Rusty Pelican Restaurant

4.6
3225 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Rusty Pelican has been a long Newport Beach tradition for outstanding meals and legendary service. You'll love the breathtaking harbor views from our Coast Highway location. With our wide variety menu, we have something to offer everyone and a selection from our award winning wine list provides the perfect complement to your meal. Our Sunset Dining Menu is available Monday through Friday 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM.
What 3225 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LI
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always excellent!! Food is healthy and restaurant week is the deal of the year!!

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L
Los Angeles
42 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Decided to return to an old NB tradition during Restaurant Week. As good as ever! Great place for good food, great service, and great view!!

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LL
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful view, good food and service - great for a birthday or anniversary

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T
Orange County
28 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 2

I had specified a both at which I always want. Instead of the number 21 I said the upper both on the left. When my husband and I arrived the hostess said she would get someone to take us upstairs. I said the booth I had asked for was not upstairs on the right but on the left side of the floor we were on. She rudely told me that was not available and summoned a waitress to escort us to a window seat at the far right of the first floor where two parties of all men were loudly having a good time. The noise level was so high that my husband and I could not hear each other. I have been coming to the Rusty Pelican for many years and have never had that type of experience before!

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DM
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Love the manager and wait staff here!
The sourdough bread is delicious along with everything else.

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OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Loved the food, shrimp was very fresh tasting. Servers were polite and attentive. The view was amazing. Recommend for a nice chill afternoon or evening. My only peeve would be that the servers don’t wear their hair tied back and our server had super long hair....I think anywhere you dine, hair should be at the very minimum, tied back. Other than that, I would return!

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BJ
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Really nice ambiance, good but not great food. Garlic bread drenched in butter, greasy tempura calamari. Service was good on a slow night. Live music upstairs was a welcome surprise.

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TR
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quiet and peaceful atmosphere-we sat outside overlooking the marina. Went for lunch with family to celebrate a birthday. Everyone was professional and friendly, from the parking attendants to the manager who stopped by our table to see if we needed anything.
Our server, Katie, was excellent! Professional, knowledgeable, and friendly.
The food was also excellent-well seasoned and expertly prepared fish and shrimp.
Our first time at the Rusty Pelican-highly recommend and will be going back!

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C
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious seafood entrees and the best calamari. Friendly and professional service. Everything we saw looked great too. Our niece loves this place for date night with her husband.

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OT
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an excellent evening. The food was great! They first sat us near the bathroom at the far end. I had to get up and close the bathroom door because of the smell. They were very gracious about moving us.

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OT
Phoenix
7 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb experience!

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T
Orange County
29 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is always excellent. The service from everyone is superior. The managers visit the tables to make sure the customers are happy.
They invite you to come again.
Our server, Rebecca explained why they had a holiday menu.

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BT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

Caesar salad was almost inedible. They were out of two menu selections. Shrimp scampi had fishy taste, not good.

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R
Orange County
53 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Rusty Pelican has bay-front view with outdoor dining. I found it reasonably priced considering the location. My Cobb salad was excellent. I'll be back.

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 5

Breakfast options were very small and not a whole lot to choose from - noticed the menu hasn’t updated their breakfast menu - same options for quite some time now .

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f
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is excellent for an older crowd.

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OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly staff great location

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JD
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Haven't been there for over 6 years due to relocation, but it is a great experience every time. Food is exceptional. Service was attentive, but not intrusive.

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l
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food was amazing as always as well as the service only issue was we were seated far corner a table of 10 seated right behind us no room and noisy

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A
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The wait staff at Rusty Pelican is attentive and competent. It is a great restaurant with a wonderful view of the harbor. Our lunch was excellent.

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O
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We were there on a very busy Friday night for dinner at 6. If we had not had a reservation it would have been a problem. They had reserved many of the upstairs lounge tables for overflow from the resterant

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LR
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Overpriced for the quantity and quality

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OT
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a beautiful afternoon to sit on the deck and enjoy delicious seafood while watching the boats come in and out of the harbor.

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LM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

We’ve been there before and the whole experience was very good as usual. We will definitely be back.

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

Waited an hour past our reservation time, even though we arrived 15min beforehand. Service was slow. Loud, drunk and obnoxious neighbouring tables made it hard to enjoy our meal. Would not recommend during holidays as they were extremely overbooked and in that way did not honour reservation times AT ALL.

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MW
Seattle
12 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We've enjoyed this location for The Rusty Pelican for many years and decided to go to celebrate Christmas Eve with our family this year. It got off on a bit of a rough start as parking was full and we needed to park quite a distance away to find a space. Then after still arriving on time for our 7:00 p.m. reservation we had to wait almost 40 minutes before we were seated. On any other evening we might have been more than irritated with such a beginning but from there on everything went well with good food and service.

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C
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 1

Parking lot was closed and full. No available free parking within walking distance. I have bad knees and hips and walking as far as I had to was not a good experience. I had to drive around back and forth looking for a spot for about a half hour. The valets were not accommodating. The restaurant was overly crowded, just trying to walk into the entry was a problem. Food was good but over priced. Service was good but the experience began with not being able to park, it is valet only and like I said the lot was full with signs closing it, so I couldn't even pull in. My tradition is to have Christmas Eve dinner at Rusty Pelican but this is the last time I will eat there. I didn't want the mashed potatoes so the server told me I could substitute asparagus, but the restaurant charged me extra for the switch. Overall not worth the money for the stress involved in what should have been an enjoyable evening.

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T
Orange County
128 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Riley, our server, helped make this traditional Christmas lunch a very enjoyable one. Kim, the manager, stopped by to check on us, too. Great food, beautiful view of the harbor and great service - what more could you ask for!

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W
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been eating at Rusty Pelican since 1979 - loved every visit.

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J
Phoenix
5 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding Sunday Champagne brunch with excellent food and service

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SW
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food and service! Very, very cramped seating. Wouldn’t want to be seated like that again.

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D
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

While our waiter was wonderful the chicken that I had added to my kale salad was so dry that I could not swallow it. It was over cooked and at least needed salad dressing on it.

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MB
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 4

I took my team of 7 there for a holiday dinner early on a weeknight. I was very disappointed with both the service and food. The ambiance is pretty and we had a nice view of the water. However my fish was overcooked, my mashed potatoes were cold and my friend's filet was rare instead of medium. The garlic bread was tasty but not even toasted well. The service was slow at first (20+ minutes before they took our appetizer order) and then it felt like they were trying to rush us out of there once our apps came and brought our meals before we were done with apps and the manager kept checking in on us. Our server was nice and knowledgeable about the food, but very scattered and made us feel uncomfortable. Didn't even offer us dessert or coffee after a $400 meal. Very disappointed.

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DL
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

Great service. I will take the bartender and table serverany time anywhere. Garlic mashed potatoes were unrecognizable. Wide variety of fish prepared, but most were just average.

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A
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very friendly and efficient staff. We were running a little late and called and our view seating was saved for us. Very nice!!

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B
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was awesome and our waitress was great. Nice view and great atmosphere.

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DI
Orange County
19 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Alexa is an amazing server and was very accommodating. The sword fish and char are excellent fish. I always have a great experience at Rusty Pelican.

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l
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

My morning started with the valet at 11:15am on Sunday telling me that the lot was full and to park a block or two away. Beware: very very little parking available (for Sunday brunch at least)
I got a great table and ordered a Bloody Mary-it was truly awful! bland tomato juice. The waiter came once my clients got there-they asked for the lunch menu because it was almost 11:45 by the time they found parking and walked over. We had to not only ask him (waiter) several times for the menus but he would come by & laughingly say "Oh no one has brought you the menus...I asked them-they should be here soon" 10-15 minutes went by and we finally got menus. Food was nothing to talk about (just ok) but then it got very chilly and our table as well as 2 others had asked him to turn on the heaters ( 10-15 minutes later after bundling up in blankets) we and another table told him there wasn't heat coming out. He actually said this " Oh we can't turn them up too much because the heater burns the wood on the roof"
Needless to say : I would never go back and I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone.

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KP
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is good. The bathrooms are tiny, I don't know if there's even a handicap accessible bathroom. The bar is upstairs. I'm not sure why the waiter touched my shoulder every time he spoke with me, a little weird. We go because my dad has fond memories there.

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ML
New York Area
36 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service is excellent! Ashely, the manager, and Samantha our server were fantastic! The food is delicious and expertly prepared. I highly recommend this restaurant. You will be happy you went. We had crab cakes, mostly crab, and very flavorful, the filet mignon was tender and tasty, the chilean sea bass was perfection. The wine list is diverse, the cocktails yummy.
Thank you for a wonderful dining experience!

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