Rusty Pelican Restaurant

4.5
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3671 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
For over 45 years, we've prided ourselves on consistently creating legendary experiences for all our guests. From our signature fresh fish to our spectacular waterfront views, we hope you savor each and every moment. For an enhanced experience, ask one of our experts to pair our handcrafted cocktails, craft beers and selections from our award-winning wine list.
What 3671 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DE
Orlando
20 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious, service was first rate and a great view.

OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food. Nice location

OT
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my 🎂🎉, we arrived real early so went upstairs for a cocktail, then hostess came and got us and told us our table outside was ready early so our waitress Ashley was fantastic and didn’t bother us totally let us sit there and enjoy the scenery. She was the best any questions she was able too answer. Let them know I’ll be back and bringing friends from Australia 🇦🇺 in December. Without a doubt my favorite restaurant, I’ve never had a bad meal and I always ask what the server recommends. Thank you for a lovely dinner you really made it a memorable one and romantic night.
Christi

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner at Rusty Pelican was a great choice. The place was perfectly lit and the live band added to the experience. As for food, we ordered crab cakes and calamari for starters. Each were very good. I ordered the Firepot Swordfish which is absolutely to die for! I highly recommend this dish if you like a Cajun spice on a bed of buttered steam rice. We will definitely be returning to this place.

OU
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Altohugh we had reservation at the patio for a birthday celebration and arrived on time, they said 1 hr wait-time for patio sitting. We had to have a table inside, AC was not working , it was crazy hot. Slider meat was burnt, service was too slow. Nothing special for a birthday celebration! Overall, terrible dinner with high cost!!

AI
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Yes it was busy and we understood that. But when a large group of what looked like more important people came in, I felt we were an after thought. Our waiter was terrible. Other tables that came in after us had water and bread before our drink order. The larger table had drinks and appetizers before our order was taken. Food was good, but not seasoned. Checked were separate and when we informed the waiter, I feel like it was all down hill from there. When we paid, my check and my friends check were mixed. We just paid it. We had waited so long, we just wanted to get out of there. We were seated at around 8 and left around 10. Not by our choice mind you. Most of our time was waiting. It was incredibly disappointing. The restaurant was beautiful and this was my sisters bachelorette party dinner. This was the kick off of all the festivities and this was our last night in Newport. We were headed back to Phoenix the next morning. It was very bland.

CH
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I am not sure I would recommend it waited 1/2 he after reservation hostess was rude. It was so crowded and we were seated in an area where one of us could literally not move our chair. Noise level was very high. Over all not a great experience.

M
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

We were sat more than 30 minutes after our reservation. We didn’t get our food until 2 HOURS after our reservation. The server and the hosts were very nice. She seemed too busy. The food was overcooked when it came out. The plates were all hot, I’m sure the food sat in the slide for a long time. I’m shocked that a manager never came by to apologize or offer to take care of part of our bill. Terrible experience. Would not recommend to anyone.

d
Orange County
54 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Things started a little bumpy as the restaurant was busy and a bit chaotic but our server Sandy and the other staff members family turned things around. Our meal was delicious and we really enjoyed dining with a beautiful water view.

AC
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Made a reservation for "date night" with my girlfriend. I had requested a table with a view but was given a table in the center of the room. Other than that, the service was great, the food was amazing and the overall ambiance was great. Will definitely be returning.

TK
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This is very good place for real lovers of seafood. Fresh fish, good prices, and very good service. Oh, and I forgot to mention portions are quite filling. The restaurant is at a quite trendy Newport Beach spot near Lid island and Balboa island.

c
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I like to eat here when I'm out on business at least once a year. Very good service. Excellent views of the harbor. Very well prepared seafood. Cocktails are also excellent. Highly recommend if you like seafood!

OT
Phoenix
7 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bret view and great barramundi

OT
New Mexico
3 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great on the water experience.

EJ
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice location/great views. Attentive servers and managers

JR
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed the happy hour offerings. Delicious and affordable with a great view.

DA
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

YOUR PRICES COULD BE DROPPED SOMEWHAT. 5 PEOPLE SHOWED UP. NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES WERE ORDERED AND MY BILL WAS 250 WITHOUT ANY TIP.
THE HALIBUT WAS EXCEPTIONAL. YOUR CHEF IS VERY WELL VERSED IN PREPARING HIS MANY DISHES OFFERED.
THANKS. WE WILL DEFINITELY BE BACK FOR THAT FISH.
DAVID FEUER

FD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoy the Sunday brunch after church with our friends.

E
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have come here many times, especially for the best happy hour EVER with my sister and brother-in-law who visit from Vermont. This time it was my husband's cousin and his girlfriend from Clayton, CA visiting so we took them here for lunch (after which they were going to the USC game). We sat outside and had a wonderful lunch. We've never been disappointed here! They loved it, too! Hannah was our server and did a great job!

AA
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place
They give me outside table as i asked in the reservation
The food was delicious
Amanda the waiters was excellent, polite with nice smile

OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great.! We had Salmon and pasta and both dishes were delicious. The customer service was outstanding. Love the view. Perfect spot for my husband and I to unwind.

TM
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I hadn’t been to the restaurant in years. It was clean, well decorated, and enjoyable. The food was very good and our service was outstanding. We will be returning.

K
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, incredible ambience out on the deck on the water, beautiful sunset tons of yachts
Outstanding, friendly, knowledgeable service

OT
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great view, Manager came to check on our table twice and service was outstanding.

KR
Denver
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My fiance and I both got a special recommended by our waitress, Brooke, and we thoroughly enjoyed it! The fish was cooked perfectly and the mashed potatoes were delicious. And you HAVE to get the garlic bread! We were able to sit on the patio overlooking the bay and it was a beautiful place to enjoy the sunset and the weather. Highly recommend going to dinner at the Rusty Pelican!!

m
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Rusty Pelican has been my wife and my favorite place to eat and bring guests. The location and staff are excellent. Only complaint is past few times they have ran out of things early in the evening. Hopefully they get this corrected.

We do love the place.

OT
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome waitress...awesome food...great view

OT
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

this is our first time here during brunch. Mimosa was awesome, bottoms up! i ordered omelette so it was alright, liked the fruits on the side. ordered their crab cakes. we got two pieces served with delicious coleslaw. service was great and food wait was pretty quick. would recommend it

PW
Los Angeles
40 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have enjoyed this restaurant twice now, more so this occasion. I used valet and they were polite and prompt. we arrived early and they squeezed us in before our reservation time which was awesome of them. We both enjoyed our meals and it was basically a nice quiet table away from other dinners. However the restaurant music was coming through the speakers while the band was playing. That was a little annoying. Everything else was perfect. A nice as romantic as can be for us old people dinner. Thank you

RC
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a family dinner of six. Food and service were excellent!

HS
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I, on a recommendation from a family member, decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary here, and it did not disappoint. We arrived about 20 minutes early for our reservation, but they were able to take us in right away. We were seated at a table by the window, giving us a lovely view of the water. We ordered the garlic bread (warning: it's huge!), coconut shrimp, beet and arugula salad, Skuna Bay salmon with shrimp and lobster sauce, and the 16oz ribeye steak. Every single item was absolutely delicious. We also had the flourless chocolate torte, and the apple walnut cobbler for dessert, which were both very good. We will definitely be back!

CK
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We have dined here 3-4 times and the food has always been delicious! ALWAYS get the garlic bread. SO good! We went around 3pm which is a weird time of day at a restaurant so the it was a little understaffed and our server was busy with quite a few tables. Not her fault at all and we were in no rush, but just felt bad for her. My husband and I were both servers so we always sympathize with them. But overall a good experience and we love coming here to celebrate a special occasion.

P
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Overall it was a reasonable experience but it was a bit loud for a business dinner. In addition, it took 30-45 minutes before our drinks arrived and another 20 minutes before the waitress took our order. It was obvious that we were not a priority or she had too many tables. For the price, I would expect better service. The food was good and the portions appropriate.

L
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

Poor Service!!Manager never came to apologize!!
Short staffed 👎🏻

M
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

I ordered the filet medium well with a side shrimp scampi. When I got my food, they poured the sauce of the shrimp scampi over the steak that was medium rare. The shrimp was over cooked and tough. It was mediocre at best. Wanted to try something different then going to Ruth Chris or Mastro’s. The server did try to give me some crab bisque while I was waiting for my food to come out again but came back to let me know they ran out. I guess my biggest mistake was to go here instead of a regular steakhouse but I wanted to try something different.

SV
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We were seated at a window tBlythat was fantastic. My sister and I were celebrating my birthday and we love it here. Usually we go at lunch time which is great too. Always an excellent choice for any occasion

MC
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

I made reservations for Brunch at 1:30 pm. We arrived 10 min early and we were told our table would be ready in a few minutes. The place was packed so we went upstairs to sit and wait. The hostess said she would text me. It was really noisy upstairs and it didn't help that the wait staff were being louder than the patrons while talking amongst themselves at the bar area. Then a man brought a cat upstairs to sit in his lap! Not sure why that was allowed. 15 minutes went by and no text. 20 minutes after our reservations and still no text. My husband asked the hostess how much longer and she said, Oh, um we are getting your table ready now. Another 10 minutes went by and we enquired again and was told it was really busy and the table would be open soon! We were finally seated 45 minutes after our reservation time. It was hot at our table area and a bit uncomfortable but there wasn't any way to move anywhere. I looked over and saw a dog by the next table laying on the floor! First cats and now dogs! I have allergies and didn't appreciate having to be that close to animals. Our waiter was nice and took our order. When he came back he forgot my drink. I asked where it was and he said oh you wanted a drink! Jeepers. It use to he nice to have Brunch here but the service has gone downhill. The food was just okay. You could tell they were just cranking out the dishes and didn't have time to check the plates. Sad...

AK
Cancun
12 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

The hosts was rude and were not paying attention on our reservation. Ignoring the fact we had a reservation and made us wait on porpoise.

AR
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

I was trying to be optimistic about dining at RP but not expecting anything out of the ordinary.

I used to frequent the Rusty Pelican by John Wayne airport on a regular basis back in the 80's and 90's, as it was a pretty legit bar scene for my girlfriend's and I. We were young, single and Flight Attendants with AirCal, at the time. So that was the memory I had and it was pretty darn fun! We ate appetizers in the bar (mostly liquid diet at the time, Hiccup) Never sat in dining room for lunch or dinner so really had nothing to compare it to.
We had no choice because it was the ONLY late reservation available ANYWHERE in Orange County (on a Sat night? Really) so it was more for convenience and better than drive thru at Carl's Jr! Besides I love to drink good wine with a lovely meal.

We sat upstairs in the bar, reservation was running behind and we were STARVING! Service was VERY SLOW and I'm not sure why because they have multiple servers that greet the table, but they must not communicate with one another. We were asked the same questions over and over. My martini arrived cold up with bleu cheese olives and one onion, but well worth waiting for! Unfortunately our food was a different matter. Goat cheese soufflé was MEH at best. Long story short-food was mediocre, bland, service was slow. Not worth the VERY overpriced menu. Won't waste our hard earned $$$$ again.
It was my birthday, did I mention? Nothing noted, no dessert. Pretty pathetic. Prices are ridiculously high.

OT
London
3 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

Dated food average and too loud to hear yourself speak
Wouldn’t return

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