Newport Beach Restaurant Week.

The dos and the don'ts.  The trys and the passes.  If I could I would eat at every place just to give you a full description of love and hates, but 1) I don't have that kind of time or money and 2) I don't want to get fat either...just kidding I would eat everywhere.  So instead, I have come up with my list of musts and skips and "tell me what you think."  Let me know where you want to eat!

Must eat here.  Like now.
1.  Picante Martin's.  So its kinda iffy on restaurant week because they don't have their menu up AND its not an expensive place to go, but it is amazing food.  Located on Balbs Isle (aka Balboa Island), its a small "hole-in-the-wall" of great Mexican food.  Definitely go for lunch if you can.

2.  Landmark in CDM.  Only $30 for a fun ambiance, people watching and pretty decent food.  The prix-fixe menu isn't crazy, but it looks like you get a lot of food.

3.  Crow Bar in both CDM and Newport.  A bit hesitant to put this on the list but its really good food.  Dinner is a bit steep, but its fun for something out of the ordinary.  And you will be SO full!

4.  A Restaurant in Newport.  The food is supposed to be unbelievable and its a fun place to grab drinks too. Unfortunately its just for lunch but everything on the menu is pretty unique.

1.  BJ's on Balboa Peninsula.  It's a pizzeria, and not like a classy one like Pizzeria Mozza.  Its an upscale Shaky's (you remember that don't you).  Not a bad place for a group, but not worth your restaurant time.

2.  Ruby's Diner.  See above, nothing more than an upscale diner.  While I love Ruby's, restaurant week is about exploring new things, and trying places you normally can't afford.  Skip.

3.  El Ranchito.  But I already told you that.

4.  Eat Chow.  This isn't saying don't go there, its just not a great bang for your buck. Yes you get free booze, so its not a total waste of time, but the items they give you as an option aren't necessarily the best things there.  If you go, get the garlic fries.

Tell me what you think.  I haven't been to these places, but have heard mixed reviews:
1.  Amelia's Restaurant on Balboa Island.  Heard some good things, had some colleges friend's work here, never stopped in.  The prix-fixe menu doesn't appear to be amazing, so don't think it's worth the dinner, but then again you never know.  Let me know how it is.

2.  Wilma's Patio.  Again on Balbs, I personally really like the breakfast here but it can get crowded on the weekend.  The prix-fixe menu isn't up so tell me how it is.  I would call for reservations too because it gets CROWDED on the weekends.

3.  Five Crowns in CDM.  So I have done restaurant week here for several years because this is a place I cannot afford on a normal day.  It's your typical steakhouse but not quite as modern as say Houston's or Ruth Chris'.  While the meal is tasty, I am still on the fence about whether it is worth it.  You tell me.

4.  Summer House in CDM.  I have heard great things, and the menu looks pretty decent and not terribly priced for what you get.  I love that you can sit on the "patio" too.

Restaurant Week ends January 26th, so plan accordingly and have a great time!  Let me know about all of your adventures, and where I should go next...


  1. I tried Amelia's last summer, and will not be heading back, ever. So many better options for seafood and/or Italian food nearby. Wilma's Patio & Five Crowns have their places - one for breakfast, the other for fancy steak dinners (although if given a choice between Five Crowns & La Cave, I'd take La Cave). Summer House is always good food and decent prices - it's on our shortlist for places to eat out on a busy night.

    Also, did Muldoon's Restaurant Week lunch menu yesterday, and it was delicious. Don't know about their regular prices, but $15 for an appetizer (soup or salad), entree and dessert, plus soda bread. Sitting out on the patio makes it a lovely little experience.

    1. Good to know about Amelia's! Don't want to waste money there. I have had breakfast at Muldoon's and it was surprisingly great. Also fun for live music on Friday nights too!