Beach was named "issay"
They moved together, opening up under the same name, in Old World Village in Huntington Beach.
(Here is a link to The OC Weekly review by founding editor, Jim Washburn: http://www.ocweekly.com/2001-07-26/fo...
The new restaurant burned down in 2001,
I haven't been in contact with Michiko for several years and I do not know if Paolo is still in Huntington Beach or elsewhere.
re: Gypsy Jan
Here are some more great old school restaurants that have gone to culinary heaven:
The Hobbit in O.C.
Victor Hugo - Laguna Beach
The Five Crowns - Corona del Mar. I think the building still exists, but the menu has changed.
Scandia, of course.
Not in the same league, but definitely missed:
Cock n Bull, Bantam Cock, Tail of the Cock, Frascatti's (all of them), Martoni's, even Ollie Hammonds.
Desserteries I loved and still miss: Pupi's, Wil Wright's and Blums.
Five Crowns is alive and well and still owned by Lawry's (since 1965). While the menu has been tweaked, and SideDoor opened a couple of years ago to take advantage of the gastropub craze, the main restaurant and its menu remain largely recognizable to those who ate there in decades past.
We went to Victor Hugo with our kids many times. It was missed until just this year when I discovered Cafe Zoolu in Laguna and that makes up for it, altho they are very different.
My daughter is in S.D., and we often meet in the middle at Laguna. We need a hang out place other than the beach!
Cafe Zoolu's chef is Michael Leech, and he and his wife run a great place. Their site shows Michael next to a VW bus like I used to have! The food is generous, varied and delicious. Swordfish to die for (especially in a world lacking same!) www.cafezoolu.com/
About Marconi's: was in there many times; once a fight broke out and Tab Hunter at the table next to me, jumped up to protect me from harm!
Another time I hosted a small group of very special people,
but was given a menu without prices, supposedly a 'special courtesy' for the gals! Being a feminist named Rosewoman after the women in my family, and feminism being popular at the time, I complained. They could not comprehend that a woman was hosting. I was no longer their current darling.
I never went back. They closed.
I NEVER like Frascotti's and, after living and eating Italian in NYC, could not understand it being so mediocre for Sunset Blvd in the '70's.
Back in the day, many expensive restaurants had menus without prices for "the ladies." They also had "powder rooms" instead of bathrooms. What a crock! They went kicking and screaming into the new era. Those restaurants that refused, went out of business.
Tab Hunter is a decent guy. Read his autobiography. You will like him even more. But he cannot sing.
Frascotti's did a huge lunch trade, especially for entertainment business types. It was second choice to the original Brown Derby for business lunches.
re: Gypsy Jan
I used to live in the apartments next to old World and I would frequently eat at Paolo's. Great squash ravioli, and Paolo was a super cool person to have a glass of wine with!
Sadly, the restaurant has been gone for some time. I do not know if he opened up another restaurant.
John Wayne and Dillman's Restaurant in Balboa
John Wayne loved Mexico and Baja especially.
I remember the night that he was at Dillman's exotic meats dinner (lion, tiger, rhinoceros, etc. and by the way - YUCK) and a Newport Beach police escort was waiting for him outside.
One officer was there to take him home and the other to drive his car.