For Ben’s birthday last Friday, we decided to go to Newport Seafood (my first follow-up review!). I was very happy with the choice, as the restaurant received an A from me last month. But I was a little worried for two reasons: 1) I was afraid that there might be a letdown from me hyping up the place so much, and 2) we had a party of sixteen at 8pm on a Friday night, at a place that doesn’t take reservations. We probably waited outside for around half an hour, and during that time a waiter brought out some menus so we can place the order ahead of time, and the food can come out shortly after we get seated. The entire group placed their trust in me to choose what to get – so much pressure! Since we were being divided up into two tables, I decided to get seven dishes x2.
Clam with Spicy Hot Sauce
Like I said in my post last month, the clams are one of three dishes I’ve ordered at every one of my visits to Newport. As good as always.
I believe this is ching gang tsai (I think that’s the correct pinyin – don’t know if there’s an English name for that). We had to get a veggie dish, and the waiter gave me a rundown of which ones were fresh for the night. Eugenia heard the ching gang tsai and wanted it, so we obliged. Simple and effectively sauteed with garlic. UPDATE: Allison pointed out that the veggie is ong choy, or should be. I’ll have to agree with her on this one. Thanks Al!
Squid Newport Style
The waiter, probably feeling my enthusiasm as I was ordering, was trying to bait me into ordering the geoduck. While I myself would’ve done it, I didn’t know if the others were open to eating it, or if they were willing to fork over the amount of money. So the waiter suggested a squid dish in their Newport sauce, which is not on the menu – it’s actually for the geoduck (elephant clam on their menu). Not as good as the geoduck would’ve been in the sauce, but still very good.
Newport Special Lobster
I believe we got a five-pound lobster for each table. After much deliberation, I think the lobster is arguably my favorite dish of the year so far. And everyone followed my advice regarding using the sauce and bits in the rice – we left nothing on the plate!
Beef Loc Lac (French Style)
Another cornerstone of the restaurant. The plate was empty after one complete rotation on the lazy susan. Enough said.
House Special Seatrout Whole Fish
I’ve had this dish a few times, and it’s just another example of the restaurant’s expertise on seafood. I would’ve used some more of the sweet and sour sauce on the rice, but it was full of the lobster goodness.
Deep Fried Tofu
Despite it being just fried tofu, I thought that this was done very well. The batter was thin, but still provided a good crunch. And it seemed like soft tofu was used (it was more silky than the usual fried tofu, which uses firm tofu). I love tofu, and I can eat this and never get bored of it.
So I think that this visit solidified the A that I gave Newport Seafood on my visit last month. I really hoped that everyone else felt the same way. At least we left nothing to take home on both tables. And the staff was very upbeat (and un-Asian) in their enthusiastic happy birthday singing (we ended up singing twice more for other tables after Ben’s celebration). Expect more posts for Newport before the year is over – it’s that good.
Chris Hei grade: A
Happy birthday Ben!
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
518 W Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776