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Game changer? Newport Seafood -> Beverly HIlls

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  1. WHOA.

    Hope the food doesn't get watered down. My impression is that there are many more wealthy Chinese immigrants on the westside now, so perhaps there's a market for this.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ilysla

      That and the tourists on Rodeo Drive... this is NEEDED.

      --Dommy!

      1. re: Dommy

        A nice boost to restaurant row w matsuhisa fogo and lawrys. Decisions...

      2. re: ilysla

        More REAL Chinese food on the Westside is GREAT.
        Meizho Dongpo - which seems to get little love here at CH-LA has a few dumbed down dishes but is the real deal,IMHO. It is a great trend.

      3. Bet the price of lobster is going up !

        1. I hope they succeed there.

          1. wow this is great...i think. But will be really surprised if the prices aren't inflated in this new location.

            47 Replies
            1. re: TailbackU

              if it's more than sgv but less than the rest of BH, I think that would be reasonable.

              1. re: ns1

                what would you consider "less than the rest of BH" given that there really is no fair comparison to the food that they put out?

                1. re: TailbackU

                  less than hakkasan/chi lin/whatever.

                  IOW for an average meal, $20-30pp would be ideal. $40pp would be stretching it, and $50pp would be WTF I'll just drive to the SGV.

                  and if you guys claim to drop more than 30pp on average at the SGV Newport Seafood outpost, then jesus christ I need to eat with you fucking whales.

                  1. re: ns1

                    I've spent ~$50/person last few visits (all special occasions).

                    1. re: chrishei

                      see previous note regarding whales.

                      1. re: ns1

                        Don't hate the playa...

                        (and I don't mean beach)

                        1. re: TheOffalo

                          I thought Playa closed ??????

                          Isn't it Petty Cash now ???????

                          1. re: kevin

                            Didn't Bill & Hinoki take it over? Or was that the Stinking Bird Finger?

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Hmm. I don't know. I sure hope so.

                              But research on both topics and then get back to us on the double.

                        2. re: ns1

                          My only correlation w/ whales are looking like a beached one and working for some.

                2. re: TailbackU

                  How dare they pass along the higher cost of doing business...and make a profit. Why the nerve of some people!

                  1. re: Servorg

                    they charge ~$18/lb for their special lobster in SGV. Would you still be ok if they charged $35/lb in BH because of the higher rents?

                    1. re: TailbackU

                      Time is money. And the prices reflect the cost of doing business. I don't expect them to sell food at a loss.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        But would you still be OK paying those prices knowing that you could get the same dish for half the price?

                        I wouldn't. And the after dinner massage in BH would be a helluva lot more than $15.

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          Time or money; both are valuable, it's up to the diner to decide which one they have more of ^_^

                          1. re: ns1

                            It strongly depends on which one you have more of, and which less. Not entirely, but it can be the deciding factor, all other factors being equal.

                              1. re: ns1

                                It just causes my hackles to go up when folks who don't have a clue, not even an inkling of a clue, want to criticize pricing based on what they have in their bank account. To hell with anyone making a profit on their risk and hard work.

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  You still haven't said, "yes, Mr Taster, I would gladly pay double for the same dish because the restaurateur has a right to earn a profit."

                                  Mr Taster

                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                    I would not personally pay double. My boss who makes 3x as much as me? He'd undoubtedly pay it to avoid the 2-3 hour round-trip drive + wait @ SGV Newport Seafood.

                                    I mean really now, higher prices = less lines = less riff raff = less wait.

                                    win/win/win for people with money.

                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                      I replied in a way that makes sense to me. Time vs Money. It all depends on which is more important to me at the moment I'm hungry for what the restaurant has to offer.

                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                        "yes, Mr Taster, I would gladly pay double for the same dish because the restaurateur has a right to earn a profit."

                                        I do it at airports and ballparks quite often.

                                        Location, location, location.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          With re: to ballparks and airports, don't you mean to say, "yes, Mr Taster, I would gladly pay double for the same dish because I'm hungry and there are no other viable options."?

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                            Exactly.

                                            If you're stuck west of La Cienega, and want Newport (or the equivalent), then "yes, Mr Taster, I would gladly pay double for the same dish because I'm hungry and there are no other viable options."

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              For the price of urasawa fly to japan

                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                An Urasawa-type kaiseki meal would actually be more expensive in Tokyo.

                                                And then factor in the approx. 20k for a roundtrip flight ...

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  We flew 1200 per person rt coach but not shabby on Asian airlines. Hard to justify the splurge for urasawa for me given what u can do with the money.

                                        2. re: Mr Taster

                                          Can I say
                                          ""yes, Mr Taster, I would gladly pay double for the same dish because [it is closer]?"

                                          1. re: Ciao Bob

                                            You can say whatever you like, Bob :) Thanks for the Meizho Dongpo rec. I hadn't heard of it before. Dongpo pork in Culver City is big news-- as big as Newport in BH. Not sure why that info hasn't been glommed on to.

                                            Mr Taster

                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                              Hope you like it. Many but not all the dishes are as authentic as you can find in in the homeland (the Big C) , as well as the hinterland (SGV).

                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                I think Meizho Dongpo is in Century City, not Culver City lest you make your plans to visit.

                                                Not enough high-end branding in Culver City for Chinese shoppers flush with cash.

                                      2. re: Servorg

                                        re: the value of time/geographic proximity,

                                        if i'm spending the additional time in the car chatting with folks that i enjoy, that's one thing.
                                        if i'm driving out by myself it's another.

                                        if i'm driving at non peak times, that's one thing
                                        if i'm fighting rush hour traffic, that's another.

                                        if i'm the one doing the driving and i'd like to have a few drinks with my meal that's one thing
                                        if someone else is going to be the responsible person, that's another.

                                        there are a lot of situations that, in my mind, would be worth it for me to spend the additional money.

                                    2. re: Mr Taster

                                      Yes. Happy endings in the bountiful hills of Beverly can get beyond pricey.

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        Wow. Your Chinese foot massages sound a lot different than mine.

                                        Mr Taster

                                      2. re: Mr Taster

                                        Should Newport Seafood not open a place in BH? If they do, the rent is double, Taxes are double, the work force costs double, etc, which add to the price of said dish. So unless the owners want to eat that cost of doing business in BH, there is no way you can have the Special Lobster for $18

                                        1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                          How are taxes double? Beverly Hills has it's own city tax?

                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                            I'm presuming the Licensing and Business taxes in BH are more than in the SGV Plus if you are paying higher wages your payroll taxes are higher. Also, higher property taxes are rolled into your lease.

                                            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                              LA L&B taxes are extreme and oppressive.... Hard to imagine BH taxes being worse, but not impossible.....

                                        2. re: Mr Taster

                                          We always do the $15 massage _before_ dinner so we aren't uncomfotably full while getting poked and prodded.

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              kev - smart phone lost some I.Q, points or you out of town or did your ISP yank your connection? (last CH posts as of 5/01/14)

                                      3. re: Servorg

                                        A 30-45 % increase in price comes with the Zip code.

                                    3. I'm so excited about this... crab and lobster for LUNCH!!! yeah! SGV was a bit of a drive for me but this is totally do-able during work.

                                      1. Does anyone know how long it will take them to open? This year?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: wienermobile

                                          "I don't know, I don't know, stop asking me" was the response.

                                          1. Wow.

                                            And Dirty you now may hit it up and its Wstside friendly.

                                            Just wow.

                                            I never thought I'd see the proverbial day.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. It would be ironic or fill in the word if they set up shoppe right beside crustacean.

                                              1. I think this is an auspicious move, assuming the quality of the food doesn't get diluted.

                                                17 Replies
                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                  I'm more worried about the quality of the clientele.

                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                          "I'm down."

                                                          That would make you a sill man.

                                                        2. re: TheOffalo

                                                          doorman to the lobster tank would be better!

                                                        3. re: ipsedixit

                                                          Why are you worried? I'm sure there will be less spitting and public nose picking compared to the clientele at the SGV location

                                                          1. re: Ernie

                                                            But there will be more people trying to bring their tiny dogs into the eating area.

                                                            1. re: raytamsgv

                                                              on the plus side, lots of hot chicks have tiny dogs.

                                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                                lots of guys with expensive cars do too...

                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                  well, better than ferrets i suppose and they don't eat much or take up much space...i like our big old dogs and they've come with me to many restaurants...fond memories of buster being served on a silver platter in carmel...i don't think he would turn his nose up at horse thief either.

                                                                  1. re: jessejames

                                                                    I was thinking more along the lines of guys with expensive and over powered cars and their little "wieners" (big cars as an overcompensation mechanism).

                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                      you're right...i guess they are easier on the corinthian leather than large terriers

                                                                  1. re: jessejames

                                                                    plus one here.

                                                                    hence door man duties if you will.

                                                                  2. re: raytamsgv

                                                                    Under California law, only service dogs are allowed to enter restaurants

                                                                    1. re: Ernie

                                                                      patios---i guess not an issue at newport tan cang...was confusing this with the bit about the patio at GCM

                                                            2. Wonder if this a move by the City of BH similar to the sea changes occuring at the Americana and South Coast Plaza with the introduction of Din Tai Fung and soon to be arriving reputable Chinese restaurants. It may not be that there so many more westside Chinese, but that BH is trying to attract the Chinese to live and/or shop in BH.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: revets2

                                                                It may be in anticipation to the new wave, ...er make that tsunami of Chinese tourists projected to visit BH in the next few years.

                                                                Same reason why Westfield brought in Meizhou Dongpo to Century City mall...

                                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                                  Exactamundo. Good example. Had forgotten about that one.

                                                                  1. Just In from LA Eater:
                                                                    the real estate firm responsible for leasing out short lived Greek restaurant Xandros on La Cienega's restaurant row, confirms that Newport Seafood is the venue's next tenant

                                                                     
                                                                    1. My next generation Chowhound, a big Newport Seafood fan, is surprisingly negative about this development. She's afraid they'll double the price of lobster and dumb down the food. And before you dismiss the thought, can you say "Mon Kee Seafood"?

                                                                      17 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                        If they don't "dumb down the food" they won't have enough (any?) customers.

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                          I think they will be authentic upon opening but as soon as the traffic dies down, they'll sell out for their own livelihood which would be understandable. This restaurant opening in this location reminds me of a horrible choice of eating in 'noodles' in the Bellagio casino after seeing the 'O' where the restaurant was stunningly beautiful with stunning prices and authentic dishes with american tastes in mind(like beef chow fun with kikkoman packets on the side)

                                                                          1. re: polldeldiablo

                                                                            Reminds me of the won ton soup I had in El Paso 50 years ago. Came with a packet of saltine crackers.

                                                                            1. re: polldeldiablo

                                                                              I just thought of a horrible analog--Sea Harbour's ill fated location at Caesar's Palace. Terrible food at high prices.

                                                                          2. re: Chandavkl

                                                                            Blast from the past - Mon Kee - did they once move to a tonier zip code and dumb things down? Like a mall, maybe the Century City mall?
                                                                            This is tickling neurons that have not been touched in decades.

                                                                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                              Yes and yes. They were on restaurant row on La Cienega probably in the mid-1980s. I think their spot became Woo Lae Oak and then Genwa.

                                                                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                Thanks Dave: mid-eighties is nothing but a temperature reading for most reading this!

                                                                                1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                  Ah, I am listening to Band Aid (ca.1984-85) as I type!

                                                                                  1. re: J.L.

                                                                                    What is that ?????????

                                                                                    Of course referencing my inner mr bacon bits.

                                                                                    Thanks.

                                                                              2. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                Besides the La Cienega location, Mon Kee had also opened shops in Brentwood and in 3rd Street Promenade's food court in the 80's

                                                                                  1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                    Mon Kee went under because of gambling debts incurred by the owner, no? Heard this was a common reason why so many successful Chinese restaurants closed in the 70s and 80s...

                                                                                    1. re: TripleAxel

                                                                                      Gambling or not. Lack of patrons is definitely a major contributing factor.

                                                                                      1. re: TripleAxel

                                                                                        Back then I would think protection money would have been an issue, too. A couple thousand or more a month was a big chunk of change back then. Also there are other kinds of extraneous liabilities that can bring you down, such as Liang's Kitchen (supposedly employment law damages).

                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                            Ever hear of Wah Ching and the Joe Boys?

                                                                              3. Someone commented on my Instagram of Newport Seafood SG's lobster dish (http://instagram.com/p/sEvDJBA-mS/) just this weekend that they know someone who works at the new BH location, and they are planning to soft-open this weekend.

                                                                                (Looks like Eater also reported this a few days ago: http://la.eater.com/archives/2014/08/.... For some reason, when I read this I thought it was an old article from June.)

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                  Two days ago, I walked past the restaurant and the door was wide open, so I went inside. Nobody was around. The place was fully furnished, and looked beautiful. Lots of dark ambient lighting and colors, muted tones. It didn't feel at all like the brightly lit place in San Gabriel. They were very obviously cooking something delicious in the back, as the smells were wafting out onto the sidewalk. I poked around a bit and waited for someone to notice my presence, but nobody did.

                                                                                  And before you ask, I did not take photos.

                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                    Thanks for the man-on-the-street reporting. :-) Shoulda just sat down at a table, with a napkin in your lap, and when someone eventually came out, ask politely where your lobster is.

                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                        a new kickstart for 'restaurant row'...actually a lot of good grub on that block now...

                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                      They served on Sunday. Practice the Chinese yelling?

                                                                                    1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                      Pretty reasonable pricing for the area

                                                                                        1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                          What would you recommend on the lunch menu? The ones that jump out to me are the clams, the pork chop, and the pea sprouts.

                                                                                          1. re: Haeldaur

                                                                                            I think you've got good instincts. The clams and pea sprouts I had were excellent, though I can't imagine having the pea sprouts as an "entree" on their own, unless you're vegetarian (just noticed each lunch includes a hot & sour soup and rice).

                                                                                            The spicy basil sauce that the clams came in were good, and so the fish filet would probably be a good choice too.

                                                                                            Which pork chop were you thinking? I've only had the Peking sauce one, and while not my preferred preparation method it was pretty tasty. I'd probably go with the salt and pepper instead, though.

                                                                                            The kung pao chicken I had was pretty good too.

                                                                                            (This was all at the SG location. Hopefully the preparation and flavor at BH are close if not identical.)

                                                                                             
                                                                                             
                                                                                            1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                              Those dishes both look beautiful. I think it would work as a lunch if you're splitting with someone who gets pea sprouts. I was thinking the salt and pepper pork chop. I'm nervous about ordering kung pao anywhere, but I recall that it can be quite tasty when done right.

                                                                                              1. re: Haeldaur

                                                                                                Agreed, re: splitting pea sprouts and another, more protein ladened, lunch entree between two people. I'm just used to lunching solo.

                                                                                                Like you, I don't go out of my way to order kung pao chicken anywhere, though of course I've eaten mediocre KPC through my life from places like Panda Express. So keep that in mind as I say that Newport Seafood's was the best KPC I've had, but I'm assuming that even more amazing gongbaoji can be had at authentic Sichuan restaurants in SGV.

                                                                                                1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                  This is unrelated, but speaking of authentic Sichuan, I had the very best pork belly I've ever had in my life today at Chengdu Taste number 2. They serve it over mustard greens, and the caramelization is just insane. Just when I thought I was over pork belly, this is the best thing I've eaten in a while.

                                                                                    2. Something I couldn't really write in the piece but was told by management was that all service staff would be English speakers. There is apparently only one person in the front of house staff that can speak Chinese. Not sure if that holds true in BH but that's certainly a departure from their model in SGV.

                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: risottoman

                                                                                        That would be a bit weird. I do expect there would need to be more English-speaking staff (though the Chinese waiters--didn't notice any waitresses--at the SG location spoke English well enough), like the Glendale location of DTF, but I'd also expect them to have more than one Chinese speaker. To whom are the mothers of the Westside ABCs gonna tell exactly how they want their dishes cooked in Chinese?

                                                                                        1. re: risottoman

                                                                                          That's like Meizhou Dongpo where most of the servers are not Asian. I notice a tweak in the name of the Beverly Hills branch to New Port Seafood. I presume that's due to the disaffiliation of the Santa Ana branch, plus the desire to go national. I wonder if they realize, however that there's a Chinese restaurant called New Port in the Bay Area already.

                                                                                          1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                            I noticed that too.

                                                                                            Too many white people for my taste, and it looks like we're paying a premium for the dishes. I'm really hoping that this will help w/ the crowds at the SGV location as I'm taking my mom for her birthday in a few weeks.

                                                                                            1. re: chrishei

                                                                                              isn't the SGV location closing?

                                                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                                                Not yet, but Dave and Matt can give you a better idea of ETA.

                                                                                                1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                  I haven't heard anything about them closing the San Gabriel location, nor the Rowland Heights location. Where did this info come from?

                                                                                                    1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                      Hmm, I'll ask the owners tonight when I see them.

                                                                                                      1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                        I've been told they're still negotiating on a new lease with the landlord. Frankly, I think they have the upper hand. If they balk at paying the new rental rate and move, then the landlord is the big loser out of this...

                                                                                              2. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                Even the SGV location was not cheap compared to say a Seafood Village for instance.

                                                                                                and that ain't no joke.

                                                                                                if lobster prices were 17 bucks per pound in SGV, BH would have to be at least 25 bucks minim if not higher, correct ???????????? Maybe ?????????????????????????

                                                                                            2. Went last night soft opening. Most of menu available not all.

                                                                                              Lobster great but dumbed down on the heat. Ample roe.

                                                                                              Kung pao chicken solid

                                                                                              Fried mini soft shell crabs with sweet and sour dipping sauce. Kind of like a better crab Rangoon.

                                                                                              Ong choi and Chinese broccoli were my favorites the latter with a mix of tad sesame oil and oyster sauce.

                                                                                              Fried squid. Salt and pepper style. Crisp. I like version in Santa Ana much much better, harder crispness and more peppers.

                                                                                              Fried rice. Light. Well done.

                                                                                              Full bar swanky interior missing artwork I expect will be coming and new signage la cienega. Blue and white china plates and chopstick stand. Fancy sticks. Nice patio area last night had a long table with 30 or so Chinese gents and a few ladies. A celebration.

                                                                                              Well positioned fish tank in front with you guessed it lobsters.

                                                                                              Filet minion cube dish good but I like it a bit stickier and less wet. Still tender cuts and very tasty.

                                                                                              A welcome addition to restaurant row. Kinks to work out and menu needs to become fully available. But the lobster really all u need. I will ask them to kick up the heat next time which I hope is soon.

                                                                                              32 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                care to spoil it for us and tell us what the $MP for lobster was?

                                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                                  Didn't see check didn't ask. Left ordering to bros. I'll find out

                                                                                                  1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                    Please let us know. If it's anywhere close to the $17/lb that they charge in SGV, this place is a no brainer to avoid the drive and lines.

                                                                                                    1. re: TailbackU

                                                                                                      17.95/lb

                                                                                                      and it's a nice atmosphere with full bar.

                                                                                                        1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                          only a 95 cent up charge ??????

                                                                                                          serious ?????????????

                                                                                                          and this joint is in the Golden Triangle, near Crustacean.

                                                                                                          i'll never get a seat.

                                                                                                          but that seriously saves a C-note almost on gas. no joke.

                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                            I could be wrong, but SGV may also be $17.95/lb. I just know it had "17" in it.

                                                                                                            1. re: TailbackU

                                                                                                              it's possible it could be 15 too ???? but it might have been 15 in the SGV a few years not anymore.

                                                                                                              seafood village's crab by the way is about 10 bucks a pound, though that's a different animal, natch.

                                                                                                              anyhow, is Newport Seafood BH open yet, officially ?????????

                                                                                                          2. re: jessejames

                                                                                                            It was $26.95 a pound tonight. The menu has quite a few of the most popular items at San Gabriel, but about half the number of overall items (maybe even less actually).

                                                                                                            1. re: EboueKnows

                                                                                                              Funny I called them to confirm yesterday before I posted that and they said 17.95.

                                                                                                              Maybe for lunch??

                                                                                                                1. re: TailbackU

                                                                                                                  not sure what more I can do besides eating there, paying a bill and then calling to confirm the lobster price (and I don't doubt the later poster)...but if investigation means more lobster, so be it

                                                                                                                  1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                    now that's truly taking one for the team.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                      Yeah, maybe it was for lunch? Maybe that was a special price during the soft opening? Either way, hopefully it IS $17.95/lb. Although, $26.95 sort of seems like a natural price raise considering the real estate and that other dishes are all either $3-4 more expensive. They were giving out a free dessert of sweet rice, condensed milk, and beans last night. They also said the dungeness crab was not available because it was out of season, but I saw pictures of crab on Yelp. Restaurant was only 25% full when I went, so while the place is sleek and nice, the atmosphere will definitely improve in time.

                                                                                                                  2. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                    Had lunch there this weekend and the waiter confirmed $26.95/lb. He said they now also had the crab available at about $20/lb. Smallest sizes were 2lbs. The lobster, which some of the other tables nearby (lunch was only abut a third full, including a couple of large parties) had ordered, looked and smelled terrific.

                                                                                                                    As for my meal, I had one of the lunch specials: kung pao chicken ($8.95), which came with a cup of soup and a small bowl of rice. The soup was a good hot and sour, with a nice bite to it. The kung pao, a good sized portion, was much blander than I would have liked--there were eight dried peppers added to the dish but it seemed like they had been put on as an afterthought in plating, almost like a garnish, rather than cooked with the dish. Perhaps they "dumbed it down" presuming (wrongly) that is what all non-Asians want. If you prefer some heat, you might try asking when you order as they will not ask you (I always get a kick in Indian and Thai restaurants when they ask how spicy I want a dish). Still, at least the dish was "pure" with just chicken, green onions and peanuts (and the fly over by those eight peppers) rather than the take some places have of adding other (not particularly Chinese) vegetables as filler. The rice came out well in advance of the kung pao, simultaneously with the appetizer, which was mildly annoying. The appetizer was the lobster spring roll ($10.95), which was quite tasty even though it turned out to be a goi cuon style roll rather than the fried roll I had been expecting. There was a small choice of teas ($5 for a small pot), jasmine, oolong or black.

                                                                                                                    The decor still needs some work but the space (and chairs) proved comfortable. With validation, parking for lunch is $2.50 or, if you are lucky, you can get a meter on La Cienega.

                                                                                                                    1. re: New Trial

                                                                                                                      You went to NewPort Seafood and ordered ... kung pao chicken?

                                                                                                                      That's not even akin to ordering salmon at a steakhouse. More like asking for pizza.

                                                                                                                      But I suppose you got the privilege of *also* paying for parking.

                                                                                                                      This thread is littered with puzzling menu selections, but this one -- this *one* -- might be the review to end all reviews.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                        Perhaps you neglected to read the comments from other hounds in this thread who had said they liked the kung pao chicken at Newport Seafood. Since kung pao chicken is one of the handful of selections the restaurant chose to put on its much shorter lunch menu, it must not have thought it to be a particularly odd choice (nor, given the other selections offered for lunch, was it out of place). In any event, some steakhouses do very nicely with their fish entrees as well but your attempted analogy to ordering pizza at a steakhouse is what is really puzzling--now, if I had tried to order carnitas at a Chinese restaurant, you might have had an actual point there.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                          ipsedixit - actually funny enough the kung pao chicken is kind of one of their dishes they are known for. i eat at the one in santa ana almost every time i come home which is alot. you see the same dishes on every table and that is one of them. this is also from the local chinese and viet crowd not non-asian crowd (this statement is not meant to be racist, just factual)

                                                                                                                          the first time i ate here, a friend told me to order that i looked at him kind he was on crack...but i have to say its pretty tasty

                                                                                                                          1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                            It's a filler dish for their set family menus - it allows them to offer the set menus for a lower price than if each item (ie the lobster) was ordered separately.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                              Still, for a filler dish, it's pretty good when it doesn't have to be. It was one of the dishes of our set family dinner (we got the one that's ~$120 and added on the lobster) that got finished at the table rather than going home in doggie bags (the bo lu lac and the clams were the other two that were finished at the table).

                                                                                                                              I was one of the ones above who mentioned liking it, but as I disclaimed, I'm sure there's better gong bao ji ding from restaurants that specialize in Sichuan cuisine, but it's a vast improvement from what most people think of kung pao chicken.

                                                                                                                              1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                Here's a rule to live by when ordering -- be it at NewPort Seafood, or any other joint:

                                                                                                                                Avoid dishes where the descriptive clause precedes interchangeable meat items.

                                                                                                                                Such as "kung pao chicken" or "kung pao shrimp" or "kung pao beef"

                                                                                                                                (As an aside, who fucking orders kung pao beef anyway? Betty stinking Crocker?)

                                                                                                                                Also, if memory serves, the Kung Pao Chicken at NewPort is something north of $12? And did you know that the recipe is a complete riff of the one you can find at Panda Express (i.e., no Sichuan peppercorns and those dehydrated red chili peppers for looks), for about half the price?

                                                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                  I dunno, those Thai basil spicy clams would be good with mussels or snails, if those options were offered.

                                                                                                                                  So it's probably not authentic, but I found it not to be like Panda Express's, no filler of squash/zucchini, or celery/carrots like other Americanized KPC. It just seemed really well executed to me, for what it was.

                                                                                                                                  Truth be told, I probably wouldn't go out of my way to order it there, but I don't mind that it's part of the set menu.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                    Truth be told, I probably wouldn't go out of my way to order it there, but I don't mind that it's part of the set menu.
                                                                                                                                    _________________

                                                                                                                                    And that's sort of the crux of the issue with ordering, and then reviewing, the Kung Pao Chicken at NewPort Seafood.

                                                                                                            2. re: ns1

                                                                                                              Just know 8 people drinks lots of food big lobster 500 clams incl tip.

                                                                                                                1. re: wienermobile

                                                                                                                  Not sure. Maybe soft and menu filling out

                                                                                                            3. re: jessejames

                                                                                                              Thanks for the report. Do you know their policy on reservations, wait times, etc.?

                                                                                                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                It was a tough assignment. We had reservation. No wait. Place was 3/4 full from 7 to 9. Nice joint.

                                                                                                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                  Easy to make reservation this weekend at 6 pm for party of 9. Place was maybe 1/4 full when we came in and 3/4 full when we left. Food was a very close replica of the SGV location. Full menu was not available but nearly everything we wanted was. Got the lobster, fried tofu, kung pao shrimp, gai lan, yi mien, vietnamese fish soup, fried rice, beef loc lac. Maybe lobster was tad less spicy and beef was a little sweeter. Prices ran 10-16 per entree with lobster, crab and fish MP. Lobster was about $96 but was large. All in all, soooooo worth the avoidance of traffic on the 10 and that insane wait at the SGV location. Since I'm not so much a fan of Meizhou Dongpo, thank goodness for great Chinese on the Westside!

                                                                                                                  1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                    Santa Ana location was the original one, but was sold when they opened the San Gabriel one. The new owners of the Santa Ana location kept the name and has a similar menu.

                                                                                                                  2. Review by Andy Gavin of his pre-opening meal with his several-dozen large Hedonist group of eaters: http://all-things-andy-gavin.com/2014...

                                                                                                                    1. *somebody* seems to think that it's worth the expense/risk to open a branch in BH. if it's the owners who've done their due diligence on demographics, or they have investors willing to put up the cash and make it worth their while, who knows? 20 years ago, i used to frequent a sushi place where this guy who ran a travel agency hired his favorite sushi chef away to make him head chef of a sushi place downstairs from said travel agency that he owned just so he could just walk downstairs to eat there regularly; the privilege one has with that kind of disposable income.

                                                                                                                      i think most of us already expect that the menu WILL be overpriced compared to their other restaurants. it remains to be seen if the quality will be the same or at least close enough to command a premium to avoid travelling across town. but i personally don't see the place as being a "game changer" as much as an anomaly. i just don't see the kind of diversity of chinese regional cuisines you can get in the SGV ever becoming available in that part of town. plagiarizing wodehouse here: i would expect certain meteorological conditions to prevail in the infernal regions before that happens.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: barryc

                                                                                                                        barry, what was the name of the sushi bar downstairs from the travel agency ?????

                                                                                                                        thanks man.

                                                                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                          it's long gone now. the agency was polo tours (which has moved to san marino - maybe he walks to yoshida now), and the restaurant was sushi polo.

                                                                                                                          1. re: barryc

                                                                                                                            BTW, it was where the current japon bistro is located in pasadena. JB has done well to stay open this long.

                                                                                                                        2. re: barryc

                                                                                                                          I don't know barryc, the Chinese/Taiwanese restaurant migration to regions West of the 710 seems to be picking up steam - Din Tai Fung, Meizho Dongpo, Newport, Pine & Crane, Peking Tavern etc.

                                                                                                                          That, and the almost weekly Hollywood and Real Estate mega-deals make me very optimistic that it will continue.

                                                                                                                        3. Not impressed at al. Servers don't know the menu and are virtually all no -asian with no connection to SG. Asked for the food to be done spicy as would be done in SG and was across the board bland.. Could not be less impressed.

                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                                            They're not there to impress you.

                                                                                                                            They're there to make money.

                                                                                                                            #KungPaoChicken

                                                                                                                            1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                                              FWIW, spicy really isn't the genre for newport

                                                                                                                              1. re: barryc

                                                                                                                                Spicy was not the issue. Bland. Nothing special. Servers that had no experience in a Chinese establishment. Not horrible, but no "game changer".

                                                                                                                                1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                                                  so the lobster i take it wasn't even almost as close to the house lobster in the og SGV ??????

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                    I have not been to the SGV location. We had 3 pounds of lobster and it was not remarkable.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                                                      foodwise, the one in santa ana is the best if you ask me.

                                                                                                                                      I still think this spot has promise but I agree with much of what you said. I still found the lobster enjoyable.