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Restaurants & Bars

Nesai - Newport Beach last Wednesday Night

torta basilica | Mar 25, 200308:54 AM

On Riverside Drive by the Post Office & in the Old Stuft Noodle space. Owned by the very visible former owner of Issay, which burnt down mysteriously a year or so ago. We were a party of 7 & got there at 7:30 - only people there (of course, this was the night the war started, but my husband said it way empty the night before when he went to make resvs). Filled up later. Very gracious greeting by the waitstaff & acceptance of our BYO wine. Cute decor & nice bar out front. Great room in back - a large party (I would say 20 or so took it over & seemed very happy.)

I would go back, but with reservations - interesting menu, like Issay. My carmelized pork belly appetizer was delicious & other's tri-tomato salads had a great basil dressing on them. Once again attempted to be served a great lobster ravioli & sorely failed - in an arrabiata sauce, with shrimp strewn around, but I swear the filling was mashed potatoes, not lobster - same taste & consistency. T bone steak had to be returned as so grisly (they took it off the bill) & salmon was so-so. My husband like his linguine vongole & was happy with the small fresh Manila clams. However, those who ordered the halibut special on a cranberry/cilantro sauce (I think - can't remember) absolutely raved on & on. Guess we all should have gotten that.

Briefly looked at the wine list & it seemed a little strange - we ordered one bottle, which was ok.

Service was excellent & the bill seemed very reasonable - I don't believe they charged us a corkage fee (listed as $14 per bottle on menu). I hope the cooking becomes more consistent as I would really like to see them thrive - we need more little local interesting restaurants in Newport & this could fill the bill - just don't order the lobster ravioli!

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