Rusty Pelican Restaurant

4.5
3342 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 3342 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
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Absolutely delicious as always!!!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Sunday Brunch

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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating my friend’s birthday. We were very satisfied with the food, service and ambiance. Breath taking view. I would definitely come back.

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

It was quite a chaos at Rusty
a day before St. Patrick's.
We did get a nice table reserved for us by handicapped accessibles as requested.
It took 45 m for us to get a menu but the wonderful service and from Becks and delicious food made up for it. Manager Justin came by to see us as we arrived because Kim M was off. He was so busy so unfortunately we didn't see him again until we were about to leave but little Becks got it handled well.
Overall, we had a wonderful birthday luncheon despite the crowd. Thank you Becks

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NS
San Diego
47 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Nice to return to the Pelican after having been away for several years... We were seated near the bay-view windows (nice) but we’re also next to two parties of 12+ people in a very loud, celebratory mood! As a result, our overwhelmed server neglected to bring our check until we’d sat at an empty table for 10 minutes and finally resorted to asking a busboy for assistance. The food, as always was very nice - fairly priced and nicely presented. We will be back,but will ask to be seated elsewhere.

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

Beautiful view, food was great, servers were friendly and the ambiance was fine. The only thing that we recommend is the restaurant definitely needs an upgrade/refurbishing!😊

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GC
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

27th wedding anniversary. They gave us a great table, and the staff was fantastic. Solicitous and engaging, but gave us time alone together.

Great evening.

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CJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great to use opentable and get a reservation for 6 at this restaurant, which was busy. Very comfortable, accommodating. We were on business, and needed separate check, which they did without hesitation. Food was A+, service was A+. Very enjoyable with great view.

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KI
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Come for lunch with friends monthly, and for first time ordering clam chowder.
It’s not good, You can tell it was thick and with too much flour and didn’t seem to have any half-and-half in it maybe they only used milk. It wasn’t very clammy tasting and I got a big ball with about a half an inch of soup in it. I’ll never order it again. You might want to give it a major overhaul.

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really liked our waiter. Nice table. Food good. Busy time so main course bit slow in arriving. Prices very fair. Photo of daughter and her friend. Anniversary dinner for me and wife.

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SN
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing food and service! This place caters to your wants, desires & needs! Service was outstanding! I had king crab and my husband had a 26oz ribeye steak! They were both incredible! It was our anniversary and everyone from the hostess to the waiter to the manager wished us a happy Anniversary! I don’t know how they knew? But it was such a great overall experience! Five stars for sure!

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VM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful estuary setting, marvelous food, service attentive. Perfect for a casual outing or special special occasion.

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SC
Boise
17 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

Slow service. Sea Bass was raw... meh

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TL
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Visiting Newport Coast with our children & 2 grandsons for a birthday dinner. We were a total of 6 adults, a 13 & a 10 year old. My 13 yr. old grandson decided he wanted to try the encrusted trout on the menu. It was $18.99. When he gave his order to our waiter, Brandon, he was told he wouldn’t like that & recommended he order the sea bass encrusted. He said the trout was only partially filleted & still had some skin on it. He convinced him to order this fish instead...never mentioning the difference in cost. He never told us that the 13 year old had just agreed to order at fish dish that was $28.46 more. He tried to convince my son-in- law to order the steak special...a 28 ounce steak...explaining that he was a big guy & would enjoy it...never mentioning the price of that either. We later found out that the special steak was $58! Luckily he stuck with his original choice. We had also order a dozen oysters to share as an appetizer. Once they brought out our dinners, I mentioned that we never got the oysters...they became dessert.
Unfortunately my husband did not show me the bill until today, 24 hours later. Appalled by the waiter’s lack of explanation that his recommendation was so much more expensive. I will definitely be calling the manager tomorrow since we are driving back home to AZ today.
Although everyone enjoyed their meal, the waiter’s lack of full disclosure has made us very angry & we would not recommend this restaurant if that’s how the management trains the wait staff to upswell their menu.

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JE
New England
5 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Table was in high traffic zone. Noisy. Good was just ok

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NJ
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

The food was wonderful. Big view windows were awesome.
Our waitress ( Hannah C) was a delight! Cheerful, helpful, attentive. I listen/observed her at other tables & she was consistent with her personality. As a waitress in the past, I tend to be tough but there’s no words for how much she added to our experience.

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A
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is awesome. The employees are so great and I love the food! I am going back again

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MF
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was an excellent dining experience with a great personable and knowledgeable server! Food was fantastic and a very memorable evening! Just wonderful!!!

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OT
Salt Lake City
6 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

Love the Rusty Pelican. Food is great for the value. Service has been suspect lately. Was seated at 8pm for a7pm reservation. Service was slow due to overbooking crowds. Music upstairs was loud downstairs at our table.

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P
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Superb bay view, lively atmosphere. The only drawback is only valet parking, no selfpark due to very limited spaces.

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BM
New York Area
47 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

First off, the service here is the pits! We arrived at 11:50a for a 12p reservation & seated. Perfect right? It took 39 minutes before ANYONE came to our table to bring water & to greet us! From what I could see ONLY 2 employees working the lower level. Restaurant was fairly empty at this point! When she finally came we placed our order IMMEDIATELY for fear we would never be seen again.
Ordered 2 apps. 1 came. ( soup) Then 15 mins later second came ( Shrimp cocktail) WHY NOT TOGETHER??? SO we could all eat together?!!
Bread arrived soon after & was garlic & delicious! For Lunch-
We ordered the Coconut shrimp, Shrimp penne vodka & the chef special salmon w shrimp & lobster sauce. Meals were small but PERFECT for us small eaters! We didn’t bother w dessert. ( thought too long to wait ) FYI
WE NOTICED walking out HALF the tables were given a Lunch /SPECIALS MENU PRINTED OUT! ( I asked our waiter if there were any “specials”?...apparently she was not very informed because she said “ NO” pretty off handedly”
All & all food good. Not “ over the top great “ but hey. I’m from NY/NJ Where fish is fresh right off the boats! Not true in CALIF! We found our entire week trip! But the view was great they have THAT going! But don’t ask to sit on the outdoor porch—- the pigeons were attacking everyone & their food! Oh, and they require PAID Valet parking — even though we parked our own car in the handicap spot. ( EVERYONE knows ANY good restaurant has FREE VALET parking & you tip accordingly!) but again!— this is California! ( they are behind the times & just looking to make s buck!)

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We have always loved the Rusty Pelican for the view and great service. The food is just okay.
I had the special which was a sea bass for $48. I love Chilean sea bass and usually always choose it on a menu. That night it was the worst I’ve ever had. I had to cut it with a knife and couldn’t eat it.
Our server, Jackie, took great care of us and took it back and offered me another dish which I declined because I was not real hungry to trouble them with that.
The manager came over and apologized to me for the sea bass dish and offered me another dish and took the sea bass off our bill. We were very pleased and decided we would come back again with this kind of customer service. They even offered us a free dessert with our coffee!

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LP
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed brunch more than dinner. Our chicken was tough and had bones in it.

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L
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Birthday celebration during restaurant week. Very disappointed with the interruption of our meal/conversation by a staff member promoting the Landry's Membership Club. While this might be a benefit I don't think it is a good idea to interrupt a meal with this "promotional" offer. It took about 10 minutes and was a total distraction in the middle of our meal. I think it is rude. I don't know why the management would think this is a good idea.

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OT
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good but getting better but still a little bit Rusty

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SG
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Went for restaurant week & was never offered the prix fix menu

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PP
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server was excellent! Very personable and attentive...I think his name is Brandon. Thank you!

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NH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

EXPENSIVE FOR THE QUALITY OF THE FOOD. MANY OTHER LESS EXPENSIVE SEAFOOD PLACES HAVE BETTER FOOR FOR CHEAPER PRICES

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R
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such fresh and beautifully presentation of fish. Loved it all. From valet personnel to waiters all were so casual and client centered.

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CS
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Used to be better
Seems like they are more intersted in bar crowd upstairs the dining room downstairs
Service very poor

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 4

Service was absolutely horrible! I had to clear my plates and put them on the stands and we had to keep asking for refills and condiments and so we ware!

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JR
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, Natalie our server and the view are extraordinary. I believe the Rusty Pelican has the brst overall bruch in Orange County.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great experience!

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G
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the moment you enter the Rusty Pelican you are received into an atmosphere of harmony, comfort and pleasure. The professionalism of every Rusty Pelican staff member is beyond compare and something other restaurants should aspire to. Any desire or request is fulfilled with purpose and a smile, it appears everyone works as a team for the best guest experience possible.
The food quality is beyond measure, the fresh fish is so exquisitely prepared that it seems to melt in your mouth and is presented to impress the eye as much as the palate. With the stunning views, impeccable service, immaculately maintained space and the best Margarita I ever had, how could anyone stay away! We are really looking forward to our next visit.

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MK
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this restaurant. We would go more often except for the corkage policy.

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SH
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

We are a regular customer....couple of issues :
1. Server promoted special but did not disclose the price and the check showed almost twice the price of regular entrees which didn't go well with my sister in law who was there the second time
2. Server brought Asparagus and Spinach which again we thought were sides part of the entree but there were separate charges again didn't go well
Hence we felt, we paid about $ 40 extra !

Let's make sure Shelby corrects these practices !

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was great as usual, but we got a table assigned next to the door to the patio. Since it was very cold outside and a lot of people walked in and out it was very cold at the table. We asked to get another table which was rejected by the manager stating there is no free table and we would need to go. I am very often here, but this no guest deserves in that price category!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice Sunset! Excellent service and food!

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SF
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent!!!

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AO
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sea Bass was excellent. Damon was great. Our server Jordan was exceptional.

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